The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

Ida MacLaird visited St. Hauda's island a year ago. There she met a man named Henry Fuwa who spoke of creatures such as the moth-winged cattle and a beast whose glance could turn anything to pure white. When the tips of her toes begin to turn to glass, she can think of no other person that can help her other than Henry and she is quite certain that whatever her mysterious affliction is, she obtained it while at St. Hauda's.

Midas Crook is somewhat of a loner. He hides behind his camera and only sees the world through its potential for photographic composition. He happens to run across Ida one day while in the woods and can't seem to stop the impulse to want to photograph her, to know her, to find out what is causing her such unhappiness. He tries to fight his feelings for her - but her sad, defiant spirit calls to him and he finds himself waging a war with time. For Midas has to put his past behind him, and that includes the memories of his cruel father, his tortured mother and his insecurities and embrace the opportunity he has found in Ida... the chance at true love. But love won't be enough if they can't find a way to stave off the spread of the glass.

Let me start by saying that I picked this book up because I fell in love with its stunning cover. I never even got around to reading its synopsis, I just saw it, loved it and read it. For some reason, I assumed it would be a YA title - don't know why I was under that assumption, so needless to say, I was surprised to find an adult fairytale-type story within the pages of The Girl with Glass Feet.

Although you would think this is Ida's story, it really is more about Midas. As they struggle to find a cure for the rapidly spreading ice, the relationship between them grows into something unexpected. It is through Ida's perseverance that she is able to break through Midas' memories, inhibitions and introverted nature and bring him fully into the present, to be alive... with her, before it's too late.

It did take me a couple of chapters to actually get into the storyline. But from the first page, I found myself taken in by the whimsical (even mythical) descriptions we get of St. Hauda's. It didn't take very long before I found myself completely immersed and needing to read more about the complicated characters that are Midas and Ida.

Midas made me feel anxious and exasperated - I wanted to grab him and just shake him and yell at him to snap out of it before love simply slipped away. He had the pressure of his father's suicide and I know he preferred to see life through his camera, but he was just letting life pass him by. Then there was Ida - she was spunky, well-traveled, spontaneous, but slowly turning to glass. I loved how she was able to overlook Midas' flaws, and see the goodness in him.

This was a very unusual love story and one that I found even more peculiar since the fact that she was turning to glass never really surprised anyone. You'd think if I showed you my glass feet you would somehow panic or freak out in some way... but no, these characters just saw it for what it was... she's turning into glass, so let's find a cure. I found that rather odd, but then again, so were the moth-winged cattle and the technicolor jellyfish. I think the author does a good job of bringing all the fantastical elements in the novel together with the realism and genuine relationships scattered throughout.

It definitely had a lot of potential but it left me feeling as if some things were left unanswered. I also really wished some of the more magical elements were brought more into perspective. Overall I found this to be a unique and interesting read - but not one I would recommend to everyone.


Emidy said...

Wow, this sounds unique for sure. I'm not a big fantasy reader, but that cover just draws me in! It's too pretty.

Juju at Tales of said...

Thank you for the very cool honest review.

christina said...

I absolutely adored this book. In fact, I have been recommending this one to EVERYONE. I want to crawl up inside its world and play with the winged creatures. I have a feeling that this will be my all time favorite read this year!

Ryan G said...

I've seen this title around a few places and every time I read a review of it, I want to read it all the more. Thank you for the reminder.

brizmus said...

I also bought this book for the beautiful cover. And the silvers sides of the pages. But then somehow my copy got left in France, and now I'm afraid I'll never get to read it. I'm glad you didn't ADORE it, otherwise I might be feeling ridiculously sad now.

Kailana said...

I have this book out from the library, but haven't had a chance to read it yet.

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