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This book frustrated me I wanted to like it, but the characters were just boring I didn t care about any of them Midas was pathetic and Ida was obnoxious I couldn t believe the romance between these two, it felt false Perhaps this book would have been a little better if we found out why Ida was turning into glass What was with the winged bull moths and the animals turning white Nothing was even remotely explained And Midas never found out about his father So frustrating I also had an issue with some of the word choices and phrasing How many times can a person use the word polystyrene in a book Apparently,than you would think Also, the characters in this book enjoy shrieking , but I m just being picky. Warning this review is long and gushing because I love the book so The Girl with Glass Feet is a beautiful, achingly romantic tale, full of breathless wonder and untold promises It captured my heart, and I became a part of the story, part of the enchantment And I loved it, oh so dearly This book is like a fairytale, a poetically beautiful fairytale Yet it sreminiscent of the original fairytales, with the flow of the writing and the very detailed descriptions Ali Shaw, though, is modern, so this fairytale hasof a modern feel, withdeveloped characters andemotion But he still manages to make it feel like an old, graceful captivating tale, and it swept me away with its magical allure The story begins as a young man, Midas, is in the forest taking pictures He comes upon a young woman, whose name is Ida, sitting on a rock He finds her perhaps a bit odd, with her drab and strange appearance, and her rather large boots Yet he is intrigued with her, of the picture she could pose in a photograph with the right lights and scene After they part, he keeps thinking about her, about wanting to photograph her, but mostly of her strange boots She finds him the next day, and they start spending time together And then he discovers the truth about why she wears those boots He feels compelled to help her, not necessarily because he feels that he should, but because he sees that she needs help, and he finds he wants to help her He senses something beautiful from her, and feels drawn to her But he s unsure of these awakening feelings As their story develops, he starts to find himself, made possible by Ida She brought light to his life, though he was always searching for it, when taking photographs to create the best possible picture with any light he could find And he begins to realize that photographs are just captured memories NothingThose captured memories can t bring back pleasant memories, not like the ones he remembers when he s with Ida He starts to look at lifeclosely as he is slowly brought out of his camera shell he introverts himself with As the story progresses, they try to find a cure to Ida s ailment, supposedly caused by a strange creature that turns everything it looks at pure white As I kept reading, and was nearing the end, I realized where it was heading, where it had to inevitably go, and I feared for what I knew it would be I pled with the book to not let it happen, to have a perfect, happily ever after ending But I realized that that can t always happen Happy endings are far and few in between It sthe journey that makes the story, the trials and emotions the characters go through, that make them the person they become at the end, no matter the bitter ending it may hold And I found I was pleased with the ending, though tears were streaming down my face.I thought the development of the characters was done brilliantly I connected with each character, I felt for them, I understood them and their plights Ali Shaw stealthily works a way open for the reader to see into each characters minds, and to understand them better, especially through someone s else s eyes who may not think so highly of them Ida was perhaps my favorite, although I love Midas, for his endearing qualities He is a sweetheart Ida is not afraid to let her guard down or to show people that she doesn t care what they think She never thinks that she isn t good enough or beautiful enough to let someone love her And she cares about people Not everything is about her, though she still is desperately trying to find a cure The best description of her is thought by Midas He was amazed at how she took a moment to encounter the fear, then shouldered it and moved on. She is a strong heroine She doesn t let the presence of impending doom reduce her to a pathetic whisper of herself, or purge out the love she could feel for Midas.The ending was heartbreaking, but amazingly done, with so much emotion and love So perfect I am in love with this book I was enchanted with it The writing was often thought provoking, infused into the characters minds and words and relaying them to the reader in a delicate, yet deep manner that made me stop and think some times I didn t expect to connect so fully with this story, but I did, and I enjoyed every last bit of the journey, and I m still breathless at the wonder of it This is the type of book that everyone should read It should be loved, and reread and praised for the truly breathtaking novel it is It s an engrossing, brilliant read But it s a quiet engrossment, that slowly wraps around you, tying you up in knots until you are completely bound, utterly captive to it s allure, and you find you don t even want out You want to stay within the enchantment and never let it go This is what happened to me The Girl with Glass Feet is a brilliant jewel in my treasure chest, that will always stay close to my heart The intriguing enchantment and endearing love story, the heartfelt moments of self realization and discovering one s self and learning to love and trust others, the beautiful writing that flows slowly, unfolding the entire scene and background, and then flowing smoothly to the next scene the entire story, every word and thought, stole into my heart, leaving me breathless with wonder and in utter awe with the poignant emotion interwoven into the story Ali Shaw is a brilliant storyteller, and I praise him for his talent and stunning ability to weave such a heartfelt, beautiful tale.Example of the writing I loved It was a humid night, later to become a hated night, played over in his thoughts until he could watch it like a theater, retrospect s dramatic irony making him scream at his younger self to see sense, see what his father had planned Gray clouds had hung like dead petals in a spiderweb In the far distance a lighthouse had pulsed A haze of moonlight covered everything. It has the feel of a fairy tale crossed with a hint of horror Creepiness lurked around the edges of the story, never overt, never overdone I suppose the best fairy tales have that as well the original ones can have an ominous edge Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook I have contradicting feelings about The Girl With The Glass Feet.There were times when I absolutely loved it and times that I was sure I was not gonna be able to finish it.Let me elaborate The book describes how a girl named Ida, is slowly turning into glass because of white monster that she saw in a bog That s all I know,believe me and it somehow cursed her.Ida, meets Midas, a very shy and introverted guy daddy issues who falls in love with her and tries to save her.The other characters,besides Carl and Midas s father maybe, are not worth mentioning.If you are confused already, I don t think it gets any simpler Let s get one thing straight this book was written brilliantly Shaw s portraying of characters kind of reminded me of Stephen King s style, using each chapter for a different character, describing his her most intimate thoughts and secrets,mostly about their lives and how they have come to be like this, in a very depressing and pessimistic way.All this is of course great, but somewhere along the line it became quite tiring.You want to get to the story so much, and the book would not let you.Instead, it bombarded you with countless and very detailed descriptions of scenery and of stuff which was,in my opinion, completely irrelevant moth winged cattle What was that all about ,that you constantly felt that the story is going nowhere and that you should probably put it back on your shelf.And just when you thought this book is a lost cause, then came an amazing scene to completely change your perception about the whole thing.Especially Midas s flashbacks with his father and Carl s scenes.Then again, you come to rethink some stuff in the end and you just shrug and go meh.All in all, I believe that the magnificent writing got in the way of the story because maybe, it was too good for it after all.One thing is certain The Girl With The Glass Feet is a very difficult book to critique If you are looking for a very fine and exceptional prose, look no further.If you re looking for an amazing story,I m not so sure. Robin RommThe hybrid form of the book fairy tale, myth, psychological realism and fantasy impresses But Shaw s most delightful offerings are the vivid details he provides to make the magical real The end of the book, saturated with color and emotion, is risky and brave like the message it imparts Only a heart of glass would be unmoved The New York Timesyou rang, NY times A beautiful fairy tale idea gets lost in a snowstorm of long scenery descriptions and underdeveloped characters Oh boy, this sucks I had really hoped that this book would make it s interesting synopsis come true, especially since I ve read Shaw s latest book The Trees last year and I loved it, but The Girl With the Glass Feet was simply not a good read.Let s start with the positive things the intriguing story idea The book resolves around Ida, a young women who is slowly turning into glass starting with her feet because she caught the eye of a strange white monster in a bog Searching for a cure, she travels across the remote, snow covered island of St Hauda, and there she meets Midas, a shy, aspiring photographer who is willing to help her Their search across the island is extensively described, and in flashbacks we get to know the reclusive people living on St Hauda a little better Shaw s writing style is not as polished as it is in his newest book, but you can already see his talent in characterization and mixing fantasy folklore elements with reality So all in all, the story isn t terrible it s just that the author spends too many words on describing the setting and not enough on character development, even though this is a very character driven story The reader wants to know if Ida s illness can be cured, but instead of that Shaw keeps writing about the bogs, the mythological creatures, and the side characters This way the story really starts to drag around the middle and becomes a pain to read The main characters themselves don t make the story much better The only interesting thing about Ida is that she suffers from a mysterious illness, but I found it hard to care for her condition since the author never lets her reflect on it Ida is too busy running around the island and making heart eyes at Midas to let the reader feel for her I didn t connect with Midas either because his doubts and hesitation keep him from fully committing himself to Ida and her case While Ida s illness slowly becomes worse through the book, Midas is too tangled up in his daddy issues to really support her I couldn t believe that Ida was so in love with this man, while the only thing I wanted to do was kick his ass to get him going So while the mystery of the glass illness does make you keep on reading, the long accounts about icy bogs and the actions of the main characters are killing for the pace and the power of the story You could easily skip 75 pages of the middle and you wouldn t miss anything important to the plot If you want to read a good book by Ali Shaw, read The Trees It has a much better plot, strong, growing characters and a great execution of magical events taking place in the real world The Girl With the Glass Feet shows Shaw s talent, but in my opinion, it s far from his best work. I m not sure how I felt about this one, perhaps the state I m reading in at the moment but I was struggling to remember what was happening and who was who. 4 StarsI should take a photo No Just remember it, and us in it He swallowed.She smiled Here was rightness of place and time There isn t much I can say about this book that other people haven t said in the other comments here.This book is absolutely breath taking it s perfectly executed, immaculately paced and I fell in love with every single character flaws and all The world that Shaw creates is so lush and full of vivid colour and texture that if someone had run into my room proclaiming Oh my GOD, I m turning into glass Whatdoidowhatdoidowhile I was reading this, I would have probably leapt up and be like LET S GO FIND HENRY FUMA IN A BOGShaw took a beautiful idea and transformed it, adding layer upon layer, to an astonishing modern day fairy tale with the most gorgeous bitter sweet love story view spoiler But there were no happy endings here, SOB Seriously, I kept a close eye on the page numbers thinking OK, I have six pages left it can get happy in six pages, can t it CAN T IT This book honestly broke my heart hide spoiler There is no particular type of person so easy to make fun of as the teen or twenty something man who takes himself really seriously And yet, despite Ali Shaw basically falling into that category, imao, I don t want to make fun of this book I knew this guy, a while back, who was an emo musician surfer, and he was also so handsome that people apparently didn t tell him he was wrong very often This one time, when I first met him, he told me that Bright Eyes was the new Bob Dylan That ended up ruining Bright Eyes for me because, while Mr Eyes is sweet, he s nowhere near the new Bob Dylan I say with great distain The reason I bring this up at all is that I think this book basically falls into the Bright Eyes category If young men rediscovering emotion is your thing, then I think this book would have a lot of really wonderful moments for you Even if it s not, I think this is basically a brave, and sometimes pretty, first attempt at a novel.You could mostly gag me with men rediscovering emotion, but, at the same time, isn t it lovely I feel like society is this giant middle school party where all the girls and boys were standing against opposite walls But then the girls started running away from sap and the boys started running toward sap and it s made this giant mosh pit that is kind of nice Women learning to express emotion with their fists and men learning to express emotion with their words Still, at some point, gag me.So, I don t really know what to do with this book I felt a strange detachment from it, like I was reading all the characters from behind a two way mirror But, then, there were these crazy moments where something personal and painful directly from my life was there on the page, as though really it was Ali Shaw seeing me though a two way mirror, not me seeing his characters The separation was always there, though Somehow the words of much of the story were phenomenally accurate to these very personal experiences I have had, but the emotion and actions that would have humanized the statements were really foreign to me For example, I have this friend right now who is always telling me how nerdy she is and how she s happy to just curl up alone at her house with homework The thing is that she dresses all in pink, almost always wears sparkly makeup, is addicted to exercising, and dressed as MTV spring break for Halloween last year But the other thing is that she really is nerdy and curls up with homework alone all the time So, the way she describes herself is accurate, but the way the truth of it looks is so foreign to me that it feels untrue Those were the types of inconsistencies I felt in the story I had a similar reaction, on a much smaller scale, to the movie 500 Days of Summer It seemed like the kid was technically correct in recounting the words the girl said, but that he missed who she was and how she felt entirely.But, I m kind of freaking out about the way all of this played out in this book, and there s no way to spare you from an over share in talking about it, so close your eyes ye faint of heart Keep in mind that I m choosing the least personal example of the weird things from my life that Shaw described with this intense accuracy The book is about a boy who lives on an island and has social anxiety disorder, depression, and an extreme fear of being touched He meets this girl who is turning into glass from the feet up, and SPOILER as she slowly disappears, she teaches him to sort of reappear END SPOILER The way Shaw describes her turning into glass is so painfully real, though My mom died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Lou Gehrig s Disease over the course of about eight years When it started, she just lost feeling in her foot, and it slowly traveled through the rest of her body It was exactly like her body was turning to glass, and in exactly the way Shaw describes in this book He was horribly accurate.So, every time he described the process of Ida turning into glass, it really resonated with me in this completely sickening way, but Ida herself, as a character, was where he lost me This was not a huge problem in reading the story, but I think it s good to be prepared when getting into iton this in a minute I was raised that women are evil, and there was a cartoon I saw when I was little that symbolizes this to me The cartoon started out with a big, strong man standing next to a petite, little woman As the frames went along, the woman got bigger and the man got smaller, until the last frame where there was just a coffin sitting next to a big, fat woman Nice, huh There s something of the reverse of this happening in this book that doesn t really sit right with me, but at the same time seems insanely accurate SPOILER AGAIN All of the women disappear as the men learn to define themselves It is compassionate in execution, and it resonates with me for all the times I feel like I have seen women disappear to their husbands and families But, it still seems like a mistake to write that circumstance into a fantasy novel with nothing to redeem it END SPOILER That reminds me of some confusion I have assuming this book is actually fantasy, as my library labels it, I truly do not understand the line between fantasy and magical realism I thought fantasy had to have elves, dwarves, or giants Does anyone have working definitions for the two genres Really, the problems I have with this book, like the above, are technical, but not insubstantial, and the biggest one is Ida s character It seems extremely unlikely, and undesirable, that a woman turning into glass would want to spend her painful illness teaching a shy photographer how to re connect with the world It seemed like a mistake to give Ida the glass illness, rather than Midas the emo hero , and then write her as an ancillary character She had the most potential to be an interesting character, but remained the least complex throughout Shaw developed each of the men withcare, though they were less central characters I don t have a problem with characters being unrealistic like the characters in Arrested Development, for example, or all of Quentin Tarantino s women I love all of them, even though none of them ring very true with my experiences They respectacular than life But it kind of bugs me when male fantasies are of really boring or really creepy women It felt like in his pretty successful attempt to be accurate and write what he knew, Shaw was reluctant to develop the women.I think, actually, a lot of my trouble with the characters could be pretty easily fixed by developing the characters in the opposite direction of how Shaw presented them For example, one character was introduced with a very touching description of his devotion to a woman who rejected him Later, it turns out that this guy is a complete asshole, which made me feel betrayed as a reader What if he was introduced as an asshole, and then Shaw revealed the background That might beconventional, but it would have worked better for me The same was true with Ida There was a beautiful scene about her, as a child, coming to terms with death, and for me that would havesuccessfully introduced her character than the physical description of her that Shaw used.Throughout the book, Shaw juxtaposes beauty with ugliness in a really nice way I think he has something to say about the incongruous brutality and delicacy of life that is really successful That theme leads to a gratuitous scene where a teeny tiny bull births a baby teeny tiny bull, and that I could have done without I was frustrated by, and even angry at, a lot of the character and story development, but I think it s likely that any reader would feel differently about the story than any other reader It was very domestic and personal in that way It was beautiful and ugly and brutal and delicate It s no Bob Dylan, though. ^FREE PDF ☆ The Girl with Glass Feet ☝ Strange Things Are Happening On The Remote And Snowbound Archipelago Of St Hauda S Land Magical Winged Creatures Flit Around The Icy Bogland, Albino Animals Hide Themselves In The Snow Glazed Woods, And Ida Maclaird Is Slowly Turning Into Glass Ida Is An Outsider In These Parts Who Has Only Visited The Islands Once Before Yet During That One Fateful Visit The Glass Transformation Began To Take Hold, And Now She Has Returned In Search Of A Cure