“For your information, you are five feet and two inches of muscle and bone with an AA bra size and shoes from the children’s section. There is always talk of filling another’s shoes, so perhaps I ought to inform you that yours are a UK size 3 ½ and have been consistently diminished for most of your life.”
Glass Girl is a story about the ins and outs of being a person, a teenage girl specifically, who battles with A-levels, gymnastics, music lessons and navigating social mores. It proves that even though a person can look perfect on the outside, we can never truly know what’s happening underneath.
First of all can I just say that the writing is fantastic? It’s exceptionally done with very few errors – and let’s face it there’s always going to be some out there, regardless of what we do. The second person tone is something that I was wary of at first but it’s done so well that it matches the character perfectly. There are very few character names that are exchanged and instead we are met with labels, ‘him’ to refer to the character's crush ‘first best friend’ and ‘second best friend’ to pick out friends amongst themselves. Some may say that that can lead to the reader to be disconnected with characters but boy would they be wrong. It’s honestly like a dissection of life on how society, on the outside, sees another person’s friends and life as a whole. Again it coincides with how the character feels out of sync with everything, seeming good at most things but not good enough in her own eyes.
The whole style of writing is intriguing and different to pretty much anything I have read until this. This author sure knows how to write.
“’Yeah.” You both snatch hopelessly at the enormity of the word, hoping you’ll find some way to put what America means into words.’
The story is structured with times throughout the day keeping the reader neatly informed of what’s going on. In addition, the chapters are simply numbered, and as an avid reader I know that some people are more invited with titled chapters instead of numbered ones; however, these numbers feel randomly picked and not following a pattern. I don’t know if this was intentional but it seems whimsical and a nice parallel note as to how Merecat refers to the characters parents living in Wonderland still clinging to what they know. I like the strangeness to it.
“You wish you could have every year back and take the other chances; do everything, try everything… you smile… you’re so busy smiling…”
The subject matter of the story, the teenage girl trying to pick her way through an unloving family and not being good enough and receding dreams, may seem a bit sensitive to some people. But I think it’s done in a realistic way, not driven on top of itself in a very high tower to seem to get a point across, but in a way that seems real. I can totally relate to the character’s outlook on A-levels GCSE’s and decision making and fitting to an image. There were a lot of times when I was nodding along with them and that is the point, I would like to think, of the second person style which is to get the reader to be the character themselves in a way.
I don’t think I can fault this. I’m really trying to pick it out in some way but… I can’t. I just can’t. I highly recommend reading it and I wait for the updates with somewhat bated breath.