Cut Glass by Susanne Valenti

I had the privilege of getting to read another one of Susanne Valenti‘s new Cage of Lies stories. I recently read and reviewed Chained, the first book in the Cage of Lies series and yesterday I finished reading Cut Glass, a prequel novella that introduces one of the characters that will be in the series later.

Once I start these books I cannot put them down. 2015 has been a great year for books! I have come across so many new books and authors this year. I think it’s mostly from making myself break out of my reading comfort zone. I have gotten more comfortable (and enjoying!) contemporary, controversial, and darker books. I feel as if I have broadened my horizons with literature!

Cut Glass was a great quick read. It really appeals to the teen readers. It’s about a girl named Crystal who stumbles into the world of some of the main characters in Chained. I won’t tell you who because you’ll just have to read it!

There’s not as much adventure in this one as in Chained, but it’s a great in depth story about a girl (and a boy really) trying to find their place in the world. In a much darker, sinister world where survival is the main driving factor to every day life. Both characters are emotionally beaten and broken. They suffer great loss and grief in their own ways.

I feel as if Valenti needs special kudos for her character writing ability. No two characters of hers are similar. They each have their own personalities, desires, needs, wants, etc. They really are their own people in this dystopian world she has built. Crystal has series emotional problems, but her story is also about just being a teenage girl and exploring sexuality and understanding (or trying really hard to) the difference between needs and wants. Teens struggle with identity. It’s no secret, we’ve all been there. It’s tough deciding what kind of person you want to be. Reading about Crystal’s journey is sad but eye opening. I read this novella as a coming of age story, but also as a young girl breaking down gender stereotypes.

Does Crystal behave the way a proper, young 16 year old girl should? No, definitely not. Is she behaving that way for a reason? Yes, and it’s an ugly, sad reality of her past and need for affection. Is it true that in society it is more appropriate for males to act the way she is acting? For the most part yes but she breaks that rule by deciding to go after what she wants and not apologizing for it.

I can’t tell at this point if this will work in her favor or if it will come back to bite her in the rear end. She’s halfway being independent throughout the story and halfway caving into her need of love and affection from a boy she knows will never truly love her the way she should be loved.

I think this is a great fictional, dystopian story for people who like books by Ellen Hopkins. If you feel like dipping your toes in the dystopian genre you should try this one out. I read this novella within a few hours and love what it adds to the story of Chained.

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