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The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass Review

by T.L. Branson
The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass Review

Reading The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass felt a lot like dating.

It has its ups and its downs and it morphs over time following stereotypical relationship development.

What am I talking about?

When a couple begins dating, they do everything in their power to be accommodating and impressive. The initial dating phase is like a game.

I’ll say all the right things, I’ll be on my best behavior, I’m going to make them laugh, make them smile, and show them a good time.

Eventually the couples gets closer, becomes tighter. They begin to ostracize their friends as they spend more time together and excitement ramps up all the way to the altar.

But after the honeymoon phase, the rest of your life begins and you realize you can’t be that person you were on dates 24/7.

Soon your partner discovers you aren’t the person you thought they were. Quarrels and arguments happen. Misunderstandings and confusion runs amuck.

Who is this person?

What happens next wildly varies from couple to couple. But nearly every couple experiences the previous steps above in nearly a play-by-play fashion.

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass is the couple that comes to a mutual understanding and toughs it out for the investment already made, neither completely resolving their differences, but neither are they at each other’s throats.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass Review

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass by Adan Jerreat-PooleThe Girl of Hawthorn and Glass is about Eli, a girl who was made by a witch for the sole purpose of being a tool for the witchdom.

She’s an assassin, created for nothing more than killing ghosts in the human world.

Ghosts aren’t spirit beings in this world, they’ve inhabited human bodies and they pretend to live as humans.

Eli can sniff them out, find them anywhere, and put an end to the charade. The witches give her a target, a dossier, and send her on her way.

With each kill, she and her witch mother climb higher up the social ladder of witches.

When Eli is given her most difficult task yet, the Coven breaks from protocol and speaks directly to Eli, instead of her mother. Instead of the normal dossier, she’s given only a name.

When the hunt goes wrong and she discovers her target isn’t a ghost, but a human, she has to make a difficult decision.

The First Date

It’s a really awesome concept.

Before I read The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass I looked at the reviews on Goodreads, and wow are they rough. An average of 2.5 stars with 70 reviews. I try not to read them too much to not get spoiled, but I did glance.

15% of the way through the book and I can’t figure out why the reviews are so bad. I’m loving this.

Eli is off on her mission and my adrenaline is starting to flow and I’m looking forward to seeing her assassin skills in action.

I want to see her and her witch mother progress and get more prestige.


But oh no, the mission goes awry. No surprises there, it’s written right in the blurb of the book.

And what would a good story be if everything went well? I’m not concerned.

In fact, I’m elated.

I’m excited to see how Eli will confront this challenge, how she’ll overcome it and complete her mission. I’m ready to see her standing in front of the Coven receiving all the praise.

But that’s not at all what happens.

The First Year of Marriage

That really cool premise that takes up the first 40% of the Girl of Hawthorn and Glass is nothing but a front.

It’s like the fake, “on my best behavior” personality of a dating couple.

Because as soon as I hit around the 50% mark I’m like “what the heck is going on?”

What crap is this?

Where’s my witchling assassin? Where’s my strong, cold as death girl?

It’s not the the direction the story takes is a bad one. In fact, it’s quite a logical turn and had the potential to be an interesting one.

The problem is with execution. Instead of driving her own fate, Eli becomes the third wheel in somebody else’s plan.

She has no reason to trust the new companions she has just met, but she lets them dictate her path without any solid or logical evidence. They don’t even tell her what they’re trying to do.

They use her as a pawn, and it destroyed every ounce of respect I had for Eli and obliterated any interest I had in the story.

What takes place between 50%-95% is nothing but aimless wandering and pure confusion.

A Rocky Relationship

This confusion comes from a few different things.

The first is a lack of identifies for who is speaking at least 40% of the time. Dialogue goes back and forth with quick banter, but 6 to 7 lines go by and you have no idea who is saying what.

The second aspect of confusion comes from a half-baked story with murky reasoning and unclear descriptions on what’s happening, how it’s happening, and why it’s happening. All of this leaves the reader unsure what they should be looking for.

And the final bit of confusion comes from what many will consider a highlight. And that’s the non-binary character.

The author herself identifies as non-binary, so it’s natural for the author to write a non-binary character.

The diversity argument aside, the use of non-binary pronouns is very confusing to a story.

If you aren’t aware, non-binary pronouns are “they” and “them” instead of “she” and “her.”

The problem is that “they” is a plural pronoun. Not singular.

So at least 40% of the time the author used the word “they,” I couldn’t tell whether it was in reference to the singular non-binary character or the group of three characters.

This contributed a lot to my confusion with what was going on, who was doing what, and why it was happening.

Final Thoughts

In the end, I simply tolerated the story from 40% onward.

I had the potential to love it so much. I was so very very excited early on.

I really felt like the person in the relationship who was strung along, making me think the story was something that it wasn’t.

I will not likely be picking up the second book which already has a title: The Boi of Feather and Steel.

For fooling me and pulling the rug out from underneath me. For taking my strong heroine and making her a pawn in someone else’s game. And for confusing the living daylights out of me so I had no idea what was happening for more than 50% of the book, I give The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass:

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