Amanda Von Hoffman’s Behind Green Glass focuses on a fantasy area often overlooked in today’s young adult fiction: faeries. They aren’t Disney’s fairies (thankfully!) but more akin to J.R.R. Tolkien’s.
Let me first say that my biggest complaint about the book is the homeschooling aspect. I would love to see a wonderful fiction book about a homeschooled youth, or better yet, an unschooled youth. However, just as with most young adult fiction, Von Hoffman has taken a stereotypical approach to this aspect of the book. Isolde was taken out of school by her paranoid mother and is schooled at home, feeling increasingly alone and isolated until they move to a small town and she begins to reach out, much to the displeasure of her emotionally hurting single mother. The stereotype of the homeschooling parent is so discouraging, as I have yet to meet a parent who homeschools their children like this.
The story line is intriguing, though. Isolde discovers a connection to the faerie world through the life of a teenage girl who once lived (and died) in her room. Straddling between two worlds, one human and one faerie, she begins to discover her own strengths.
I hope this young adult debut author decides to write more about Isolde and the world she uncovers, developing the story line more. It has great potential and showcases a strong female lead, one who previously did not view herself as such.
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of the book was provided by the author.
ETA: After hearing the author’s thoughts on my comments about the homeschooling aspect of the book, I have to say I admire the story much more. I still wish there were more positive fiction books out there about homeschooled and unschooled children, but I can better understand the position the author was coming from.