Book Recommendation of the Month, Reviews, Scottish Reads


Starrsha Glowglass is on the front page of every newspaper. She isn’t a model, Vlogger, or reality TV show contestant. Starrsha is famous for something darker: she survived a massacre that claimed her Brothers and Sisters.

Hers was no ordinary family. They were The Family Glowglass – a religious order set up by an eccentric businessman as a tax dodge. One morning the parishioners sat down to breakfast; most didn’t get back up.

Only Starrsha and her mute Brother, Simon, survived. Both now have a chance to lead an ordinary life. And for Starrsha, that means high school.

Can a videotape bring back the dead? What’s behind the red door? Why won’t Starrsha’s best friend reveal her true sexuality? When is a poster on a wall actually a trap? Will My Chemical Romance reform? Why is Father obsessed with vintage tech? Why does Barbie freak out Starrsha? How many rich husbands has Aunt Imelda bumped off? And why is God crank-calling Starrsha?

For Starrsha, the path to enlightenment is a one-way trip to murder and madness…

After reading Happiness is Wasted on Me a few months ago, I fell in love with the way that Kirkland Ciccone writes characters. I instantly requested this book from the library and it only recently became available, I was giddy to read it!

I have to admit that in the time between requesting this book and reading it, I had covid and may have completely forgotten what the book was about. So I knew I was excited but allowed myself to ignore the blurb and to just go in with no expectations and just excitement.

As expected, I absolutely loved the main character Starrsha and her best friend Dan. Starrsha was just a wee soul! She had lost most of her family and was just trying to navigate high school while lacking any of the social awareness needed to get through it. Dan was a huge Gerard Way and My Chemical Romance fan which is something that I can definitely relate to! I cracked a rib seeing MCR live in 2005, totally worth it. The other high school girls felt so realistic, I hated them.

I really enjoyed the sort of treasure hunt element of this book. The Father, the cult leader, had left video tapes for Starrsha and Simon. Like a will but they felt more like just a way of tormenting his family from the grave. He had left money, a lot of money, which led to unpleasant absent family members returning to the home in order to claim the inheritance. This turned very messy, very quickly. I hated the auntie and uncle so much and I hoped that they would meet messy ends.

All the while, Starrsha found herself feeling watched. Like there was someone else in the house. It was like a locked room mystery at times and was such an exciting read.

I did not see any of the twists coming. It was such a wild ride of a book!

The format of this book was a surprise. A treat! It took the format of a transcript of vhs recordings and the book took place over a 3 hour recording that Starrsha had made. The book was part family saga, high school drama, mystery, and just twisty turny wildness. The chapters were very short as each chapter of was a single recording.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am so happy that it was as enjoyable as I’d hoped it would be. I definitely need to get my own copy of this book for my collection and I will be reading more books by this author.

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