Book Review: Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

Hi Blisses,

TITLE: Watching Glass Shatter
BY: James J. Cudney
SERIES: Perceptions of Glass #1
GENRE: Mystery, Contemporary
PUBLICATION: October 24th 2017 by Next Chapter


The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.


A compelling and heartfelt story…

First, I have a confession…I am no fan of family drama, especially ones that involve secrets and that’s why even though I own this book for a while now and the author is a friend, it wasn’t on my plan to read it this soon. Thankfully, I was invited to join the blog tour for the sequel. Did I consider saying no to the blog tour? Nope. I will forever read everything Shalini send my way. And besides, I know that James is an amazing author. I love his other series, Braxton Campus Mysteries. But surprise, surprise, I love Watching Glass Shatter even more despite it having a trope that I’m not a fan of.

I read Watching Glass Shatter in one sitting. The book is surprisingly fast-paced, well except for the first quarter, where the characters were introduced and parts of their backstories were told. Still, the Glass family kept my interest from beginning to end. I really liked the mystery aspect. It’s a bit unique because I haven’t read anything with this kind of conflict. I was really expecting that cheating is involved but thank God, it’s not. At least it’s not the kind of cheating that involves other woman. (Sorry, if that’s spoilery. I can’t help it.)

I also enjoyed the family drama, surprisingly, but mainly because I loved the characters. They are very well-written, each is flawed in their own way. In fact, I don’t have a favorite. First with Ben. I won’t say much about him but despite spending so little time with him alive in the book, what he did – the secret – spoke volume of his character. And by the way, I found what he did as acceptable despite it being wrong-ish because the author introduced Ben and his action in a way that the readers will understand him and see him as a human who reacted in a certain situation. Like I said, the characters are very well-written.

Then there’s Olivia. Her reaction to the secret is very realistic, that even though she loves Ben and he just died, she didn’t take what he did lightly. As for the sons, I was worried that they won’t be well-written because there are five of them and it would be hard to make them unique in their own ways. I was worried some of them would be identical, especially in their voices. I was wrong to worry. The author did a great job at giving each of them different characterization and I love them all despite them being flawed. The side characters are well-written too, such as Diane and Rowena. Speaking of Rowena, the resolution surprised me. I wasn’t expecting Rowena’s decision. I wasn’t expecting the author will go that way but it makes so much sense that it ended the way it did.

The writing really wowed me and the fact that this is James’ debut is double wow. 🙂 I really liked how the story went. I love the reveals. Also, usually it bothers me when there’s so much telling of backstories but in this case, I was okay with it. Maybe because I really liked the characters and I love digging up their souls. LOL. The writing is really what made the story very engaging. It’s also emotional which I liked the best.

RATING: 4 blissful pages with lilies

I really enjoyed this one and regretting that I didn’t read it sooner. I’m now excited to read the sequel because I have no doubt it’s as good, if not better, as this one.


James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s chat.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

  1. Hello!

    I am surprised and grateful for your review. Thank you so much. I’m so glad it worked out, even if it’s not your genre. And that I avoided the tropes you dislike too. 🙂

    I think your review is fantastic. It shows the great parts of the book, balances the things you don’t like about the genre, and is very fair in your rating and feedback.

    Thank you so much; you are amazing! 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

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