Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Review: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Publication date: October 25th 2016
Publisher: Random House
Length: 384 pages

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it's the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life. 
Outside the palace of Versailles, it's modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it's the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it's about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play… blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

One day I will probably learn to not get too excited about a book based on its cover and blurb – but today is not that day! Case in point, ‘Glitter’, that lured me with in with that gorgeous cover and intriguing blurb and then promptly smushed all of my hopes and dreams with its lacklustre plot and unlikeable heroine.

The premise was fascinating – slightly ahead of our own time, a corporation have taken up residence in the Palace of Versailles, dressing and living as though they were there in the Sun King’s time. Something that I can easily see happening in real life. All of the beautiful dresses and courtly manners and lifestyle of such a sumptuous time period, combined with mod cons and electronics (tastefully) interwoven? Yes please, sign me up now. Unfortunately that’s about where the excitement for this novel ends, as any hopes that it gave me were swiftly dashed upon the introduction of our ridiculously unlikeable heroine and her scheming plot to sell drugs to everyone around her without their knowledge. She barely has any qualms about doing it, and seems content to throw literally everyone she knows under the bus for her own personal gain.

If she had some moral dilemma that was halfway convincing I’d be more on board. If I really felt any sense of threat then maybe I’d be more on board. But as it was I was thoroughly unconvinced and just ended up disliking Danica intensely. Throw in a poorly constructed plot, a romance that made me want to throw things for the inconsistency, and a *gasp* plot twist at the end, and I ended up feeling thoroughly disgruntled when I finished this one.

I’m all for plot twists, but they have to still move the story forward and feel like they’re a suitable payoff for the rest of the story. Unfortunately this one just made me feel like I’d wasted my time reading the rest of this book.

Despite all of this it was surprisingly addictive (pun intended) and I found myself wanting to get back to Danica’s world, to see what (idiocies) she’d get herself into next, and to escape into this odd hybrid mix of historical and futuristic.
I can’t say I recommend it exactly, because it definitely didn’t offer me enough good things to warrant that, but it was interesting and has piqued my interest enough that (possibly despite myself) I will be keeping an eye out for a sequel next year.


  1. I've been wondering about this one ever since I saw the cover, let alone read the blurb! Beautiful packaging, even if the contents are a little lackluster. Even-balanced and thoughtful review, even if I don't think I'll be picking this one up!

  2. Good post, your article is really nice, love it!

  3. My daughter loved the book. She has recommended it to many of her friends. Aprilynne Pike does not disappoint.