A History of Glitter and Blood: A Reading Experience

A History of Glitter and Blood: A Reading Experience A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz
Published by Chronicle Books on August 18th 2015
Pages: 280

Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies. But when Beckan's clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn't have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected. This stunning, lyrical fantasy is a powerful exploration of what makes a family, what justifies a war, and what it means to truly love.

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Well then. This was a strange, strange book. It seems like a lot of people are basically so confused that they give up, but alas, I am not too fond of DNFing, unless I have to, and in this case, I was far too curious not to keep reading. But I have no coherent thoughts on this because.. what just happened to me? Instead, let’s take a stroll through my reactions during the reading of this book:

Ah, okay, so this is about fairies. With glitter.

Oh and gnomes. The gnomes eat the fairies? That doesn’t seem nice…

Wait- the fairies willingly go to the gnomes and have sex with them? For money? And they’re all teenagers?  Do they have parents? Oh, in a jar you say? Only a few odd pieces of Becken’s dad’s face… sure.AmericasNextTopModelFashiondesignerAnandJonAlexander

Wait- what the hell is a “Tightroper”? Where did they come from? Actually, where did any of these people/beings come from? Where are we? Why are they fighting? They have jars and houses, but they have to eat each other? Hopefully they all eat a nice healthy snack before the aforementioned sex for money…

And who is narrating this? What are these pictures?! How is this a thing:

“Once upon a time there was a writer who couldn’t write a fucking book.

I don’t know what comes next. That whole chapter’s going to need to get thrown out anyway. You completely forgot halfway through that you’d said it was raining at the beginning.

Was it raining?

No one’s ever going to know and it’s all your fault.

Put a fucking map in the next draft.

Chapter two.”*

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So what we have is a bit of a mess. But I kept right on reading, I did. Even though I had no idea what was happening, and I was fairly certain that I didn’t care. I almost wondered if someone at Dunkin Donuts had spiked my coffee with some kind of hallucinogen, because what was this even?is-that-what-a-dinosaur-would-do

And here’s where it gets shocking: I am glad I didn’t give up! It actually got to a point where I was invested. Did I understand? No, but it somehow all made sense it context, which has to be a sign that the author did a really good job, because I don’t know how I came to grasp what was happening. Eventually it just… fell into place? And suddenly instead of being bewildered by all the stuff above, I just kind of accepted that it was the situation, and wanted to know what was going to happen next!

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So, what did I like specifically, you ask?

  • The characters. I don’t want to give anything away, so I will be vague here, but I loved the way Brecken, Scrap, and Josha were like a family of their own. Of course, so was Cricket, which has affected them all in various ways. They’re very messed up individuals, as you are when you can be eaten at any moment, your family is all gone, and there’s a war literally at your doorstep.
  • The writing style, once I got used to it, was incredible. It’s an unreliable narrator, yes. It’s also completely unique, and downright amusing at times. It does take some getting used to, but for me, it was worth it.
  • I flat out needed to know what happened! Would everyone make it out? Who would become dinner? Who would end up with who? (There was, incidentally, a lot of sex going on among these people. I don’t think it necessarily equated to feelings though? Again, this world is confusing!)

What would I have liked more of? Even in the confusion, a bit more world building would have been insanely helpful. Just a few basics, maybe a little note on if this was even Earth, or if humans were still a “thing”, or I don’t know, an answer to any of my ten billion questions.

Bottom Line: Look, this isn’t going to be for everyone, and I’d be lying if I said it was. If you can get past the point where you feel like you’re on drugs or someone is pulling a very elaborate prank, it actually gets really good! The characters are very intriguing, and even though there were unanswered questions (because that is kind of just the nature of this book) I was certainly satisfied when I finished the book. If you like unique, even weird, then this would be a great fit. Because in all honesty, I think this book is going to stay with me for quite some time!

*Quote taken from uncorrected proof, subject to change

Okay, we must discuss: What was the weirdest, strangest book you’ve ever read? And did you like it, or was it too “out there”?

Posted August 7, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review , / 39 Comments


39 responses to “A History of Glitter and Blood: A Reading Experience

  1. Omg hahaha your review made me laugh, especially the bottom line part. Just for that, I think I’ll give this a shot. We need to try new things, right? But wow haha great review, Shannon. I especially loved your reading experience.

  2. I have no idea if I will ever read this book but I am really glad I read your review. I was cracking up. I mean maybe someone did spike your coffee! If I ever feel need to take drugs I will just read this book instead. Fantastically funny review (and love the gifs!)

  3. So the general consensus from the blogosphere is that this is a confusing book and people differ by whether it’s a good sort of confusing. I do adore atypical narrative structures, though, so I may still try this out despite the very high likelihood of me being confused. The quote sounds especially deliciously messy.

  4. This book will go down in history as the the oddest book I ever read. LOL I almost DNF three times but made it. The book has a lot of themes I appreciated in YA and makes for a good discussion. Great review!

  5. This review was hilarious. I have a eARC of this book and I haven’t read it yet…if anything, your review made me want to read it even more!

  6. This book sounds just strange! I don’t like being confused or the lots if sex thing, so I think I’ll pass. I’m glad that not being able to quit a book paid off for once! Usually I hang in there in the hopes that it will get better, but it doesn’t. I think that the book I just finished was probably one of if not the strangest books I’ve ever read. Don’t tell my parents I Blew Up the moon. The first book was good, but this one stunk!

  7. OMG, your review was way more entertaining than the book could ever be. 🙂 “If you can get past the point where you feel like you’re on drugs..” Ha! Uh yeah, think I’ll give this one a pass. I don’t anything else confusing me. I do that just fine on my own. I think the strangest book I’ve read was actually a sorta-graphic novel called Chopsticks. Part of the problem might have been that I just don’t do graphic novels much but also it was just weird! I didn’t understand a damn thing. Afterwards I was reading some reviews on GoodReads about the ending and what it meant and I was like, “Seriously? That’s what it meant? I didn’t catch any of that but sure why not.” You were way more generous with your freakazoid read, though, because I only gave mine 2 stars. Ha!

    • Aww thanks! I think a lot of people agree with you, and would rather just read books, not have to solve weird ass puzzles 😉 BUT, I like weird, so it worked!

      Chopsticks sounds… odd. I definitely liked this MUCH more than you liked Chopsticks! Honestly, I wanted to give it an even higher rating because I ended up really liking it, but I could not justify it, based on the beginning!

  8. Eh . . . okay, this really doesn’t sound like my type of book. The whole fairy and gnome thing is a rather strange premise, but I was still willing to give it a try. However, since I’ve been hearing more negatives than positives, I think I’ll pass. I’m glad you still found a few redeeming qualities, though! Loved this humorous review! 🙂

    • Hahha thanks! And YES- that is what I thought it would be, some kind of fantasy where there’s a rich someone (since you know, Glitter) and then a war or fight (blood) but it’s mostly just weird, and instead of blood, they mostly just eat each other. And glitter is… actual glitter, like a first grade craft project 😉

  9. Yikes! I’ve heard way too many bizarre things about this book. For me, I don’t know. I have so many books that I really have been meaning to read this year that I’m not sure if I want to waste time on something right now that might make my head hurt. If I’m in an odd mood, perhaps. But at the moment I’m good.

    Michelle @ Michelle’s Minions

  10. Basically Shannon is saying to either get drugs, or get drunk, and read this book. OK THEN. I WILL DO THAT.

    Just kidding. Ha. Haha. But I probably won’t read this because I’ll NEVER get past the beginning. Unless I am drunk, though at that point I would be passed out

  11. I was actually one of those who DNF-ed this one. It was just too confusing and I was not a fan of the narration style. Your review was crazy entertaining and hilarious. I am pretty sure your review was better than the book could ever be. Haha.

    • Aww thanks! Hah I am really not surprised to hear that people DNFed it. The weird thing is… I never even WANTED to DNF it. It isn’t very long, and I was just WAY too curious to find out if it ever made an ounce of sense (and I had a bet going with myself that maybe it WAS someone’s drug induced haze and they’d wake up in the ICU or something 😉 )

  12. I really need to read this book! For some reason, I like weird and strange books, and I really like the sound of A History of Glitter and Blood. Plus it’s about fairies! It’s been ages since I read a book about them!
    I hope I can find myself a copy of this book, soon!
    Lovely review Shannon!

  13. Lololololol (and I really hate saying lol, so that’s saying something.) It sounds like someone threw glitter all over the book and it stuck to it so you don’t know what the fuck is going on. Acid trip, anyone? AND SEX FOR EVERYONE. I do like my unreliable narrators though, but yeah, it definitely sounds like the style wouldn’t be for everyone. Does this one beat Frozen?

    Okay, I have probably read stranger books than Trouble is a Friend of Mine, but right now that’s it, bcause even with after reading it, I have no idea what the focus was even on, total hot mess, and just no.

    • HAHHA yes that about sums it up! This beats Frozen in the sense that it was actually kind of good! The weirdness works MUCH better- because you can tell that was the goal. I think with Frozen, someone wanted me to read it like it was NOT supposed to be weird but it was. It really was. In a bad way.

  14. Bahahaha. I got an ARC of this at a publisher preview event months ago and everyone in my office was super excited about it (more than any other book). Unfortunately, the book wound up not meeting expectations and there was a lot of confusion as you so aptly mentioned in your review. After a colleague told me it was very uneven and sloppy in places, I decided to pass my ARC along without reading it. I don’t like when I’m left with more questions at the end of the book than answers–especially when it’s just because things aren’t clarified and not because I’m having deep philosophical thoughts.

    • I think people got confused even by the writing- I actually read a review on Goodreads after I posted mine how someone actually thought that the messiness and errors were like, an author/publisher error, but they aren’t! They’re part of the story, but I think a LOT of people didn’t get that (it really isn’t clear until later, and by then people have DNFed haha) but it is supposed to be jumbled and unorganized. This is definitely NOT for everyone, even though I ended up having fun with it!

  15. Good for you for finishing this book! I had to DNF almost immediately – it definitely would be a Danielle book lol. But Asheley over at Into the Hall of books read and really liked it too! Sounds like there could be a good discussion around it.

  16. I don’t think this book is for me because it seems a bit too weird for me to be able to stick with it! I know a lot of people have DNFed this one, and maybe they would have liked the ending like you? But it does sound a bit bizarre.

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