Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on October 25th 2016
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley
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.
Oh, look at this gorgeousness of a book, with it’s incredible premise that had me basically giddy with anticipation. Let’s revel in it for a few moments, shall we? Before I snatch the illusion out from under you? Great.
Okay, now you must snap out of your reverie, so I can tell you about the book. Look, you all know how to read, so I am not going to recap the synopsis. You get it. Future fake-Versailles. Drugs. Kings, arranged marriages, you know the drill. Sounds pretty awesome. Plus, the prettiness of the cover simply cannot be overlooked.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you what I enjoyed about Glitter (pretty covers aside)!
- The premise was incredibly unique and exciting. It was like the best of both worlds: 1700s Parisian Royalty meets modern, futuristic technology and all the issues that come with that. How is one not intrigued?
- I am never going to not like a castle setting in France- especially when there are robots and such in it!
- I was equally fascinated by the outside world; I was desperate to know more about it! I quite enjoyed the “outside” characters, too- they seemed mysterious, yet full of substance.
- Just found out (like, as I was typing this post up; hadn’t known this yesterday even!) that this will for sure be a duology. This is good, because the book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and when I wasn’t sure there’d be a sequel… well I didn’t love it. But since there is another book, I feel better about it, and it also gives me hope for more worldbuilding.
- There were a lot of characters with potential… and I did like the romance!
But… sometimes things fall short of our expectations, and that seems to be what happened with me and this book. So let’s delve into that stuff, shall we?
- Oh Danica, how I loathe thee. She is just… not my cup of tea. Oh, fine, sometimes she was basically the worst. And the most selfish creature! Look, I get that people are imperfect, but I just wanted to scream in her face for a good chunk of the book. Yeah, I did feel for her at times, but not enough that I didn’t want to punch her in the throat. I mean, she is willing to ruin all the lives just to have a chance to not marry the king? Ummm.. no. You don’t get to do that! And all I really know about her is that she is selfish and a pretty crappy friend. So… she’s not winning any awards for my favorite character, basically. She did end up having some growth, so maybe there is potential?
- The world building was lacking overall. The setup that we did get was kind of unbelievable, and then left me with more questions than answers. I mean, France can just force people to like, cosplay forever? It just… it doesn’t make sense. But it’s like… okay, you can have robots, but you just have to hide them once a week? Not buying it. The rest of the world is fine with all of these shenanigans? I am just skeptical, really.
- There were a few things that happened with the plot that I found kind of… convenient. And in turn, that brought the believability down even further for me.
Bottom Line: While I loved the premise, I wasn’t as much of a fan of it in practice. That said, I might be curious enough to read the sequel, so that should count for something? And I feel like the potential is there, and maybe with more cohesive worldbuilding I could become more invested in the story? So, while this wasn’t a win for me, I won’t rule out the sequel.