Review: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Review: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike Glitter by Aprilynne Pike
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on October 25th 2016
Pages: 384
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.

Have you ever felt super undecided about continuing a series? I just gave myself a post idea, actually, so stay tuned for that next week! 

Posted October 29, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review / 14 Comments

14 responses to “Review: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

  1. I was curious about this one, but yeah no, I don’t think I’ll pick it up. I need to connect with my characters and I certainly expect some solid world building from a book with such a premise. What a waste of a pretty cover though!!

  2. HAHA I got really excited Shannon when I read the blurb and your first line. I thought “winner” for sure! So bummed to hear this book didn’t really work for you. Crappy world building and unlikable protagonists usually break a book for me as well though. And YES this debate is one I’ve been having for a while. In series/duologies that I didn’t care for the first book too much, I still hold out hope for the next one.

  3. danielle hammelef

    I have been rading reviews about this book and now I’m not sure about it based on your review. Characters have to be ones I can connect with emotionally for me to really want to keep reading a book.

  4. Agh that’s the WORST when the pretty covers lie. Because that cover? Downright GORGEOUS. I’m pretty sure I have this added on goodreads for the cover. 😂 And the fact that it’s set in Paris??! Like that calls to me so much omg. SO THE FACT THAT IT IS NOT GOOD IS JUST SO SAD. *gives you comforting cake too* And…oh gosh. I’m always undecided about continuing series. Even series I love.😂 Because by the time the next book comes out I’ve always forgotten the first hahaha..#fail.

  5. That cover, that synopsis! Everything about screams “read me!” And yet it went so wrong. *sob!* I can handle less than stellar world building. I can even go with some oh so convenient plot devices sometimes. But when I actively dislike a main character? Nope. All is doomed at that point. Because all I can think for the entire book is: I don’t like you, I don’t like you. And Danica pretty much sounds like someone I’d want to throat punch. What a waste of a pretty cover… *sigh*

  6. Great review Shannon! I am bummed that this didn’t pan out with the world building because you are right – the premise is super cool and that cover is !!! This is one of the reasons I am so hesitant with fantasy so I think I’ll have to skip this one

  7. Hi! I read the book and liked it, but as you say there are certain things that I don’t like.
    The ending and Danica herself were the worst things in the book.
    But I enjoy most of it, and the cover is sooo beautiful ♥

  8. This book sounds so fascinating! I am in love with the setting with that futuristic sci-fi France. A shame it didn’t really work well in practice though and that it was hard to believe at times. Lovely review Shannon!

  9. Anne C

    Quite a few reviewers seemed to dislike the main character. Some were even not able to finish the book! I have a copy but I’m too scared to start reading it. 😀

  10. I haven’t picked up a book by this author at all because I just feel so unsure about her writing. I have to be honest, I’ve seen a lot more negative reviews for her books than positive ones and it is quite off putting… and it sounds like the parts of books I generally really love – the world building and character portrayal – weren’t done too well. So I think I’m gonna have to skimp out on this one :/

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