In Glitter, the Palace of Versailles has become home to an entire bustling community of individuals who dress, eat and act like they’re still living in the eighteenth century… all with the help of technology. Though life in the palace can be glamorous and fun, it can also feel like a prison. Danica knows this better than anyone, as she’s betrothed to the ruthless, powerful “king” of this court after her mother’s clever blackmail move. Danica has six more months to escape her impending marriage, but she’ll need to raise a lot of money in order to get the help she needs – and what better way to make fast cash than to sell an addictive drug called glitter?
I immediately knew I wanted to read this one when it was pitched to me as Marie Antoinette meet Breaking Bad. Now, while I’ve never watched (and really don’t have much interest in) Breaking Bad, I do have a soft spot for Marie Antoinette. And so, the idea of reading a story that had a bit of her time’s flavor in terms of setting and dressing and hierarchy was totally appealing. I’m pretty pleased to report that Glitter is a novel I quickly devoured, even though it took me a couple of chapters to really get a feel for the story. It is a tale that will entertain readers who are a sucker for a high stakes drama-filled plot. It’s also a tale that will dismay you, because the main character Danica makes a lot of questionable life choices. There’s also the incredibly fun setting, which weaves together futuristic technology and historical details into modern-day Versailles (making it sound like the stuff of fairytales, if you only had to live there for the day). With all three of these things woven together, it was a combination that was impossible for me to resist… and I’m glad I heeded the call, because I really enjoyed it!
The two things that prevent me from giving this one a higher rating overall lie with the characters. I didn’t feel any sort of emotional tie to anyone at all in this story, even Danica whose head we occupy for most of the narrative. Granted, this is a personal quirk (and you guys probably know that it’s something I look for in my reads), so it might not bother other readers! The second thing, also related to Danica, is the development of the romantic subplot. It felt a little too contrived and rushed, and I just couldn’t find it in me to be invested in the romance (though in theory, it’s a ship that I could totally have been on board with).
Still, my overall opinion of Glitter is definitely on the favorable side. It’s a book unlike any I’ve personally read recently, which definitely made it stand out even more! I really love that it was a story I could get lost in, with a plot that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from. I’m still a bit miffed that it ended so abruptly, but the knowledge that there is going to be a sequel to come is a comfort (if only in the slightest sense). If you like science fiction on the lighter side, stories in the vein of Gossip Girl or The Thousandth Floor, or simply find yourself intrigued by the comps I’ve referenced, then I would certainly urge you to give Glitter a read.
Glitter by Aprilynne Pike | Series: Glitter Duology #1
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Source: ARC from the publisher (Thanks!)