Author: Aprilynne Pike
Publication: October 25th, 2016
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Format: e-ARC, 384 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Read: September 2016
Aprilynne Pike — Goodreads
I received an e-ARC of this book from Random House Books for Young Readers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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.
Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
The premise and world of this book are really unique and interesting but also really confusing to read. The book is really drawn out and takes forever to reach the climax of the story. Honestly, sometimes I was really bored with it even though there’s a lot going on like drama, romance, betrayal, death and lies. There’s also mentions of drugs and slavery though one more than the other.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I liked Pike’s writing style, it’s simple and easy to read. However, sometimes I felt like there was too much description about trivial things and it would make the narrative kind of boring. The worldbuilding was very detailed and though it took me awhile to grasp, it’s very imaginative. The prose is long and classic to go along with the 18th century vibe which was interesting.
Characters – 2 out of 5 stars
This is where things went wrong for me. I did not like the characters at all. They were all varying degrees of selfish, rude and self-centered. Danica is the worst by far. As the main character. we get her point of view throughout the entire story and even that didn’t make her likeable in my eyes. And sometimes that’s kind of the point but even morally gray characters have to manage to get the reader on their side and she fails at that spectacularly. She’s selfish and self-centered. She’s stupid and ignorant a lot of the times and manages to endanger the lives of the majority of the people in her country only because she doesn’t want to be there anymore. Her actions manage to cause death and addiction everywhere and not once did I believe she felt bad about what she was doing. It was despicable and really uncomfortable to read. There is also a love interest, which I felt was completely unnecessary to be honest, but who also has a disgustingly self-righteous attitude and angry disposition and they were not a nice combination. The rest of the side characters just felt like caricatures. They had over the top and obviously stereotypical personalities and there was honestly no one that I actually genuinely liked. I don’t need to like every character to enjoy a book but at least one for goodness’ sake.