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
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.
I was really excited to read this book because the premise sounded incredible but it was not what I expected at all.
The plot is drawn out. We follow Danica, a girl living in Sonoman-Versailles, a Baroque style society in futuristic France, who comes up with a plot to get out of her arranged and upcming marriage with the King. an unwanted engagement set up by her mother through blackmail. The reason I was interested in this book was because of the strange world. I love the French Revolution and that time in history and it was really interesting to see how the author mixed the futuristic world with the customs and culture of the Baroque period. This society resides in the city of Versailles with a kind of court living in the castle. They have a King and all the fashion and customs of that time in France but this society is owned by a corporation who bought it from France under pretense and turned it into a living breathing museum in a way. Every Wednesday the residents of the palace allow in tourists to see them living their lives in a kind of moving time capsule. But during the rest of the week, the use a huge computer as an intercom system, they have contacts that connect them to the web and small robots to help them get dressed and to do basic chores around the palace. It’s such a strange yet unique blend and it was really entertaining and interesting to see how it all managed to work in a perfect balance. However, that’s pretty much the only thing that I enjoyed and loved about this book. The plot took forever to develop and get off the ground. It was really slow to begin and to reach its climax, which didn’t happen until it was almost over in my opinion. It all just dragged and it didn’t help that there were too many descriptions of dresses and other court like activity instead of action moving the plot forward. The romance didn’t feel natural or interesting or even necessary in my opinion. I felt like it was there because the author felt the need to have it not because the characters actually wanted that connection. They were antagonizing each other most of the story, and not the cute enemies to lovers way and then the actual romance developed way too fast. Although I have to commend the author for making sure the main character didn’t suddenly become a different person or change her plans for the guy, but that didn’t help much. However, I have to say that the ending was surprising when I finished. Though as I thought about it more, it became totally obvious and I don’t know how the main character herself didn’t see it coming.
Danica is awful and I am not a fan. She’s selfish and self-centered. She has this single minded focus on her goal and doesn’t really care about who she hurts in the process. She tries to protect her friends from her schemes for like a hot second but doesn’t even trust them enough to tell them what’s going on and they get caught up anyway. She causes so much trouble and so many problems for so many people, most don’t even realize it yet, all for a plain that’s actually not the most well thought out. It was almost like she was unfeeling. She had a lot of negative things to say about her mother and the things she wanted for Danica, but she had the same drive and close focus and did a lot more damage than her mom ever did.
Saber comes in very early in the book and I liked him at first. He is pretty much the only person who treats Danica rudely, which isn’t nice, but is also good because he’s the only one to really knock her off her pedestal and to make her think beyond her own nose even if it doesn’t last long. I saw the romance coming and it bothered me a lot because I felt like it did a disservice to Saber’s character. He has so much passion and integrity that I didn’t find it believable for him to fall for someone like Danica. And the worst part is that he gets the worst end of the stick anyway! The rest of the side characters aren’t even worth mentioning by name because they felt like caricatures and not really there for much except to make Danica’s plan work. I was really upset about the fate of one particular character because it felt really unfair and something that was used to further the main character’s development but I don’t think it even worked.
Overall, I’m a bit disappointed by this book. I loved the world and how creative it is. The author did a great job with writing it since it’s such a complex and complicated concept which while it took me awhile to grasp, sucked me in once I understood it. However, the plot was boring and way too long, the characters were all unlikeable and I didn’t feel connected to or cared about the main character at all. This book is kind of meh and I’d suggest trying it at your own decision.
So that’s it for this post! Let me know what you think of my thoughts and if you’ve read or are thinking of reading Glitter. I’m really sad because I enjoyed Pike’s Wings series a lot but this book was just not what I wanted or expected. Hopefully I’ll like her future works a lot more. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!