Thursday, November 3, 2016

Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Glitter by Aprilynne Pike
Release Date -  October 25, 2016
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 384 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A royal murder. The promise of a throne she never wanted. And a glittering drug that is her only way out.

Outside the Palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century. 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. 
This book immediately caught my eye for being pitched as Marie Antoinette meets Breaking Bad. On the surface those two things would not appear to blend well together. Aprilynne Pike has crafted an refreshingly original story that is filled with romance, intrigue, and memorable characters.

This is my first Aprilynne Pike novel and I was pleasantly surprised. The writing was sharp and focused. The plot was ambitious but well woven. The characters were fully defined and interesting. It has made me curious to check out her other novels.

Glitter blends historical and futuristic elements together. The premise of a futuristic society choosing to live like those in the eighteenth century is a fascinating one. The descriptions of the dress is matched only by their technological advances. It adds an extra layer of tension to the story knowing that cameras are catching every move. This twist on the historical setting is something I had never read before, and I was surprised with how well they blended together.

Danica is a complicated character. You feel both revulsion and sympathy for her. You immediately understand Danica's desperation to escape. She's betrothed to a dangerous and impulsive young king who has already committed violence.  Her life is in danger, and it is ensured that we see how vital it is that she escapes and why she's backed into a corner so to speak. She, however, is willing to do morally questionable things to get her freedom. This includes getting innocent people addicted to a very powerful drug to suit her own needs. She rationalizes her decisions to ease her own guilt. She's selfish, brazen, and impulsive. She is not always a good person.  However, she's written in such a way that you understand her. You question what your own choices would be in this situation. This type of situation does not have a right or wrong answer and that is what makes Danica's dilemma so engrossing.

Justin, the king, is not written as a one note villain. He is entirely despicable, but he is well crafted. He is the type of villain who believes in everything that he is doing, and that adds something to his personality. He doesn't feel he is in the wrong. He even feels justified in some of his actions, mainly because he feels he was blackmailed for what he considers an accident.

There is a sense of justice in this novel. We have seen Danica spiraled down a pretty dark path that is wrapped in pretty glitter. Rewarding these actions would feel wrong. The author ensures that these choices have consequences. She is not unscathed and it feels deserved. It is of her own making and I look forward to seeing her redeem herself in subsequent installments.

Those looking for likeable characters, or a neat and tidy plot will not find that here. This novel is filled with characters who make bad decisions, do even worse things and is all the more deliciously deceptive for it. An entirely original premise that more than delivered for me. It is going to be torture waiting on the next book after that stunning ending, but I have not doubt i'll be worth the wait. 

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