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.
**** Big thank you to Random House Books for Young Readers and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review****
I was actually quite pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book but I just couldn’t bring myself to give it a full 4 star review. However, don’t let the 3.5 stars fool you! This is not only a very good book but also one that is extremely unique.
Also I’d like to just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous that cover is, am I right?
I don’t even know where to start with this story, it is so unique and wonderfully strange that it was almost a bit confusing at times because of its strangeness. There were a lot of different things going on all at once and it was also pretty fast-paced so there was rarely a boring moment with all of the betrayals, secrets, and blackmail. I have to say I am a sucker for these kinds of stories where there’s a lot of lies and manipulation.
Dani is essentially living a nightmare when the story starts out she is living in a court she cares nothing for, with a conniving mother, and engaged to a sadistic king. So one can only imagine how desperately she wants to get away and escape, unfortunately, she doesn’t have the money or resources to. This results ultimately in Dani selling the drug Glitter in order to raise the money she needs to escape. You can also imagine all the things that can go wrong with this as well, right? That sets the stage for a very dramatic plot and that’s exactly what we get.
I also loved the clash of genres we have here it was like a mix of historical fiction, dystopia, and fantasy. Everyone in the palace acts and dresses as if they actually do live in 18th century France but in reality they live in the not so distant future with many different technologies. Basically it had a bit of everything and it worked, the setting was just so interesting and unique. There was also no info-dumping I really liked how Aprilynne Pike gave information about the world at just the right pace to keep me satisfied without feeling overwhelmed.
The the writing was very simple and easy to follow but also highly addictive, once I got into the story it was hard to put down. I thought it used just the right amount of description throughout the story and really let you get a feel for the atmosphere Pyke created.
However, the ending is quite the cliffhanger which I don’t really mind so much because it made me want more and had me yelling: “WHAT?! THAT’S IT?!”. Fortunately there is going to be a sequel to help put my questioning mind at ease.
The characters were probably the most disappointing part for me with the exception of Danica, the main character. I wish they all would have been a little more fleshed out and developed because it would have made more of the betrayals and lies a bit more interesting if we knew the characters a bit better and fully understood their motives.
However, I thought Dani was a bit of a grey character because she knows what she’s doing is wrong but does it anyways for her own benefit in other words she’s very selfish and that shows a lot throughout the book. While selfish characters can get annoying I thought Dani had good reasons to act and think the way she does and I thought she made a very good flawed heroine.
As usual I wasn’t too impressed with this romance, however, it was far from cringe-worthy it was just….okay. There was an instant attraction but no insta-love (Thank God!) and I liked that the romance was a bit of a slow burn. I just didn’t really like the two of them together all that much and the chemistry just wasn’t really there. I think we could have gone without the romance in this story at all though.
Overall I did really like this book but it wasn’t something I felt deserved a 4-5 star rating from me.
What I Liked:
- The unique premise and world-building
- The setting
- Danica, the main character
- Fast pacing
- Rarely a dull moment
What I Didn’t Like:
- Lack of other character development
- Non-exciting romance
Yes, I do recommend giving “Glitter” a try especially if you like books that are fast-paced and maybe a little on the ridiculous side! It’s definitely a very unique, fun book.