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review 2016-11-14 15:47
Glitter - Aprilynne Pike

I feel like some authors are better suited for writing one literary hit, one good single or even individual book that will become their mark in the publishing world. Everything they write beyond that comes no where near that, either because they’ve had the taste of fame and want to prolong it, or they were pressured into it. These are the kinds of authors whose books you keep reading but now find yourself whispering for them to please stop writing into the pages, because the magic is gone and what’s left is a hot mess.


I sadly find myself feeling this way about Aprilynne Pike, whose “Wings” series was wonderful and memorable, touching and sweet in a way I didn’t see before in YA. In a way, it was one of my coming-of-age series. When reading the summary for “Glitter” I was certain I’d enjoy it. It felt like a mix between a dystopia and historical fiction according to the summary, and if there’s one thing that I can’t say no to then it’s an apocalyptic take on Marie Antoinette set in the future.


What I ended up finding, however, was an incredible mess of plot and character that can only be interpreted as ‘the author said so, so it shall be’. It can only go so far to create a world or a scenario if it then doesn’t fit in with the rest of the world being created, or if it’s a tiny bubble within a vast sea of neglected things, as is the case in “Glitter”. The book begins with a prologue that jumps right into the main issue of the book, though the reader doesn’t quite know it yet. It takes a few chapters to learn about Danica’s predicament, how she is to be wed to the King all because her mother is blackmailing him. She is desperate enough to get out of the palace that she gets in contact with a dealer of the drug “glitter” in Paris, deciding to establish a brand of cosmetics that includes this drug within it and addicting the court to it, while using the money she gathers from it to buy a new identity and escape, all for the price of 5 million.


There were so many things wrong with this book that the only reason why I felt it was 2 stars was because the writing style was at least easy to follow, and it was easy to skip over chunks at times when events got too dull yet still be able to keep up with what’s going on. The main problem lay with Danica herself, an all-around unlikable character from the beginning. The reader is being convinced that Danica is trying to fight the system, that she hates what’s going on, but there is never a clear backbone to her that would actually show this. She easily slips into societal prattle and, at times, even sinks to the same petty level when she begins insulting ladies of the court. Her decision to sell addicting and dangerous cosmetics to raise money for her escape works as a plot point, but is ridiculously immoral if one thinks about what that says about a person. Literature has had characters who’ve risked their lives to run away and save loved ones, who’ve come up with elaborate and clever plans, yet our dear Danica is perfectly content with putting at risk the lives of hundreds of people just to get out and save her skin. For some this might not be a problem, and I’m sure some readers will say it’s just a book and brush it off. But if one actually stops to consider the moral aspect of Danica’s character then it’s difficult to swallow and go along with.


Another similarly perturbing plot point, though a much smaller one, is the actual reason why Danica’s mother blackmails the king into becoming engaged with her, and this is the fact that he strangled his lover in the middle of sex. It’s worrisome that this method of creating a “plot twist”/conflict in the story seems to be appearing more frequently lately (a recent episode of “Westworld” also featured it), and again, I wonder where one draws the line at ridiculous plot points that, yes, move the story along and make sense as gears in the general mechanism, but raise eyebrows at the social and moral implications of said actions.


The actual futuristic/sci-fi/dystopia/historical fiction element of this book is another category all of its own, as the book doesn’t really fit into any of these categories. The M.A.R.I.E system is very weak in the book and could’ve been much more developed, hence failing to make it sci-fi. Though the events happen in the future the whole tiny universe of Versailles seems to function in a rather backwards fashion, trying to mesh the other three categories into one. The general explanation is this: a rich company had enough money and wanted to buy Versailles and resurrect the monarchy, and so it did. The book decides to focus on this premise and act as if the rest of the world doesn’t exist, although the tiny bubble of the plot, again, feels a bit ridiculous if one considers that it’s very much just a bunch of people who decide to create an alternate universe and stick with it.


I’m not entirely sure who this book was written for, or what one was meant to feel after finishing it. Yes, there are some wonderful descriptions of clothing and setting, but these only go so far until the gossip of courtly politics and Danica’s complaining get in the way. It’s a book that checks off many of the boxes in the YA genre: a young girl who thinks she’s rebelling against the system and is different but really isn’t, a cruel mother who forces said girl to do things that she says will benefit her but don’t actually, an alpha male who the girl is forced to be with, and a world that’s so enamored with its own existence that it doesn’t do much to make the reader feel welcome in it. Throw in some questionable moral decisions and you’ve got “Glitter”. The only redeeming part is, as mentioned earlier, the writing style, which at least makes this a relatively fast and simple read that can be a good palette cleanser between more engaging and less problematic books.

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text 2016-08-19 02:29
The Tip of the TBR Iceberg


A few things on my plate in the coming weeks.


Fish Wielder is kind of like Lord of the Rings, set in Narnia, if it was written by the guys who made Monty Python and the Holy Grail while they were listening to the music of They Might Be Giants.

In ancient times, the Dark Lord Mauron cooked the most powerful magic chocolate dessert ever made, the Pudding of Power. One thousand and two years later, the evil leader of the Bad Religion, the Heartless One, is trying to recover the lost pudding in order to enslave the peoples of Grome. Only the depressed barbarian warrior Thoral Might Fist and his best friend, Brad the talking Koi fish, have a chance to save the world of Grome from destruction, but that's going to take a ridiculous amount of magic and mayhem. Thus begins the epically silly epic fantasy of epic proportions, Fish Wielder--book one of the Fish Wielder Trilogy.



Magic didn't just find Luke Caulfield. It chased him down, bludgeoned him, and has been dogging him ever since. Some lessons are harder than others, but Luke embraces danger, upping the ante to give it one better. An enforcer for the Coven, a large, established group of witches, his latest assignment is playing bodyguard to the daughter of Coven leaders.


Abigail Ruskin is chaperoning a spoiled twelve-year-old from New York to her parents' home in Utah Territory when Luke gets on their stagecoach in Colorado. A powerful witch herself, Abigail senses Luke's magic, but has no idea what he's doing on her stagecoach. Stuck between the petulant child and Luke's raw sexual energy, Abigail can't wait for the trip to end. Unpleasant truths surface about the child.


While Abigail's struggling with those, wraiths, wolves, and dark mages launch an attack. Luke's so attracted to Abigail, she's almost all he can think about, but he's leery too. The child is just plain evil. Is Abigail in league with her? It might explain the odd attack that took out their driver and one of their horses. In over his head, he summons enforcer backup. Will they help him save the woman he's falling in love with, or demand her immediate execution?



Gunhild is a private in the Royal Army. She’s headstrong and reckless, but she’s also the best troll hunter in the country, and when a troll gets away with a national treasure, she’s the only person with any chance of getting it back.

Kirabo was on his way home to Aberash after a fulfilled research mission, but he managed to enter the wrong coordinates into his spaceship. Now he and his PA robot are stranded on a far-off planet, and they don’t have enough fuel to get back home.

As genres collide on Troll Island, Earth, the troll hunter and the space explorer have to overcome their differences and work together if they want to survive this fairytale.


Jewelry designer Kat Ramos has come to Banshee Creek to break the famous Hagen House curse and, in order to do that, she must marry Liam Hagen. A vengeful ghost with a deadly history isn’t part of the deal, and neither is love. Will Kat be able to handle both, or will the mystery of the cursed Hagen House remain unsolved?



And, of course...


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.


Don't judge me. 





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review 2015-10-18 22:56
Life After Theft - Aprilynne Pike

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I liked it a lot. It had a very unique story and was well written. It's a quick and fun read.

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text 2015-10-18 06:22
Reading progress update: I've read 292 out of 352 pages.
Life After Theft - Aprilynne Pike
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text 2015-10-17 18:08
Reading progress update: I've read 215 out of 352 pages.
Life After Theft - Aprilynne Pike
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