Title: Glitter (Glitter #1)
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Genre: Young Adult | Dystopian Fantasy | Romance
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Format: PhysicalSource: Library
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 (goodreads).
Glitter was imaginative, but didn't take advantage of its morally-grey premise.
Plot: Danica is at the end of her rope. Her mother sold her into marriage to a murderer who happens to also be the country's sovereign. She is desperate enough to buy a one-way ticket out of her country but the price for smuggling the future Queen is exorbitant so she has no choice but to turn to drug dealing. The idea of a young noble girl conning people into taking an illegal drug sounds thrilling but Pike didn't focus on the actual drug-dealing; despite that being the book's title. Danica goes down a dark path, but it doesn't have much on an impact on her or her mentality. Of course, there are consequences, but they are not addressed fully; instead Pike rushes to the next plot point.
Characters: The lifestyle of the inhabitants of Versailles palace is nothing short of luxurious. And with bored, rich nobles comes nothing but drama and people with secrets. I enjoyed the secondary characters more than I did Danica. She was a victim of her environment and wasn't as strong and daring as I had hoped her to be. The murderous king, on the other hand, always brought tension and drama to the pages. He was seductive but deadly, and I always wondered what his next move was.
The romance, I felt, was also introduced too late. The characters had the hate-at-first-sight vibe which quickly changed its tune at the second part of the novel.
Worldbuilding: The creativity behind the world of Glitter absolutely astounded me. Glitter takes place in the future in a corner of what was originally known as France. The lifestyles and the history behind Sonoma-Versailles was so imaginative and I loved how Pike pieced it all together.
Short N Sweet: Pike took a lot of chances with this novel, some of it worked, some of it didn't, but it's worth the read for the world.