Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on October 25th 2016
Genres: Sci Fi
Buy on Amazon
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life. 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.
I went into this book hesitantly because a friend of mine had quite a bit of criticism. I’m going to break this review down into pros and cons.
The setting and idea behind Sonoman-Versailles is intriguing. It was probably the most well-done aspect of the story. The advanced technology mixed with their obsession with Baroque period fashion was interesting.
I appreciated the friendships that Danica had with Molli, Lord Aaron, Giovanni, and eventually Saber. This was where the majority of my love for her came from. She cared about them whole-heartedly and tried to be a good friend.
There were a couple of plot twists or surprises that I didn’t see coming! I mean, I expected SOMETHING, but just not that.
I can also consider her wanting to escape an unhealthy situation and her initiative to be a good thing, but there are so many negatives associated with it that it’s almost hard to include it as a pro.
The ending. I love (hated) it. At the end of it all, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.
The characters were not all that well-written. You don’t feel like you truly care what happens to them most of the time. The character with most depth was Saber and there were even times I didn’t fully understand what he was thinking.
I absolutely loathed Danica’s obsession and need to self-harm by tightening her corset to the point of bruising. I didn’t see how it added value to the book and I honestly worry about how it would affect a teenager who had mental health issues.
I understood WHY Danica found a brilliant way to sell Glitter without being caught, but her almost total disregard for everyone other than her friends was not appealing. She had moments where her morals seemed to come to life, but it didn’t last. I was also very disappointed with her reaction to certain deaths.
Overall I wouldn’t NOT recommend this book, but it’s definitely not going to appeal for everyone.
As a fifth grade gifted teacher I’d also like to include that due to content, I would put an age requirement on this of at least 13.