By: Aprilynne Pike
Release Date: October 25th 2016
Publisher: Random House
Format: Print ARC
DNFed at page 265
I will briefly go into aspects of the book that are mentioned in the summary but some might find it a little spoilery.
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.
Oh goodness where to start? I’ll start with what I did like- the world was interesting. The idea that a group of people in the modern age would live like it’s the 18th century- well at least dress that way is a really interesting concept. I loved the descriptions of the clothing and was excited to see where the story went.
Things went wrong for me fairly early on sadly. There was a description of the main character’s friend Mei who’s Chinese and it was so very stereotypical. I couldn’t help but feel that it was poorly done. This was in chapter 1 and I thought – oh things will improve. They must. Well, the main character Danica was in such a bad spot. I felt really sorry for her since her father was addicted to drugs and her mother sold her out to the King for a higher status. This poor girl had no one looking out for her in any real way. Because of that she was willing to do anything to escape.
Well, this led to her literally drugging the people around her without their knowledge. All this so they would be addicted to the makeup the drugs are in so they’ll buy more which will give her the amount of money to escape. I can understand the motivation for this but it was really hard to read. What type of person drugs those around themselves? It showed the complete lack of options Danica had and I found it so sad.
Because of her secrecy and betrayal of those around her this character couldn’t have any really connection with those around her- the only person she did connect with was a love interest that I wanted to ship but sadly I could not.
This novel dealt with such heavy topics- drug abuse, an abusive fiancé, and just wow- so sad. Danica also continually binds herself tigher and tighter into her corset so that she can nearly wrap her hands around her waist. She does this I assume for a measure of control over her life. This was briefly mentioned several times but in the part I read not really addressed or looked at as seriously as I would hope. I’m hopeful though that by the end of the novel it is addressed.
So- I guess this novel didn’t work for me because the subject matter was rather sad though not written that way? It is easier to read than I’d expect. I had so much trouble connecting deeply to any aspect of this book and by page 265 I’d hope that I’d be attached in some way. I figured I’d give up since I made it that far.