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Then a chance encounter at a stag party throws him into the arms of Essex boy Darian Taylor, an aspiring model who lives in a world of hair gel, fake tans, and fashion shows. By his own admission, Darian isn’t the crispest lettuce in the fridge, but he cooks a mean cottage pie and makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of anxiety.
But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can’t see past the glitter to the light. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can a man who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?
Right! It’s confession time: My disenchantment with over-worked predictable offerings in the M/M genre had made Glitterland my make-or-break read. I’m serious! I promised myself that if I didn’t like it, I was moving on. Totes dramatic, but that’s how fed up I was. I had to reach rock bottom with my choices before I picked up this book. I’m so terribly ashamed.
But in my defense, I (kind of) didn’t want to read about a posh bi-polar depressive with suicidal tendencies and a superficial fake-bake-glitter pirate who speaks Essex – despite the glowing recommendations. The cover turned me off as much as the premise and then there’s the whole Essex thing because seriously? … I would rather poke a needle in my eye than watch an episode of “The Only Way is Essex.” It’s really not my fing (tsk) …thing but I gave it a shot.
So this is how my Glitterland experience went:
I went from predetermined ambivalence (page 1, line 1) to piqued interest (somewhere on page 3) and then I experienced the RAPTURE (Chapter 2) and I STAYED there the whole way through!
I fell in awe with the voice of a madman who processes his thoughts with prose that should have felt ridiculous and overworked but NO, it was more authentic than anything I have read in months! Alexis Hall’s writing is like some sort of blissful inspiration – so sublime in its delivery that I got to float on my own cloud of euphoric joy. It is amazing. I am happy. Laughing. Giddy. It’s ridiculous how this book makes me feel. I want to punch myself in the face for not reading it sooner!
I shook with excitement, and then fear … I really didn’t want the author to cock it up. Oh please, please … don’t bollocks it up, I thought.
By Chapter 4 I knew that this was going to be the best book of the year for me. I’d fallen in love with a ridiculous Glitter pirate and a nasty bi-polar depressive. I mean, one of them is orange and the other is NUTS! Ha! I couldn’t believe it. But I revelled in it. I was, and still am officially ‘Glimstruck!’
And do you know what? It just gets better and better. Alexis Hall is ridiculously talented; he turned the tired old trope of opposites attract into something fresh, crisp and utterly delicious. He deals with Ash’s illness like it’s his own – an intimate examination into the mind of a bi-polar personality (that should have had me running) but thankfully is devoid of the over worked psychobabble so prevalent nowadays.
Every single line is a joy – I highlighted just about the whole thing! The pacing is seamless. The dialog is PERFECT! The secondary characters are almost as unique in their styling as Ash and Darian. I loved them all – except Niall, he’s a knob ’ead innit.
I love how this author portrays the diversity of English culture by (unintentionally?) comparing the toffs of Cambridge with the best of Essex. The consequences are hilarious and even cruel. But I know where I’d rather live; I got me Glardigan and Union Jack onesie on order already babes ;)
And that’s not all. The romance …oh Dear lord …*thud*…I want to twirl with both of these men. The romance is just …beautiful …sensual …special and REAL. The first look (squeee) the sex (Ohmigawd – hot) the chemistry (to die for) oh bugger it! It’s just the BEST!
I will NEVER ever again doubt my most trusted of friends who absolutely ADORED this book. Most of us have fallen in love with it. Glitterland should set the bar for trope loving authors – THIS is how to make a simple plot more than stunning. Glitterland is proof that it can be done; I shall accept nothing less in the future. Alexis Hall just made every other contemporary romance writer’s job a hell of a lot tougher as far as I’m concerned.
Glitterland is a MUST!
Don’t do what I did and toss it aside. You might need a lesson in Essex speak first, but so what – just youtube TOWIE . It’s more than worth it. You might not even know it, but THIS BOOK is exactly what you are looking for – I swear it!