Jan 6, 2014

Glitterland (Glitterland, #1) by Alexis Hall

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Summary on Goodreads :

The universe is a glitterball I hold in the palm of my hand.

Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on love, hope, happiness, and—most of all—himself. He lives his life between the cycles of his illness, haunted by the ghosts of other people’s expectations.

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?



"What I held between my hands was a little piece of happiness.
Artificial, yes. Fleeting, yes.
But then I wasn't sure if there was any other kind.
And beggars can't be choosers.
I was playing games with myself, putting up a show of resistance, as if I could take it or leave it. But the truth was, whatever the price, I would gladly pay it just to feel...better."

I have a confession to make and forgiveness to ask, because until recently I thought that there's no way a book called Glitterland and a cover like this would ever appeal to me, even though all my friends kept telling me that I should give it a chance. I was so wrong, because when I finally gave it a try the story won me over with the 1st page.

I was the climber of a sheer cliff, dragging myself on a bleeding hands towards a summit that I'd never reach and sometimes didn't want to reach. The things I cared about were the hooks I'd driven into the rock face. Depression snapped them, one by one, one by one. My only certainty was the fall. 

Deeply emotional story with deeply broken, but at the same time charming main characters.
The book is a lighter dark read dealing with some heavy issues like: drugs, suicide, bipolar disorder, depression etc. It's main voice is Ash Winters, the crime fiction writer who is suffering from bipolar disorder. Every day for Ash is a struggle haunted by his fears, insecurities & past mistakes. Sometimes, a challenge is even to leave the bed. We meet him at the beginning of the story when he's slowly falling back into his old ways when he was at the very bottom. 

A moment inscribed on water, a memory that would fade to grey. I was nothing, but a ghost hunter, chasing the wraith of the man I used to be. A beachcomber of my own detritus.

Ash was one of those characters who were at times very hard to like, but at  the same time considering his state and story it was also hard  to not like him. I knew something about bipolar disorder before, but I never imagined it was such a serious disease and I really feel bad for the people who have to deal with it every day, because it literally runs your life. Darian was totally opposite from Ash. One of those people who are always happy, kind and forgiving and who always see something good and positive even in bad things to the point that it starts to drive nuts people who are more realistic than dreamers. People like me. He was like a walking ray of happiness, a light to Ash's dark.  I must admit that I wasn't his biggest fan at the beginning of the story. I mean the guy wears glitter nail polish, owns sparkly sneakers and don't let me start on his (in)famous Essex accent! The whole time I was thinking: Is this guy for real???o.O But the more I read about him, the more he won me over and I was feeling more and more protective over him and I finally saw the point behind this cover and title and now I think that it fits perfectly to this story.

"Again." And he did, in long steady strokes, his hands curled about my hips to anchor me.  Coloured lights splintered behind my eyes. For a few brief, blissful moments, all thought, all memory, dissolved like sugar in water. I was free. There was nothing but sweat and skin, hot harsh breath against my neck, a cock driving into me. Raw, undeserved pleasure  stolen from a stranger in a dark room. And then it was over. Like lighting from a clear sky. A moment of glorious, shuddering oblivion, a pure glittering hopefulness, and then the grim, inevitable return.

Their story was very emotional, but what kept me captivated is the amazing writing style of the author. It was simply flawless, touching and poetic that I found myself awed so many times while reading. My fingers were hurting from so much highlighting. I found myself in so many quotes of this book and I think that all of the readers will. So, if you had doubts about this book like me, I highly recommend it. Give it a try and don't worry, it will totally be worth of your time.

Why, in all the vastness of the world, did a sparkly idiot from Essex make me feel alive?



  1. Alright. I'm thinking I'll give this one a try now. I was definitely put off by the cover. Not so much the title but just not a cover that grabbed me at all. But it sounds like an incredible read! Thanks for the review and giving me a nudge to try it out :)

    1. When you read the book, you'll totally get "the story" behind the cover ;).

      It's good, I promise :), even more if you are emotional story junkie like I'm.
      Hope you're gonna like it *keeping my fingers crossed.*


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