Glitterland by Alexis Hall
Released: August 26, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
I found this cover so striking, I liked the blurb and it’s a debut author. It was a no brainer to try this one. Ash Winters is an author who is clinically depressed, bipolar and not quite sure he has the wits to live his life on a sane level. Once institutionalized, he now gets severe panic attacks and pretty much soaks up all of his friends patience.
In all these years, this is all I have learned: Depression simply is. It has no beginning and no end, no boundaries and no world outside itself. It is the first, the last, the only, the alpha, and the omega.
At a party, Ash by chance meets Darian, a gay man from Essex. I’ll let Ash describe him for you:
He was a ridiculous creature, A vulgar, glittering pirate of a man, all jewellery and fake tan, gold glinting in his ears, on his fingers and round his wrists. His dark hair gleamed with product and had been painstakingly teased into a quiff that defied taste, reason, and gravity. And I couldn’t stop looking at him.
Darian isn’t really Ash’s type, but Ash can’t help but be intrigued by him. In a moment of spontaneity, he decides to go home with him. He soon realizes Darian is what he needs – someone who has patience and doesn’t try to fix him. He tries to play it off as just a sex buddy, but feelings definitely start to run deeper.
Oh this book. This book has such moments of beautiful prose that made my heart pitter-patter but it also had moments of being just plain boring. There is a lot of talking in this book and my eyes would start to glaze over once in awhile. I felt myself getting antsy to move the story along.
When these two first meet I really didn’t think I would like them together. Darian is a model, somewhat crass, very eccentric, says what is on his mind, where Ash is much more on an introvert. They were just so different. But honestly by the end, it is a very convincing love story. Darian is so non-judgmental of Ash and his sickness. He just lives day by day and doesn’t freak out if Ash has a panic attack and doesn’t try to change him. He lets him just…be. And I liked that. And Ash goes from viewing Darian as a sex buddy to not wanting to disappoint him. To wanting to try new things, venture out of his house and become healthier.
Besides this story lagging at some points, my biggest complaint is Darian’s accent. It is a very strong Essex accent and it would completely throw me out of the story. I would have to reread lines to figure out what he was saying. All of his “Th” sounds come out as “F.” Thanks = Fanks. Think = Fink. In a written book this accent doesn’t work.
“Fanks, babe.” After a moment, he went on, “ I’m not gonna let my nan starve or nuffin. I do uvver fings as well when I’ave to, but I reckon I won’t ‘ave to if I get an agent in London. Already got one in Essex but I’m finking big, janarwhatamean?”
It was too much for me and took away some of my enjoyment but this author has a smart, witty voice and I’ll read more by him.