An intense story with a strong voice. A published writer has a chance at love, but it occurs at a stag party of all places. He also has depressive episodes that keep him from picking up the phone or answering a door. Love can't save you, but it can help.
This will be a short review. It did not work for me. I did not like the characters but not in a cute way. They were all so annoying and I could not stand any of them. This includes the MC, the love interest and the best friend. So many insufferable characters. I could not care less about what happened to them. Also, the fatphobia or the biphobia??? Basically, I did not enjoy and the plot was also meh. It felt like it was written by someone else... I cannot recommend this...
Ash found early acclaim with his debut novel. Ever since then, he has struggled to reach the same success and, instead, has become the author of a series of popular crime novels. He is often depressed and frequently finds it difficult to leave his apartment or maintain relationships with even his best friends. When he is forced to attend a party for one of those friends, Ash encounters Darian. Darian is much different from anyone else in Ash's life -- vibrant, loud, and seemingly not concerned what others think of him. Ash, to his surprise, finds himself spending more and more time with Darian, even as he questions whether their relationship has any future given their differences and his own struggles to accept happiness.
This was a touching and perceptive novel. With authentic characters and a moving story, it explores interesting themes about the pressures of expectations -- both from others and internally.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book, as this book has already been published, I will not share my review on Netgalley at this time.
I loved this book and we have been stocking and selling it! Alexis Hall is one of my favourite LGBT Authors (apologies for this review being so late!)
Alexis Hall is a great writer and while I did enjoy this book, I found the plot a little messy and needing some more depth. That being said, the rep was nice to see and read about. I did wish for a bi heavier romance aspect.
This isn't exactly what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. It has some sweet, some strong feelings, and a good amount of what I needed. :)
I was very excited to read Glitterland and I was happy that I was granted a chance to read the rereleased version in advance! I'm a huge Alexis Hall fan, so if you love the recent books, you should definitely consider picking up this one too!
I LOVE Alexis Hall. He writes it, I buy it, it's a given.
So after reading Boyfriend Material, Husband Material, I was thrilled to read another novel with such an amazingly realistic character who has chronic depression or how it is living with one (Like Paris Dallencourt is about to crumble)
I coundn't put it down!
I liked it, although I think the book unfortunately suffers from the fact that 90% of m/m is written poorly. This means that when Riptide found an author who could actually write well the editors encouraged Alexis Hall to throw every evocative sentence into the pot, instead of saying, "This is a great second draft: now go rewrite it."
Alexis Hall creates rich and nuanced characters with complicated relationships - and delightful banter to go with it. I found this book to be a little more difficult to get through than his other recent books, but the end was so satisfying, I am glad I stuck with it. I especially appreciated that the ending looked like a happy ending for the characters, and not a neatly-tied bow of expectations.
I would give this a solid 4-4.5 stars. I was blown away by this book. I’ll admit, after reading the warnings and knowing so many other AH books, I was worried to start Glitterland. BUT I was so sucked into this one and couldn’t put it down. The imagery and beautiful, sparkly language used to describe Ash’s mindset on every page really was so wonderful. I loved Ash and Darian so much. And yes, the amount of anxiety and mental illness was hard to get through in some places, but it was just so beautifully done.
My only notes: 1. I wish all of Darian’s lines weren’t written phonetically. It was too much.
2. I got an arc digital copy so maybe other copies won’t be like this, but the conversational quotes weren’t spaced correctly at all so it was SO difficult to be able to tell who was saying what. So so annoying and ruined all the conversational flow.
I was a little disappointed in this book but I think it’s because I set my bar too high. The writing was good and the plot was intriguing. I may read it again another time.
I'm really starting to love Alexis Hall. I know I'm always in good hands when reading one of his books, and this was no exception.
Simultaneously charmed and gutted by this one. Mental illness can be difficult to write (and read), but when it’s done well, it’s so powerful. Ash’s head is not always the most pleasant place to be, but that’s what makes Alexis Hall’s writing so believable and poignant. And Darian charmed me completely (once I adjusted to the Essex dialect). Aside from catching a few hours of sleep, I more or less read this in one sitting. So thrilled we’re seeing the Spires series revival and expansion through these new editions!
I do really appreciate the portrayal of mental heath struggles and how it can weigh on not only the person having them but the people around that person. There are some really solid moments in here. What I'm not sure about is whether or not Ash is actually likeable as a character--like, someone I wanted to root for. And boy oh boy was Darian's accent ROUGH to read.
Many, many moons ago – way back in 2016 in fact – I read For Real, the 3rd book in the Spires Universe. Then, not too long after, I picked up Pansies, which is the 4th in the series. So now, in 2023, I’m finally picking up where the series began. Anyone surprised? No? I didn’t think so. In my defense, I didn’t discover the series until For Real was released and now – years later – Glitterland fell into my reading radar. Better late than never? Any excuse is better than none? You get the idea. 😉
I can’t say that Glitterland was an easy book to read, mainly because Ash wasn’t necessarily a easy character to like or relate to. As far as couples go, Darian and Ash couldn’t have been less suited for each other, but there was something in Ash that drew Darian to him. He saw something in him that not many did, especially Ash himself. Even though the relationship made no sense, it still worked. Darian gives Ash something to look forward to. He’s a brightness to his darkness and gives him a glimpse of what his life could be with just a little bit of that brightness surrounding him. So yeah, as much as I wasn’t an immediate fan of Ash, I adored Darian.
Now that the Spires Universe is back on my radar, I might just have to play catch up with the books that I missed between the first and the third. 😉
Good book, but a bit slow in some areas. Well written and has good character development and detail throughout. Not one of his best but still good to read.
I am a huge fan of Alexis Hall and have always wanted to read Glitterland. I was super excited that they were publishing it with such an amazing cover! Hall really knows how to write the most real and relatable characters. Hall does such a great describing both the pain and joy that the characters are feeling. I loved how Ash's and Darian's mental state was portrayed. It's written with such sensitivity and realism. Overall, I really enjoyed this one!
Thank you, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca, for the chance to read this book in exchange of an honest review.
Ash was once the golden boy of the English literary scene and now a depressed writer of pulp crime fiction. Now, giving up on hope, happiness and himself, mostly, Ash suffers from his clinal depression and people's expectations. But then he meets Darian Taylor, brilliant, loud and so very different from him, able to make him laugh and think of a possible way out of his depression and anxiety. But could he decide to fight for himself, to be happy, to be free of his own shadows or will he be forever trapped in it? Could Ash be ever happy again?
Alexis Hall wrote a wonderful and intense book about lost hope, struggles, anxiety and clinical depression in a very realistic way. The way Ash is written is relatable, intense and very important for those who suffers like him. I loved reading this book and following Ash growing up, fighting for himself, to be happy, with his illness, to be more happy and content, to believe again in himself and in the possibilities of the future. I truly loved this book, Ash and Darian's relationship and how they are very different from one other, but perfectly interwoven.