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I'm a hopeful cynic.


Glitterland - Alexis Hall

You guys. I'm in love.

This book is a real gem, with all the natural inclusions that make it special. I could talk about its flaws, the technical aspects, but they don't matter, because this book had what I call the "book oxytocin effect" on me. That is, I fell in love with it. And when you fall in love, you just bask in the euphoria and sod everything and everyone else.

That first chapter? It hit all my pleasure centres. And then? Oh, the delicious anticipation of something you suddenly know you'll enjoy. I was positively giddy. Ash's interaction with Darian? Such a source of delight. And who cares about the Essex speak. The dialogue parts in this book? They're splendidly done. Funny and natural and meaningful. The side characters? Excellent. You understand them. Even that bugger, Niall. The plot, the pace? I didn't feel it dragged—not for one moment. And who cares about the literary prose. It was Ash's mental processes and they felt natural for him.

This book is also an excellent example of how even the most common tropes can be revisited and explored in new and interesting ways. Because nothing in Glitterland felt boring to me.

Little extra things I enjoyed: references to books and writers, from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to Dan Brown, to Martin Amis. The movie references, from My Fair Lady, to The Shawshank Redemption, to Breakfast At Tiffany's, to Grease, to Notting Hill. The glardigan (it's a glamour cardigan, obvi)! Nabble (a way cooler version of Scrabble)! The cottage pie recipe!

One last thing. Alexis Hall. Remember the name. He has great, great things ahead of him.