Tag Archives: The Usual Suspects

Review: Glitterland by Alexis Hall

Fist of all, screw you for judging me for not reading this sooner.

For one thing, I don’t get a ton of reading time what with [insert list of bullshit here, long enough to make your eyes cross], my e-reader is bowing under the strain of mega-book-bytes, and I…don’t really have a good excuse. I read Sand and Ruin and Gold a few months back and knew afterward I’d stashed a bit of treasure (pirate treasure, in hindsight) on my Kindle with Glitterland. Call me a dork, but I was saving it for something special.

Well, the other night I got a hankering for a chick flick. That’s like my love affair with liverwurst. Once a year I want it. After that, it repulses me for a good long while. I told my hubs we should find a movie, we joked about how he likes certain RomComs (Notting Hill and The Holiday, to be precise) more than is attractive and how he watches the same ones an embarrassing amount of times–basically whenever they happen to be on. We went scrolling through the HBO On Demand offerings, were disappointed, as usual, and settled on Seeking A Friend for the End of the World. It was ho-hum, and I’m afraid even my slight girl crush on Keira Knightly and my affinity for apocalyptic tales wasn’t enough to scratch that itch.

So, one night later (BTW, the blips of chapters sprinkled throughout this book to show time lapses and the waning mental status of Ash were exceptionally done) I was still looking for love in all the wrong places. Actually, I’d started Glitterland that morning and was reading it like the end of the world was, in fact, upon us, and no, I didn’t want to spend my last few hours playing a family game of Monopoly or sitting around the Festivus pole and airing the grievances (although that would be next on my list), but I was going to read this fucking book before the meteor hit.

Now, my hubs had asked me earlier what the hell I was reading all day (as I balanced my book on one knee while threading new elastic through a Christmas pageant skirt so the Virgin Mary won’t flash the congregation next week). I said Glitterland without further explanation, and continued to read for the entire day. It’s hard to get away with that crap when you have, you know, stuff and kids and a house that would be better served by burning than cleaning, so I was wondering how I would manage to continue reading while sitting next to my old man in front of the TV later for our nightly “date.”

Cue Notting Hill and The Holiday on simultaneously for the guy who loves flipping channels during commercials. They are, probably, my oddball husband’s two favorite chick flicks, and the irony of our conversation the night before, paired with the Notting Hill references in Glitterland made for the perfect reading storm. For the record, both are totally acceptable films. In fact, I do enjoy Notting Hill with its quirky supporting cast (I just don’t want to watch it every time it happens to be on. Now, The Departed or The Usual Suspects, yes. Notting Hill and The Holiday? No. Actually, I’m not sure why he likes The Holiday. Even my heavy duty girl crush on Kate Winslet doesn’t make me want to watch that repeatedly. I’d say twice and I’m good until I’m dead. Contagion? Hell, yes. Bad Teacher? You know it.)

So, my guy got to watch his blubber mush movies, and I got to finish Glitterland. I did a valiant job of discretely swiping away my tears, and then when the ending got to be too much, I took my Kindle to the bathroom so I could cry louder and still maintain my tougher-than-thou facade.

It was beautifully written, needless to say. Heart wrenching, and though the conflict was predictable, it didn’t matter in the slightest. It’s an odd combination to feel physically aroused and poignantly sad at the same time. It’s also addictive, and my favorite sort of book.

Yes, Glitterland. I’d read you like I watch The Departed: again and again, and love you every time.

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