Glitterland is tender and emotional all at once. It’s a story about mental health, love, and expectations. If you love queer romances, characters who don’t believe they’re worthy of love, and cinnamon rolls, this is for you. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on 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 throws him into the path of Essex-born Darian Taylor. Flashy and loud, radiant and full of life, Darian couldn’t be more different…and yet he makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of his anxiety. But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can no longer see a way out. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can someone who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: bipolar disorder, ableism, suicidal ideation, past suicide attempts, self-harm, panic attacks, anxiety
Glitterland is a story about love, mental health, and taking chances on ourselves. It features some truly endearing, complex, vulnerable characters like Ash. Who is still trying to figure out who he is as it intermixes with his mental health. I immediately loved Darian, how he’s a ray of sunshine who has depth, but also heart. Yet my heart always reached out to Ash. How he doesn’t trust his own happiness. The ways he feels betrayed.
How sometimes we just need someone who can show us a glimpse of another world. Another experience, a new horizon. It’s not about someone changing who we are, but about someone who believes in us and wants the best for us. To believe in us when it’s difficult for us to do so. Someone who isn’t afraid to challenge us when we aren’t being honest with ourselves or to introduce us to new experiences.
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Glitterland is one of those books which goes from spicy to tender all at once. It made me ugly cry and laugh out loud. And around halfway through, everything just clicked for me and I think I read the whole last half in one sitting? Glitterland is about how we want someone to be with us. To see us, to have a moment of happiness, a sliver of possibility. And how, at the end of the day, only we can believe we are capable of love. Find Glitterland on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org, & The Book Depository.