Book Review: A History of Glitter and Blood

Posted July 20, 2015 by Lyn Kaye in book review, Lyn / 10 Comments

Book Review: A History of Glitter and BloodA History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz
Published by Chronicle Books on August 18th, 2015
Genres: fantasy
Pages: 280
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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three-stars

Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies.

But when Beckan's clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn't have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected.

This stunning, lyrical fantasy is a powerful exploration of what makes a family, what justifies a war, and what it means to truly love.

This book is going to be one of the hardest books to review, ever. I am very well aware that Moskowitz’s style is extremely macabre, to say the least. Teeth was one of the most horrifying books I have ever read. However, that isn’t saying that her work should be ignored or skipped over due to content.

Don’t run from this one!

There is always something a little different and very unique about her stories and her narration. Her novels always remind me of the creepy, yet highly insightful, cartoons of the 80s.

A History of Glitter and Blood is difficult to review for the one fact that I didn’t enjoy it, but I respected the implications and the deeper message behind the story. I was drawn to the controversial reactions and gritty description of the book. I thoroughly liked how different this one was from anything else she had written. Seriously, Moskowitz has no other peers – her books are in a category of their own.

The novel is written in “meta POV”- we’re watching a rough draft come together from an entirely unreliable narrator. Unreliable narrator – +1 for me. The novel is, essentially, a rough draft of developing history from the point of view of one extremely stressed out character. It’s hard to pinpoint the main character of the book. The plot does center around Beckan, but the reader is interpreting the story from Scrap’s point of view. During one scene, Beckan flat-out admits that Scrap has some of the story wrong. We never find out what actually happened. If this had been any other book, it would have driven me close to insanity. What is the point of a novel if we’re not getting the correct story, at least? But the content of the book, and the “category” of the fictional piece made it work. In this instance, art is imitating real life. As I grow older, data and facts become readily available to the masses. One of the positive side effects is that I discover that quite a bit of the history that is taught in American schools is sometimes not the whole truth. When I was a small kid, we colored pictures of Christopher Columbus for Columbus Day. It was a happy little cartoon of a man on a boat and a smile across his face. When I grew up, however, I found that the man was a rapist and a homicidal glutton. In the sixth grade, I cried when my teacher told me that the president does not, in fact, run the country. In college, I read and studied history books that were not patriotically slanted, only to discover that the founding fathers were hypocrites, the British were not horrible overlords, and that the white people were not so benevolent to the Native Americans when we arrived on the Mayflower.

The entire point is: history is commonly subjective and often skewed to serve a purpose or whim of an author. Much like writing, the history of the fairies and gnomes was an outlet for Scrap instead of a true-to-life recollection of events.

I also found the societies of the different species in the novel very fascinating. Fascinating and yet shocking.

The ruling fairies are prey for the underclass gnomes, which is an interesting set-up. I am shocked about the passive nature of each of these classes. It is an instance where something isn’t perfect, but it works, so the people just turn a blind eye to the horrors of their world. The warmongering tightropers come and upset the balance, promoting their own agenda. Honestly, I am still wrapping my head around some of the customs and terrors of the novel.

If there is one thing to adore about this novel, it is the treatment of sexuality. Characters are fluid in their sexuality, and it isn’t pointed out or condemned or condoned in the novel – it is just a way of life. I highly enjoyed how sexual orientation was presented in the book. It was a part of the society, and no one stuck with labels or identification. Everyone was free and open to love another person, no matter the gender. I loved it. I loved how there was no blatant celebration or discussion or a clear pat on the back by the author. It just was, and I love that fiction is starting to incorporate this attitude into today’s books.

words_overall

A History of Blood and Glitter is an oddity, and not for the light of heart. There is quite a bit of violence, cursing, hatred, sexual content, and fantasy racism. However, it is something that is going to be different from the usual YA/Fantasy book diet. This is going to be a very controversial novel with a lot of emotional backlash and heated debate.  Hannah, however, once again delivers a novel that is well worth skimming through the oddities to find the glittering beautiful message about people and what it means to be a family.

Lyn Sig Plant

This eBook was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

10 responses to “Book Review: A History of Glitter and Blood

  1. Honestly, this was one of the weirdest books I have ever read. I agree with you that it will spark a lot of debate, which is good, because there are topics/things that should be discussed.

  2. I am kinda expecting this kind of story from this author ever since I read her book, TEETH. I gave it four stars even though I was largely WTFed by it, but your right – her story, her books, are all a category of their own. I see from your review so will probably make me go WTF, but well, it’s Hannah Moskowitz. Her stories show messages in a rather particular way and I’m kind of curious how she’ll bag this one.
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