Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Review: A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz

Title: A History of Glitter and Blood
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Publisher: Chronicle 
Release Date: August 18th, 2015
Source: ARC Received from Publisher in Exchange for an Honest Review (BEA)

My Rating: 4.5/5

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. (Summary from Goodreads)

I went into this book a bit apprehensively. The concept sounded imaginative, but I saw lots of people dnf-ing and got a little concerned. I try not to let others influence how I read, but I can't deny those dnfs made me nervous. I really didn't need to though because A History of Glitter and Blood completely enthralled me. From the start, I was engaged, in love, and enchanted. This book was unlike anything I've ever read before and, even months later, I'm still fascinated by it.

Although I personally loved this book, I can see where people might not. It's weird. The writing style is jumpy at points, the concept slightly disturbing and not easy to read. The beginning is tough to get into, the structure takes some mental adjusting, but it is so worth it. There was just so much going on in this book, in the very best way. I was trying to describe this book and all it's complexities and it's just so hard. Themes of racism, sexism, class structure, and more were expertly woven into the fabric of this story. It wasn't like being hit over the head with a Message, but rather being brought along, being completely immersed in it and suddenly realizing just what it all meant.

I really enjoyed how this book was structured. The story went back and forth in time, but the flashbacks just created a fuller picture of the characters and plot. There were pictures and excerpts which gave it a kind of history book feel, and made everything seem more real. I didn't feel like I was reading a novel, but rather an account of a very real war featuring very real characters.

And those characters! Scrap stole my heart and pissed me off all at the same time. I adored watching Beckan transform throughout this novel and Josha coming into his own. Even Tier who I was not really a fan of at first really won me over. This book was gritty and raw and the characters didn't come out of this war unscathed. They were each impacted in their own way by what they went through. They didn't always know how to help each other, but they tried. There was this bond between them that was so incredible to read about. These characters honestly felt so real. They may have been fairies and gnomes and tightropers but they were realistic and moving and powerful. I really can't express how much I loved them.

I feel like there's so many different avenues to view this book from, so many positive aspects. I've heard lots of talk about the sex positive plot, its discussion of war, and so forth. But the thing I loved most about this book was the exploration of how history is written and how stories are told. The narrator (who I'm not going to reveal even though it is pretty obvious) struggles with how to write the story. There's commentary throughout the book as they grapple with how to tell what has happened to them. This idea of the perspective of history, how skewered it can be, isn't a new one. But it was fascinating. How was this story being told? How can we really tell what is the truth? Although the narrator tries, there's no way for them to completely detach themselves from this recounting of their story. History is full of emotion because it's about people; they just take that part out of textbooks. This book was like a diary, a scrapbook, a glimpse into the life of these beautiful people and the horrors of war they had to face.

Honestly, I could write an essay on this book. This review doesn't even touch on half the things I want to talk about. I can never cover everything enchanting and powerful about this book. I just urge you to give it a chance. It's an incredible, powerful read that I love with all my heart.

- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)

Find This Book: Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Hannah Moskowitz's Website 

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