The universe is a glitterball I hold in the palm of my hand.
Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on love, 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 at a stag party throws him into the arms of Essex boy Darian Taylor, an aspiring model who lives in a world of hair gel, fake tans, and fashion shows. By his own admission, Darian isn’t the crispest lettuce in the fridge, but he cooks a mean cottage pie and makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of anxiety.
But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can’t see past the glitter to the light. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can a man who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?
For a book that I waited so excitedly to be released, I took such an embarrassingly long time to read it. And damn if I didn’t regret it. I had to do my internship for a couple of months, did not touch a single book and totally missed all the raves about this book. /cries
Well, I know that this review wouldn’t, in any way, do the book any justice but here’s an attempt anyway.
Firstly, if I should describe my feeling after and while reading this book, I would say I was glimstruck. Totally and utterly glimstrucked.
The reasons why:
Ash. Bossy, cultured, vain, tortured and mentally ill writer, A. A Winters, who had provided me with the most interesting and cynical mind ever. FYI, this book is written in first pov, and while of the inner monologue might seem over the top, it makes perfect sense as we are reading Ash’s pov. Because we are dealing with a writer with a mental illness who speaks like the Queen, wouldn’t it be perfect if he has a mind like one?
So please please if you encounter this problem and feel like stop reading it, suck it up and continue. You are missing one hell of an awesome book.
It’s really enjoyable to see how he describes stuff in his vain mind. How I could totally feel his frustation over carrots and grocery shopping. How was someone who had extreme paranoia and insecurities be so selfish, overbearing and bossy at the same time made perfect sense. That’s just Ash, the guy I fell in love with, complete with his outragious sex appetite, grandfather clothing and dirty dirty mouth.
And then there’s Darian, the shiny glitter pirate who managed to charm me with his most adorable accent ever! I don’t have a single bad thing to say about him. He’s just that precious!
Rather breathlessly, I said, “Good sir, may I please have the honour of your acquaintance?”
“Yeah, ahwight,” he said. “My name’s Darian Taylor.” We shook hands solemnly. Then he grinned. “And I’m gonna make sure you nevva forget it.”
Damn straight I wouldn’t.
And of course, there’s the witty banter and dialogue. I could have quoted the whole book here just because. I was positively giddy with delight and anticipation during the whole ride. It was that good.
Who should I make it out to?” I asked, not quite managing to look up.
“Oh, I dunno,” said a far too familiar voice, “’ow about maybe ‘To the geeza what I slept wif and then done a runner on in the middle of the night, making ’im feel like a right slapper’?”
“That’s quite lengthy,” I said, after a very long moment.
And obviously, the sex was delicious! I did mention about dirty mouth didn’t I? Because Ash totally has it in spades.
“Yeah. Reckon you could read the phone book and make it dirty.”
All in all, I was more than satisfied with this book. Ash and Darian couldn’t have been more perfect together. One who thought overthinking was a rule of life and who was a master of understatement. No one could have been more suitable to handle Ash’s crazies than Darian. /grins
“God, babes, you don’t watch MasterChef, you don’t watch Strictly, no wonder you’re bipolar depressed.”
Aaaaand I’m rambling here. I hope you guys get my point though.
“Get on wif it, peasant.”