Glitterland

Alexis Hall. Riptide (www.riptidepublishing.com), $6.99 e-book (248p) ISBN 978-1-62649-024-6
Pseudointellectualism meets gay romance in Hall’s debut. Self-absorbed British writer Ash Winters is a young man struggling with bipolar disorder and the aftermath of a suicide attempt. His perceptions of himself and others evolve quickly as he develops a relationship with fashion model Darian Taylor. Under Darian’s influence, the former hermit slowly returns to a more social state. The stock romance is enlivened with the occasional bits of dark humor and beautifully risqué moments, interspersed with an overabundance of mental illness details. The juxtaposition of unlikable Ash’s literary and intellectual viewpoints with Darian’s superficial lifestyle (and painfully rendered Essex accent: “You’ll do ahwight, janarwhatamean?”) is cleverly used to spotlight the propagation of relationship stereotypes, but the unlikely and unexpectedly charming pairing of Darian and Ash, and the resultant drama of their worlds colliding, eclipses development of other characters—leaving them mere set decoration to prop up the two leads. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/15/2013
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 226 pages - 978-1-62649-025-3
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