08 May 2012

The Glimpse by Claire Merle (3.5/5 Stars)

Title: The Glimpse
Author: Claire Merle
Publisher: Faber & Faber (UK)
Pub. Date: June 7, 2012
Acquired: NetGalley

Blurb from Goodreads:

Once you've seen into the future, can you change your destiny?
In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper's abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

My Review:
Never having heard of this book before, I didn't really have any expectations. I think this was a good thing, because after reading some of the reviews, both positive and negative, after I finished the book, I think I may have been let down a little if I had read these before starting the book.

That being said, I really did think the whole plot of THE GLIMPSE was pretty original and because of that, there was a lot the Ms. Merle could have done (and still CAN do) with this series. But, in some ways, I feel like aspects of this book fell short. But before I talk about what I didn't like, let me talk about what I did like.

I really enjoyed getting to see both "worlds" in this story. As a reader, we get to experiece what life is like for the PURES and what life is like for the CRAZIES, who live outside a protected wall, in a rather vicious atmosphere. The Pures have their own schools, neighborhoods, etc... And most of them feel privileged and superior, while those living in the Community, labeled as "less-than", are doing their best to survive while being manipulated and mistreated by the government and each other. Not only do we get to see the Community, but we get to get a peak inside a mental-health facility where some of the ACTIVATED Crazies must live. Surprisingly, these facilities are not what they are supposed to be and the patients suffer abuse and torture at the hands of many.

Standing alone, I also really enjoyed all of the characters. I believe they all served some purpose in the telling of the story and made it richer. Whether they were there to make things harder for Ana and her friends, or whether they were written to help them. The characters were all written so well, that I can't help wanting to know a little bit more about them all, what makes them tick, what motivates them. And I believe there are many questions that are still unanswered. Hopefully, in the next installment, we'll get some of those answers.

Now, as for what I didn't like so much. The "love story". I feel like we're supposed to like and root for Cole, but we're not given enough reason why Ana would risk everything to be with him. Because there's also Jasper. And while we're left at the end, wondering how this will end for Ana, I can't help but feel like she's not making an educated decision. Don't get me wrong, I liked Cole, I'm just not sure if I can see why Ana would be so confident in their relationship. To me, a few passionate kisses doesn't justify a life-long commitment.

All that in consideration, I really do think this story is worth reading. I also can't help but think that the next installment will be stronger and better than this one.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


Check out Claire Merle's Page.