Author: Claire Merle
Series: The Glimpse Duet
Publisher: Faber & Faber (UK)
Release Date: June 7th, 2012
Genre: YA, dystopian, sci-fi
Synopsis: 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.
When Jasper disappears, Ana sets off on his trail, determined to solve the mystery of his abduction. In doing so she journeys into the darkest corners of society, and uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she’s ever believed.
Review: I have read a lot of negative reviews about "The Glimpse," that are mainly geared towards it's supposed subject matter or handling of sensitive mental health issues. I, for one, have to strongly disagree that this book exploits mental illness or making a mockery of it and I am glad that I was able to ignore the voices of those who haven't even read the book but are already judging its subject matter. What it boils down to is that Claire Merle handled the matter well and exactly as I hoped - by showing the reader how so many people are affected by mental illness in one way or another and that any sort of mandate separating people by their risk factors or the score they receive on a psych test is completely wrong. Unfortunately, it is also a future that isn't all too impossible to imagine, with the over-medication of our society as it currently is.
The book centers on Ana, the daughter of the scientist responsible for the test that deems whether you have any sort of triggers or possible genetic makeup that will turn into a mental illness down the road. Ana lives in a community of "Pures," people who have tested as not having any risk-factors for any mental illness. As it turns out, Ana's results were flawed, yet she had already been promised to "Pure" Jasper Taurell. Regardless of her status, Jasper wants to be joined to Ana. It is when Jasper disappears that Ana's world starts to unravel as she decides to find out the truth about him, her father, and the deep, ugly underbelly of a world previously unknown - one filled with "Crazies."
I thought the premise of this book was extremely unique and captivating. There were parts of it that were hard to read, and I would not recommend this book to a younger crowd, but ultimately I was captured in the story.
My issues were really with the tone and the flow of the story, which I thought was pretty messy. There were parts of the book that I had to re-read because I was just not exactly grasping what was going on, or how it related to the overall story. Some of the events that occur in the book also seem a little far-fetched and it was hard for me to understand why they were even included (unless its all to be explained in a later installment, since this one did leave with a kind-of cliffhanger ending).
While the scenarios were interesting, the majority of the characters were rather dull and bleak. Ana didn't bounce off the page for me and I was pretty indifferent on her as a character. That's never something I want from my heroines. The other characters (with the exception of Tamsin and Lila) were also not very interesting and lacked that "spark" for me.
Overall, "The Glimpse" was an enjoyable read, but I'm not sure if I'll continue on in the series.
Goodreads | Amazon | Author's Site