Book Review: The Glimpse

Book Review: The GlimpseThe Glimpse by Claire Merle
Series: The Glimpse #1
Published by Faber and Faber on June 7th 2012
Pages: 432
Goodreads

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 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.

Our world has been separated. The Pures on one side. The Crazies on another. Anyone who tests positive for a predisposition for any type of mental illness is immediately label unfit to remain with polite society, and removed. Ana, our MC, is one of the lucky ones. Due to a misdiagnosis of her DNA testing, she has been labeled a Pure. When the truth starts to unravel, Ana realizes that nothing that she once believed is true, and she must risk everything to find out what is truly real.
 
The Glimpse first came on to my radar solely due to it being dystopian. And with the promise of something a bit different, how could I resist?
 
All things considered, The Glimpse puts a good step forward. Ana was a decent character. At first, I was not sure if she and I would mesh. However, as the book progressed, her character began to warp into someone more interesting, someone I would like to know more about. Jasper, on the other hand, was fantastic from the first moment he was introduced. Honestly, I kept the pages turning on this one mainly due to him.
 
The premise of The Glimpse is a bit different. Mental illness as the cause of social separation? I could see it happening. But it also makes The Glimpse a dystopian read that may not be for everyone. The Glimpse is not an offensive book. However, treatment of those with mental illnesses is not the best. Are they mistreated… abused? Not really, but there was just something about how the book approached certain topics that were questionable.
 
Final Verdict:
 
Neat premise. Characters that grew on me. Merle gets plenty credit for creating a decent world. Plenty of details that I needed to know to appreciate the world were covered. But… and I feel like this should be a big one, The Glimpse suffers from a slow plot that barely picked up speed until the very end. This slowness made the book feel more weighed down than it should have. I wanted to love this book. But sadly, it was just okay.
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4 responses to “Book Review: The Glimpse

  1. Ah, I agree with you about the speed. I got an eGalley of this, but a few pages in I found the characters bland and the speed too slow, so I gave up. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to give up?

    Great review!

    Misa
    Skyway Avenue Reads

  2. Tessa

    Kate,

    When you say the treatment of those with mental illness is not the best do you mean that Merle does not give an accurate representation of those suffering from mental illness or that the characters are treated poorly by other characters?

  3. Kate- the characters with mental health problems are treated poorly by the “Pure” society.- the crux of the dystopian element of this book and not an acceptance of such behaviours.

    I found the first paragraph or two a little hard work with the information overload but this is generally the case when the author is world building for a series.

    I though that the author handled some really big themes,the treatment on mental illness by society, The medication of minors, pharmacology as big business, really well, give additional depth to this dystopian.

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