Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Faber & Faber
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.
Claire Merle's debut isn't just an ordinary dystopian novel. Actually it had many surprising and unexpected aspects to it like faith, religion and even a bit of magic. With such an original concept to an ever popular genre, The Glimpse will keep readers captivated until the very last page.
Ana actually reminded me a lot of Under The Never Sky's Aria. Ana, like Aria, lived in the supposed-to-be best society but later finds out that everything she believed in was a lie. In this future everyone who is not genetically "healthy" is banned and must live in the City where Ana may be sent to because she finds out that she is a Sleeper (meaning that one day she will go crazy). Her only chance of not being sent to live with the Crazies is Jasper, a pure guy whom she is supposed to be joined with. But right aftertheir binding, Jasper disappears. Ana's search for Jasper uncovers many lies and truths about their society and about Ana herself...
After reading such a summary you may think that this book is pretty predictable, right?! But you couldn't be more wrong! Merle fills her novel with many twists and turns that will certainly leave readers completely astonished. While reading the first few chapters I had to wonder what the mentioned Glimpse in the book description was all about. When it was finally explained I was utterly surprised and couldn't read the whole novel fast enough. The Glimpse is an enthralling and thought-provoking read.
The characters were all pretty predictable. I liked Ana a lot; for she always tries to do the best for everyone not only herself and she is also really determined when it comes to something she needs to do. Jasper was a bit of a disappointment since I was really expecting him to be something he turned out not be (I know, I'm being mysterious on purpose!). And Cole was just the definition of perfection! And I loved the slow romance.
Merle's novel is actually a really chilling novel. There were some moments in the book that were certainly a bit strong for young readers but, well, they are realistic aspects of a broken society. And I can't forget to mention the pretty cover that caught my eyes instantly. Merle's debut has an intricate plot with many surprising aspects that will please most people. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel to this exciting debut!
I wrote my first paranormal screenplay at the age of thirteen and named it after a road sign. Convinced it would find its way into the hands of a film director and me and my best friend would be cast in the starring roles, I entrusted it to my school drama teacher. DANGER ALIVE never made it to the big screen, but I continued to write and daydream my way through school and university, graduated with a BA (Hons) in Film Studies and spent the next few years working in the British Film Industry. I now live in France with my French husband and two young sons. The Glimpse is my first novel coming from Faber & Faber June 2012. Website / Twitter