Friday, 22 June 2012

Blog Tour: The Glimpse by Claire Merle review

The GlimpseTitle: The Glimpse 
Author: Claire Merle
Series: N/A
Pages:  432
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Date of Publication: 7th June 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from 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.

My Thoughts:
So, what can I say about The Glimpse? Umm... It was AWESOME. I really, really enjoyed it. Despite having to read it in between exams and revision and a mountain of school work, when I actually had a chance to read it I was absolutely glued to the pages, needing to know whether or not Ana and Jasper and Cole would be okay and whether the dreaded Pure test gave real, reliable results.

The whole idea of the book - a world in which people are separated by some sort of test, has been done before, but there was not one point in the book in which it felt familiar. A little predictable, perhaps, but I felt that it stood really well by itself in the ever-growing sea of young adult dystopia that is currently all the rage. I've never really read anything to do with mental health, so that was refreshing and interesting, and I think it dealt extremely well with a potentially delicate subject.

'Crazy' and 'mental' are thrown around as insults everyday, yet I don't think I've ever really stopped to think about how it would be to be mentally ill. I've never really thought about the institutions, never really considered what it would be like to be told you're crazy, that there's something wrong with your brain, yet you have no idea - no belief - in that. You assume you're fine, yet people tell you you're not. It'd be awful... And in The Glimpse, Ana takes the Pure test (to make sure she isn't 'crazy') and is told she is Pure, so she's fine. Then, when it seems that the Pure test results can be forged, and she's told she isn't, she's declared a Sleeper (basically, she could become Active (mentally ill) at any moment) and she begins to doubt her sanity. I literally can't think of anything worse - to not even be sure of your own mind... *shudder*

The Glimpse gave us insight into mental institutions and the lives of people who were thought to be crazy. I'm aware it probably was a bit exaggerated and conditions nowadays really aren't that bad, but still, it made me consider the things mentioned above. The plot kept me hooked and I constantly wanted to find out more about the world that Ana and Jasper lived in, and how it was different to the one that Cole lived in. There perhaps could have been a bit more world-building - I would have liked to have known why the world was the way it was, but once I'd read past 10% that didn't matter anymore: I was fully invested in the story.

One of the best things about the book was that it was set in London. Reading about all these places that I've been to, that I know my way around, was AWESOME because the majority of the books I read being American, I usually have no idea where on earth the stories are taking place, and while I know it doesn't really matter if I don't have a clue, it was definitely nice to be able to read 'Camden' and be able to imagine the characters there.

And I liked the characters, though Ana definitely made some stupid decisions that were so obviously stupid before she did them that even though it's fiction and would be boring without the mistakes made, it still made me want to facepalm. Seriously, there were times I wanted to slap some sense into Ana, and tell her that OF COURSE her plan was NEVER going to work...

Overall though, The Glimpse was a great book full of twists and turns that kept me hooked. If you're a fan of dystopia but have felt like you've been wading through slogs of average feeling ones, give this a try - I felt it was new and refreshing. Thought-provoking and exciting, I'd definitely recommend it! Also, isn't the cover just gorgeous?!


And that's my review for the blog tour! Hope you enjoyed it, click on the picture below for a list of all the other stops on the tour!


And the book trailer for The Glimpse:


Thanks for reading, and thanks to Faber & Faber UK for organising the blog tour and giving me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review - in no way has this affected my opinion of the book :D

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! I'm really intrigued by this book now - it sounds like exactly my kind of dystopia. And it's the first one I've heard of being set in London! Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. So glad you liked this as I'll be reading it soon :D Also excited to read about London!

    ReplyDelete

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*I am no longer accepting blog awards :( I do not have time to go through all the things that come with it, and though I'm honoured you thought of me, I'm sure you can find someone who will love it, and be able to carry out the rules :)

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