The Glimpse by Claire Merle
Published: 7th June 2012
By: Faber and Faber UK
Targent Audience: Young Adult
Ariana Barber (Ana) lives in a world of Pures. Outside the walls of the community are the Crazies. All of whom either have, carry or will develop, a mental illness. Any kind of meltdown, including a child's temper tantrum, can result in admittance to a mental health facility.
It is discovered that there was a mistake in Ana's test, and she's not a pure but could develop the same mental illness that caused her mother to commit suicide. Ana's father is a respected man in the community as he developed the pure tests, so Ana is allowed to stay with the Pure's as long as Jasper Taurell still agrees to be joined with her. But just weeks before they are due to be joined, Jasper disappears. Ana leaves the community to try to find him and is opened up to a world of deceit and lies at the hands of her father.
Dystopian novels seem to be flooding the market at the moment and for some reason, I always seem to approach them with some trepidation. I don't know why, because most times I really enjoy them. And this time, with The Glimpse, was no different.
Claire created a fantastic world surrounding the Pures and the Crazies, in the city and the community. This book is based in future England which was a nice change as so many books are based in the States. This is a world of high technology where everyone has an electronic ID and an interface that they carry around their neck. It was like constant access to the internet from a projection which could just appear anywhere with the press of a button.
The character definition and development was well done. Ana appears as a quiet, obedient girl but once outside in the city, amongst the Crazies and looking for information on Jasper, her true strengths start to show. Her caring nature and strength of character make her an asset to have on your side. She will help people as much as she can and seems to give little thought to her own well being while doing so.
I started to enjoy this book even more with the introduction of Cole Winters. He is a Crazy and a suspect in criminal activity on behalf of the Enlightenment Project, a sect that promised it's members it would save the country from the evils of modern society. I was taken in by him on impact. There is just a kind of presence appears with him. "his smooth movements conveyed deep self assurance". He is intelligent and sweet and shares a love of music with Ana. There is a spark between them almost straight away and I enjoyed the relationship they share. Don't be disillusioned, there is no love triangle in this. I never really felt any connection in the relationship between Jasper and Ana.
All of the secondary characters in this book are easily recognisable and memorable, adding impact to the storyline. Especially Lila, Cole's younger sister. I really enjoyed her presence and the part she played.
This book took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I was scared, sad, anxious and nervous, sometimes all at once. You may notice I am missing happy. I didn't feel much to be happy about in this book. I'm hoping that will come in the next instalment, currently titled The Fall.
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