Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Review: The Glimpse by Claire Merle

Book Description via Goodreads:

Paperback, 411 pages
June 7, 2012, 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.

Source: Laura & Faber & Faber (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

In the story world that Merle created, the population was divided into two groups depending on the result of their DNA test aka Pure Test: the Pures and the Crazies. The Pures lived in walled and guarded Communities and were allowed the luxury of life while the Crazies lived outside the walls in chaos and violence.

Arianna Barber led a comfortable life in luxury. She was about to be joined with Jasper Taurell, her longtime crush. But in a snap, everything changed. The Council told her that here was an error with her Pure test. She was not supposed to be living with the Pures, instead she should be living outside the protective walls, along with all the Crazies.

When Ana sneaked out from the Community and into Crazy-land to look for Jasper, she stepped into an entirely different world. The city outside the walls had a foreign and otherworldly vibe for me. It was almost like going down the rabbit hole, anything could happen. Some of the ‘Crazies’ weren’t crazy at all. Ana had to live with them and she survived. She was never threatened or hurt.

In her search for Jasper, the guy Ana was meant to join with, she fell for somebody else. Cole was charming, dependable and almost always on the run. More importantly, he was part of something big: The Enlightenment Project, an anti-Pure-test compound. To be honest, I prefer Cole over Jasper. Jasper was the childhood crush that Ana never got to know while Cole was the solid, trusting, to-the-rescue and rebellious guy who actually got to connect with Arianna. Sparks flew between them. I enjoyed reading about their hesitant but sweet encounters.

The sense of being out of control and being trapped in a society where psychiatrists judge you and diagnose you as unstable when in fact you’re not, was too terrifying for me. It was one thing to be misdiagnosed but it was an entirely different thing to be subjected to that kind of helpless experience even though you are normal, like Ana.

Although not all of my questions were answered, I still enjoyed every page of The Glimpse. Surprising and heart-pounding with just the right amount of sweet romance, rebellion and defiance, The Glimpse is a joy to read. I recommend this to dystopia and post-apocalyptic readers!



  1. I wasn't a huge fan of this book from the beginning, except once I reached the second half of the book and finished it, I actually - and finally - came to really really enjoying this book. Anyway fab review!

  2. I preferred Cole over Jasper as well, Cole never really did much for me. He was, as you said, the childhood crush but nothing seemed to really develop beyond that. It was still playing off those same feelings and a sort of loyalty that arose out of those feelings. The Glimpse was a good read and I look forward to discovering what happens in the sequel.

  3. This book looks so good! I can't wait to get myself a copy. Great review!

  4. I can see components of this one that has appeared in past dystopian novels. I think I would give it a try if it offered something new (other than a different disease)