Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Review: The Glimpse by Claire Merle

Title: The Glimpse
Author: Claire Merle
Author Info: Website|Blog|Facebook
Genre: Dystopian
Source: Netgalley
Format: eGalley
Publication Date: 7th June 2012

Tell Me About It
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
I had seen The Glimpse about and from reading the synopsis I thought it sounded like it would be a great read.  I requested it off netgalley and was excited to have it accepted and soon made a start on it.
Ana, the protagonist, passes her test that determines whether she is genetically disposed to mental illness, one of the 'big 3', and lives the life of a pure.  But soon it is discovered that there was a fault with he test and only being bound to Jasper keeps her in her life of a pure.  This revelation is kept a secret and continuous testing by The Board of Psychiatric Testing and Evaluation ensures that her illness is not active yet. Any sign of her failing the test means she will be pushed out of her privileged life and made to live outside the community with all the 'crazies'.

The beginning of The Glimpse focuses on explaining this system that is in place and what the 'big 3' are: schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders, so we get some information about what the characters are talking about and why they act the way they do.  During the first few chapters I liked how this was all explained near the beginning, so it made for less confusion as the book went on.
Ana eventually escapes her privileged life and hides out in the world beyond the community in order to search for Jasper. She soon finds herself among a small group of people hiding under the radar and ends up volunteering to help them get their brother released from prison.  Getting to see the other side of the coin through Ana's eyes gave me a chance to actually see her feelings about it and how she reacts to the people and world she is now part of.  I liked the new friends Ana makes especially Cole and Lila, and this duo stick in my mind more than the rest of the other characters.

While I enjoyed reading The Glimpse I felt that it ebbs and flows and I kept reading waiting for something to happen but I never truly felt like it did. Events do occur through the book but not enough to grab my attention and make me remember key parts.  I do like how the illness were portrayed in a tasteful way, and that it was just people judgements to these that caused society to be the way it is.  However I was slightly disappointed with the ending, I was expecting more to happen and to me it just felt like an easy ending.


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