The Glimpse by Claire Merle
Publisher: Faber and Faber Children’s Books
Available in ebook or paperback.
If you’re easily offended by use of stereotypes and torture of small children, I’d advise you not to check out this book. Some of the characters in this book are very close-minded. Such as Ana’s father, who will do everything in his power to make sure his family does not develop mental illness. In his mind, it is a disease and harmful to society.
The only way to treat this disease is to over-medicate the person until they become a zombie in both emotions and senses. Children like Ana are raised to fear mental illness and when Ana is diagnosed as being a carrier for mental illness, she loses all self-image and feels like she is a disease. Her bonding partner, Jasper, keeps postponing their arranged marriage and Ana blames it on her being a carrier. Everything that goes wrong she blames on herself. She feels like she has no control and she’s forced to withhold all emotions and “crazy” actions in fear that these things will trigger the illness.
And then Jasper is kidnapped. Ana decides to find out what happened to him by leaving the safety of her community and enters the world of the crazy people. There she discovers how normal some of the “crazy” people are and that people like her father are the real enemy.
Or are they? Maybe the Crazies are crazy (go figure) and are feeding Ana delusions. The author leads you back and forth in what to believe and it’s fairly convincing. I like how each side truly believed in their position on whether or not the segregation and classification then medication process was fair and just. I enjoy novels where I can’t decide whether or not the narrator is truly in the right mind.
Now the horror lover in me was super psyched when Ana and many of her teenage friends were repeatedly tortured in very explicit ways. If you enjoy light reads, move along. If you prefer the dark and twisted novels, this one is for you. I not-so-secretly enjoyed the scenes where the “Crazies” patients were put into tanks, it was slowly filled up with water, and then sometimes the doctors stretched the time-allotted a little too long and there would be a drowning.
So why when I adored this book so much did I not give it five stars or an A? The ending sucked. There was so much buildup during the novel and almost none of it was resolved by the end. I hate cliffhangers. I felt like tossing this book off a cliff when I finished, but since I read it on my Kindle, I refrained. Plus, I didn’t feel like driving across town to find a cliff. That said, I hope there is a sequel. There better be a sequel. I want to know what happens next to Ana, Cole, Jasper, and the rest of the gang.
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.
This book will appeal to fans of Hunger Games and other dystopian or YA novels.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.