Sallie's Reviews > Glimmer

Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis
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Apr 25, 12

bookshelves: 1st-in-a-series, own
Read in April, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I had been pinning over this book because the title really drew me in. I admit, it was because of the character from District 1, Glimmer, in The Hunger Games that initially drew me to look into this book. I figured this book would be about two kids losing their memory and maybe some weird scientist was behind it all. BOY, WAS I WRONG. It was completely different than I expected! I was reading this before bed last night, and I decided to put it down for a little break, and I was torn between continuing and putting it off until the next day. But one of the things I notice is that when I get into a reading mood, if I take a break and wait until the next day, I may not have as much enthusiasm to finish the story, especially if it was dragging a little.

Character development was really interesting because we were introduced to two blank slates who were learning who they were along with us. It was interesting to see how these two characters who believed they were good people were finding out that they may have been involved in less than “good” activities or behavior. It’s always interesting when someone realizes that they might have done something wrong in the past, and for these characters, they have literally forgotten those memories.

The story is told in alternating chapters by Elyse and Marshall, and sometimes it was hard to follow whose head we are in. I had to clue in to the “she/he” the person was referring to, so for the most part it was pretty easy to follow. Sometimes, I prefer it to be one or the other, but since there was so much going on between each character, together and separately, it was important for Kitanidis to focus on one character at a time. Elyse and Marshall are not always together, so the story isn’t weighed down by overlapping experiences, only the particularly important ones; the ones that Kitanidis wanted the reader to see two sides of.

The romance between Elyse and Marshall was different, because we learn from their memories throughout the story what they are to each other and it wasn’t the main theme of the story, which I appreciated. I don’t mind if characters slowly grow interested in each other, but the whole love at first sight crap is a bit boring and usually turns me off from reading a story. Elyse and Marshall realized that there was something bigger than them going on, and they kept their relationship in perspective.

The minor characters were also involved, which I really liked because sometimes minor characters are just pawns; used to put in information or present an idea to a main character. But with Elyse’s parents, we as the reader get to see inner conflict, versus just the main problem of the story. There are other characters that are revealed to be someone else in the end, and for me, it wasn’t completely obvious, which I appreciated. When I can figure out the problem and the solution before the middle of the story, it’s a problem.

The story takes place in Shadow Falls, Colorado and it was such an inviting and intriguing setting. There are explanations for the setting and it was always covered up and sewn up nicely until the end when it was unraveled and dismantled by the main characters exploring the main issue of the story. It felt realistic, almost satirical of actual places. There weren’t too many lengthy descriptions of setting or events, which made the story flow easier.

This story has so much going on that at times, I had to put it down and just think about what was going on. Kitanidis really does challenge the reader with this story, she doesn’t present the facts and continue on, she lets you figure it out on your own and then pull a rabbit out of her hat and it’s completely the opposite of what you first thought.

It’s understandable that most authors don’t give all the facts about a story so the reader is able to come up with their own ideas, but one thing that I remember reading did not resolve itself in the end… SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!: During the fair, Pete is injured in the ferris wheel mechanisms and is taken away by men in grey suits in a black car. Later on in the story, when the other people taken away during traumatic experiences surface again after being hidden at the insane asylum, Pete is no where to be seen. He lost his leg, but did they kill him off? Or did Kitanidis just forget to tie up that lose end? And who are the men in grey suits? If they didn’t take Pete to the asylum, where did they take him?! END SPOILER.
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