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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 interfere 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.

411 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2012

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About the author

Claire Merle

4 books228 followers
Claire Merle grew up in London and moved to the outskirts of Paris in her twenties. She is the author of four books for Young Adults, including the award-winning fantasy, Shadow Weaver.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 307 reviews
Profile Image for Claire Merle.
Author 4 books228 followers
August 14, 2011
Possibly biased, as I do happen to be the author!
Profile Image for Literary Ames.
828 reviews395 followers
April 16, 2012
Dangerous. This book is dangerous and disappointing. I can't tell you about the fury I felt at the very beginning of this book. The propaganda, myths and downright lies regarding the science of mental illness that only serve to misinform and hurt the vulnerable, those who live with these illnesses and their family and friends which is a good percentage of the population. Most will be affected by it at some point in their lives. And at this point you should know that my family has been touched by it and I've worked with people from the UK mental health charity, Mind.

In the Nature Vs. Nurture debate, on a scale, mental illness is overwhelmingly more about nurture and environment than genetics. If a group of people, like a family, are subjected to the same stressful environment then they're more likely to develop problems than one living a stress-free life. That has been proven.

The Glimpse's Big 3: schizophrenia, depression and anxiety - Most will personally experience a period of the latter two. Life is hard, that's a fact. You can't just permanently label someone as one of the Crazies for what could be an episode lasting only a few months and then going on to suffer no further problems. It doesn't work like that. Telling someone they're crazy could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy where they live up to their label and if one hadn't been issued in the first place that person may be otherwise perfectly healthy. The book picks up on this to some extent but it would depend on the perceptiveness of the reader to fully understand the ramifications.

Suffering a mental illness does not automatically mean you're a lost cause. A great many are functional members of society with the help of appropriate treatment and support but here the treatment is horrifying and only hinders and hurts the recipients and could put people off from seeking help themselves. The book states that 40% of the population is Active or "Crazy", a Sleeper (guaranteed to become Active) or a Carrier of the faulty genes responsible. No Pures ever become Crazy. In reality, there are no absolutes.

This is the world Ana has grown up in. To fear the Crazies outside of the walls of her Community of Pures until she's outed as a Sleeper and enters the filthy, neglected and chaotic City (London) and observes the truth for herself. It's only much, much later that she discovers the possibility the Crazy-Pure dynamic is a lie used as a form of social control which just so happens to benefit the evil profit-hungry pharmaceutical companies forcing drugs on healthy individuals and leaving them to self-destruct from the resulting side-effects. But there is far too much doubt regarding the validity of this conspiracy, and comes too little too late for disgusted, insulted and vulnerable readers who may have abandoned the book by now.

The problem is the propaganda spouted by the Pures is too eerily reminiscent of the way society judges mental illness today; with ignorance and contempt for the perceived weakness and potential danger they could pose to others and a need to ignore, dismiss and hide the sufferers away. Anything to distance themselves from the "afflicted". In effect, this book confuses the educational messages mental health charities try to instill in the public by reinforcing the negative and unhelpful perceptions of mental illness in a time of (hopefully lessening) ignorance on the subject. And that's something I can't ignore because this book is being marketed to an impressionable section of society: teenagers -tomorrow's adults. How will they treat this subject after reading The Glimpse?

My anger stayed with me throughout the book but it didn't stop me from acknowledging the vividly realistic future England of the year 2041, the state of global politics and the effects of our Global Depression, the Petrol Wars and the very different transport system, the housing crisis worsened by high repossession rates, the use of cash is outlawed -credit transactions only (big brother), the bankers earning their pitchforks along with their horns, having a personal online presence is mandatory e.g. blogs, the dismantling of the United Kingdom -becoming independent countries once again, the media monopolizing power of the BBC, and the downfall of the music industry and Tesco, etc. It's jam-packed with genius world-building tidbits.

Seventeen-year-old Ana's toxic relationship with her father also had a ring of truth to it. As a character, Ana had formidable strength in the face of an illogical, nay farcical, situation she finds herself in of being the only sane person regularly put under the microscope by none too sane so-called professionals (many of whom enjoy torturing their "patients" and who see everything as a sign of mental illness), unaware of the very pressure they're putting her under would crack the average person faster than you could blink. She's been forced to rein in all emotion, remain composed at all times and conditioned to respond in a calculated manner during all mental health assessments and public appearances for fear of being judged "Active".

Religious people may also get upset with this book as it labels religious belief as a form of psychosis and in this future all religion is illegal because of it's ability to destroy 'every culture that ever existed.' Although there's a hint of the paranormal in the form of Enlightenment Glimpse -the ability to see a short vision, glimpse, of the future used by the only remaining religious organisation which is viewed as a strict brainwashing cult by the Pures.

The love triangle wasn't painful and appears to be resolved in this book. Both men, Jasper and Cole, are older by up to 6 years. For once, I approve of Ana's pick. The ending leaves things open for the sequel (which should resolve everything as Merle has a two-book deal) but it doesn't leave you hanging off a cliff.

Perhaps I'm being overly sensitive due to my personal connection with mental illness. Besides, dystopian fiction takes the negative aspects of society and exaggerates them to the extreme and usually acts as some sort of lesson against behaving in a certain manner. So maybe I have nothing to worry about and have no need to be upset, but then this is just my opinion.

Some may ask me why I read this book after reading the synopsis and knowing what to expect. A synopsis doesn't tell you everything. I have a keen interest in psychology (especially in fiction) and in truth, I assumed some disease had changed human genes somehow and the result altered the nature and development of mental illness. In any case, I'm glad I overcame strong emotions to read the whole book.

WARNING: contains violence, physical and psychological abuse, some gore, and rape.


***My thanks to Faber & Faber and Netgalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.***
1 review
Want to read
January 7, 2012
Pre-review.

I think those people who are bashing the book without having read it need to realise that this is a dystopian. In case you're not familiar with the term/genre, that means the book isn't meant to reflect a perfect world where everyone gets treated fairly. The term 'Crazies' is meant to be understood as an unfair slur, and the seperation between those disposed to get a mental illness (it's set in the future, so technology may have improved, to answer the question of 'how is that even possible?') is meant to be seen as a bad thing to us lucky outside observers. The premise is also not that much of a stretch considering how poorly some people with mental illnesses already get treated, and an asylum does effectively seperate people with severe mental illnesses from those without them.

I for one can't wait to read this book, though I'll do the civil thing and avoid making judgements without actually reading it.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,363 followers
June 6, 2012
I tried to get into this, halfway through and incredibly bored I deduced that this wasn't for me. The plot is taking a lot of detours that seem quite pointless, seemingly used as filler material. I don't like the protagonist that much. The world isn't very believable, especially how this is supposedly only a few years in the future. Society could never change this drastically in such a short time, particularly seeing how controversial it all is. Along with inconsistent perspective changes and improbable happenings that are simply unrealistic, I have no interest in finishing it.

Overall, it doesn't give anything new and interesting in a year full of dystopian novels.

Note: this will not be going up on the blog as it's not a full review but only my reasons for DNFing it.
Profile Image for Tomoe Hotaru.
248 reviews846 followers
September 4, 2012
There is this one incident that I will never forget, which happened during the first semester of my Psych bachelor's degree program. For weeks I had been slaving over this particular assignment on developmental delay, convinced that I totally rocked that paper. So imagine my surprise, my complete bafflement, when my professor handed it back to me with this big, red, bold 40% mark scrawled in permanent marker, no less, on the upper right corner of the front page.
In my whole entire life I had never even achieved so low as a "C" grade for anything. Asian dad will be utterly disappointed. I would be disowned for sure!

"Why?" I asked my professor. "Was it not structured enough? Did I not provide superior analysis? Did I not explore the numerous case studies and research evidence profoundly enough?!"

"That was not the problem. If you look at pages twenty-two and thirty-one, you'll notice that you used the term 'autistic children' not once on each page, but two and four times consecutively."

"But, that's the name of the diso--"

"Children with autism."

"But--"

"Fail!"

He had been having a bad day, but he later on told me to rewrite the paper, reminding me to take care in my choice of words, and in the end gave me that 92% I so firmly deserved.

But the point still stands. Psychological health is one of those very sensitive issues out there. Degrees of sensitivity may even vary between people. I noticed other professors, for instance, use the term "autistic children" themselves during lectures, when referring to the hypothetical population of children suffering said developmental delay. Others even believe the proper way to say it would be "children diagnosed with autism". But you get the picture.

That said, readers' reaction towards the constant use of the word "Crazies" in this novel in reference to people who aren't "Pure", as well as the less frequently used term "loony bin" for mental health facilities, may be varied from one person to another.

And yes, it is meant to be debasing. Because people in this novel who are not "Pure" are considered as second-rate citizens. In any other circumstance, I would have been highly offended. However, I see it this way.

For a bit of background info, the world in The Glimpse is set in a dystopian England, roughly in the 2040s, where the government and a so-called "Board of Psychiatric Testing and Evaluation", keeps the society segregated into "Pures" and "Crazies".
"Human traits," the man continued, "are determined by variations in the genes. The Big3 - schizophrenia, depression, anxiety - are a complex mutation of these differences that depend on the state of several interacting genes. (...) If one parent is affected by the Big3, every child will automatically become a Carrier, at best. More likely than not, however, they will develop some variation of the inherited illness, starting off as a Sleeper and one day becoming Active."

Now this "Board" was set up to "help contain our country's Mental Health Crisis and prevent it from spiraling out of control."

So for all their lives, people were indoctrinated with the idea that mental health, psychological disorders, were (1) hereditary, and (2) a menace to society. Not only that, but people who have "the genes" will, at one point or another in their life, manifest said psychological disorder.
And so it is logical that the government and Board tries to curb the Pures' sympathy towards the "Crazies". It is logical for them to strengthen their propaganda by demonizing "Crazies" as trouble-makers and violent people who have little to no control over their own actions. One such way they squelch sympathy is, of course, through the coining of the term "Crazies" itself.

And when you grew up being taught one thing - from your parents, from your school, from the authorities - when everyone uses the term "Crazies", then it is only understandable that our main character would also emulate her society. Nurture and all that.
Perhaps the one problem with this is that even after getting to know a few people on the other side, Ana still referred to them as "Crazies". I would have been upset with this if it wasn't for the fact that (1) Ana didn't know better; just like I didn't know writing "autistic children" was wrong. After classes on Ethics and Moral Code of Conducts, and months interning for all sorts of diagnosed patients have I come to see how insensitive and offensive some terms may be. Ana, however, never had such an enlightening experience.
Another point is that (2) despite their derogatory nickname, the "Crazies" were in fact portrayed as the ones we were meant to sympathize with. It was clear from the outset that there was something not quite right about the Board, and their oh-so-infallible psychological testing. If anyone was the villain here, it would be the "Pures". The "Crazies", or most of them, at least, were portrayed as fully functioning human beings - people with emotions, dreams - whilst the "Pures" were depicted as rigid and overly controlled.

As much as the "Crazies" had to fear the "Wardens" and "Psych Watch", the "Pures" were not completely free of fears, either. Their dreams and aspirations had to conform to society standards, their behaviour also constantly watched for the smallest signs of "deviation".
What I'm getting at here, is that I did not find the portrayal of people diagnosed with psychological/mental health issues to be ableist. However, some things did not sit well with me .
Everyone who wasn't a Pure either carried one or more of the genomes that caused the hundreds of mental ill[nesse]s, the 'Carriers'; were already sick, the 'Actives'; or would become sick at some point in their lives, the 'Sleepers', like Ana.

Nevermind that poorly structured sentence; the point is that there are Carriers, Actives, and Sleepers. Now, the way people are diagnosed is an obvious fallacy. There's the whole nature vs nurture debate, and although it doesn't make one more dominant than the other, it does refute the fact that psychological disorders are always inherited, and will always manifest.
Moreover, diagnosing people using a set of symptoms and one or two psychological tests? No. It doesn't work that way. It's a rigid, thorough process, and even then you must be extremely careful when making a diagnosis and prognosis.
So what bothers me is that despite the whole fact that "Crazies" would obviously, more often than not, be given false diagnoses and prognoses, the world outside the Pures' safe community is actually riddled with all sorts of psychologically ill individuals. There are people who randomly exhibits bursts of violence, there are children below the age of five exhibiting morbid depression to the point of suicide.
Self-fulfilling prophecy? I think not. You can only change your behaviour/attitude so much but chances of you manifesting biological changes to fit your expectations are slim to none. You cannot genuinely start hallucinating simply because people tell you you will.
And so the question is, are these "Crazies", in fact, truly suffering from some sort of mental illness? --because then that shows how the propaganda and indoctrination spewed by the government and the Board is in fact correct. This scenario would bring to surface all sorts of questions regarding all the factual errors contained in the book, regarding mental illnesses being hereditary, how it can so easily be tested, how it will always manifest, etc. etc.

Or perhaps, there is a deeper conspiracy here? Unfortunately, the end of the book did not shed to light anything the protagonists were trying to uncover.

Yes, it is clear that the Board is a wicked, conspiring circle of evil little scientists. It is clear that there's something not quite right about the whole Tests.

But instead of focusing on uncovering these conspiracies , The Glimpse takes on the road of romance. Ana's motivations started off as rescuing Jasper, who had mysteriously vanished. Her reason was love. I didn't buy it. Jasper and Ana hardly ever talked to each other - perhaps only during Christmas parties. My reasoning was that he was her only chance of staying in the Pure community, which, at that point, was the only safe harbour she knew.
And in her attempt of discovering what happened to Jasper, she met Cole. Their instant attraction was explained off as some sort of "magnetic pull". Apparently premonitions and brief "glimpses" into the future [hence the book's title], are something that genuinely happens in this world; blurring the genre a little into paranormal areas. Anyway, Jasper saw Ana in one of his "Glimpses" and has since been waiting for her. In short, they were "meant to be".

Although I liked Cole, I do not buy these "instant attractions", "it's fate", sort of claptrap. Give me character development and interactions any time.
Another issue I had with the book, is how it was riddled with so many thought processes. You know ... the sort that goes "I have to do this, because of so and so, which is only happening because this guy must be doing that - but the question now is blah blah blah".
Us readers don't get to figure anything out on our own - the protagonist constantly gives us conclusions. Even the most obvious and trite ones:

When she was sneaking in her own house doing something her Father didn't want her to do:
(...)Ana disabled the link synching her interface computer to all the flatscreens in the house. A flatscreen couldn't store web information, but she didn't know if her father could use the established link to recover her search history. This way she eliminated the possibility. Because she definitely didn't want him to find out what she was up to. She was going to sneak into the City and enlist Cole Winter's help.

I think authors should give their readers a little more credit. We don't need our hands to be constantly held. These sort of thought processes occur throughout the entire book, and just lowered the enjoyment of the book for me; taking away the satisfaction of discovering things on my own.

But anyway, I went into this expecting a similar "Save the Pearls" debacle, but am quite relieved to find that that was not the case. My rating is solely based on my enjoyment of the book, as I did not find any harmful messages nor degrading opinions of people with psychological problems.




elfswood
Profile Image for Jennifer Armentrout.
Author 125 books113k followers
August 31, 2011

I had the pleasure of reading an early copy of this. I'm not a big fan of dystopian novels, but this one blew me away. Breath taking and frighteningly real.
Profile Image for Katie_la_geek.
821 reviews109 followers
May 17, 2012
Review also found on my blog

*The publisher provided me with this book for review, via Netgalley.*

Before I go into what I thought of the book I think it is important to point out that unlike others I did not find this book offensive. (And before someone makes a comment I should point out that I have suffered from mental health problems for a while so it is not a lack of understanding that has bought on this opinion) There has been a lot of talk and labelling this book as wrong, offensive and dangerous because of the use of the word ‘crazy’ and because this book is about a society where people with mental health issues are supported from people without mental health issues.

For me this book was not about mental health at all. The people who are being segregated are not sick. They are people the government consider dangerous or problematic. The whole ‘Pure’ vs ‘Crazies’ thing is a lie being used by the government to control the people. Not once did I feel the author was being offensive or that she was trying to force a dangerous opinion onto others (as some have suggested) I think it says a lot that this book paints the ‘crazy’ world to be better and more free than the ‘pure’ world. I know where I would rather live. This is just my opinion, I know many other people disagree but each to their own.

This is a hard book to review because there were parts of it that I loved and parts of it I hated. I am going to split this review into what I liked and what I didn’t.

What I liked
•I found The Glimpse to be strangely engaging. It was easy to read and get into and the pages seemed to flow by really quickly.
•I thought this book was really brave, not just because of what it was about but because of the futuristic world that it inhabits. There is a lot of technology that does not exist in this book. It does not always work (sometimes I struggled to visualize it) but for the most part it was really imaginative and added to the story.
•There were some parts of this book that were brutally realistic and hard to read. It may seem like a weird thing to put in a ‘liked’ section of a review but I appreciate the honestly and realism.
•Cole is awesome; I really liked him as a male lead. He was not full of charm and personality but still I felt a lot for him.
•Ana grows a lot as a character, it is great to see a female lead learn and develop (although she has a massive relapse towards the end which really annoyed me.)
•I found this book quite frightening because this is the kind of future I can actually see happening.
•There is a ‘villain’ of this piece and I literally hated him. He was so awful that I couldn’t bear to read about him.



What I didn’t like
•The beginning is really confusing. The first few chapters jumped over a lot of time and it wasn’t done in a way that was easy to understand.
•There were times where this was a little far-fetched. (The lawyer bit especially, when you read it you will know what I mean)
•There are times where there seems to be drama for the sake of drama. The actual story line was good but towards the end I felt a lot of it was unnecessary.
•I really disliked the end. I felt like this awful world was created just for a ‘romance’. Where is the revolution? Where is the future of this world going? I felt like I went through all that pain for nothing.
•There is a moment when the names ‘Jasper’ and’ Dr Cullen’ are next to each other. Jasper Cullen…I do not like it when books do this. I have no idea why there is a reference to Twilight in this book (I know Jasper is not ‘Cullen’ but still it was a little too close for comfort.)

This book is going to turn a lot of heads and I expect a lot to be said about it in the upcoming months. I will be amazed if this book doesn’t kick up a stink. For good or bad reasons I am pretty sure a lot of people are going to hear about this book and like anything controversial it will probably be huge because of it.

If you think you will not be offended then The Glimpse is a quick and engaging read, but it is also far from perfect. If it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, or is something you do not think you will be comfortable with then it is probably best to stay away.
Profile Image for Svea.
389 reviews1 follower
May 2, 2012
When I first read the short introduction of this book I was instantly drawn to it. The idea is great and different from everything that is being sold right now in bookstores.
I was lucky to read an advanced copy and I can honestly say this is one of the greatest, coolest books I have read in a while. It is scary and shocking but at the same time, this might be our future if when don't deal with the problem of excessive pill descriptions. I truly believe that drugs are not always the answer.
As I already stated, I loved the book! Ana might have seemed like a simple girl at the beginning but she was so strong and grew so much as the story went on. I loved her and I truly admire her strength.
The first time I read about Cole in the courtroom I instantly felt attraction towards him (and I wasn't even a character in the book): I somehow knew that these 2 were meant to be together but at the same time I couldn't shake off the feeling that if she'd join Cole, she'd fail Jasper.
But when she found Jasper at the mental hospital I knew that there wasn't much to do anymore. He was gone.
So, you probably understand why I was so heartbroken at the end then. I was hoping they'd have their happily ever after so bad that I woke up at 5 am just to read the book!
I am SO looking forward to the next one! I have a feeling I am going to love that even more!
Profile Image for Rachel Naddeo.
117 reviews
May 4, 2012
4.5 STARS!

To be posted on: www.bookstoconsider.blogspot.com

Claire Merle's debut isn't just an ordinary dystopian novel. Actually it had many surprising and unexpected aspects to it like faith, religion and even a bit of magic. With such an original concept to an ever popular genre, The Glimpse will keep readers captivated until the very last page.

Ana actually reminded me a lot of Under The Never Sky's Aria. Ana, like Aria, lived in the supposed-to-be best society but later finds out that everything she believed in was a lie. In this future everyone who is not genetically "healthy" is banned and must live in the City where Ana may be sent to because she finds out that she is a Sleeper (meaning that one day she will go crazy). Her only chance of not being sent to live with the Crazies is Jasper, a pure guy whom she is supposed to be joined with. But right aftertheir binding, Jasper disappears. Ana's search for Jasper uncovers many lies and truths about their society and about Ana herself...

After reading such a summary you may think that this book is pretty predictable, right?! But you couldn't be more wrong! Merle fills her novel with many twists and turns that will certainly leave readers completely astonished. While reading the first few chapters I had to wonder what the mentioned Glimpse in the book description was all about. When it was finally explained I was utterly surprised and couldn't read the whole novel fast enough. The Glimpse is an enthralling and thought-provoking read.

The characters were all pretty predictable. I liked Ana a lot; for she always tries to do the best for everyone not only herself and she is also really determined when it comes to something she needs to do. Jasper was a bit of a disappointment since I was really expecting him to be something he turned out not be (I know, I'm being mysterious on purpose!). And Cole was just the definition of perfection! And I loved the slow romance.

Merle's novel is actually a really chilling novel. There were some moments in the book that were certainly a bit strong for young readers but, well, they are realistic aspects of a broken society. And I can't forget to mention the pretty cover that caught my eyes instantly. Merle's debut has an intricate plot with many surprising aspects that will please most people. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel to this exciting debut!
2 reviews
February 20, 2012
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of this book and I found it utterly un-put-downable. It is a thought provoking, gripping and twisting tale. I loved the brilliantly drawn scary but totally believable near future world where mental health professionals and pharmaceutical giants rule. But also it really was a story with a heart - of finding self belief and where being true to yourself is the most important thing of all. A really really good read!
Profile Image for Sam.
652 reviews200 followers
April 23, 2012
I'm finding it very hard to sum up this book because of all the thoughts running through my mind. I've been crammed full of dystopian dilemmas and I think I might just explode. The Glimpse is definitely a book you should try out if you want to live in another world for a few hours. Do not be fooled into thinking that this book is a light contemporary by looking at the cover because it's set in one of the most complicated worlds I've ever read about.

So, basically, okay, maybe it's not basic, but I'll attempt to write a basic summary for the book. Ana, a 17-year-old girl, has been living her life thinking she was a Pure, someone who has no chance of having a mental illness. But when she finds out that that there was an error in her DNA test, she thinks her life is over. She could be banished to the land where the 'crazies' live, she could lose everything that meant something to her, she could lose the boy who she's been promised to, Jasper. And when he is abducted, Ana's father claims that he is doing everything he can to find Jasper but it's not enough. Ana sets off on a journey. A dangerous journey to find the boy she's liked for so many years. But in a land of possibilities, will Ana fall for the boy who could help her find Jasper?

And that's just the surface! The book goes into incredible detail with beautifully described scenes and exciting characters.

There's just one thing that I found irritating. The first chapter. The Glimpse just has one of them beginnings that you can't really understand or get into, but it did get better. Around page 50 I just couldn't put it down. I had grown to know the character's personalities and I really wanted to know more about them. Also, some of the dialog did make me want to fall asleep....I did manage to stay awake but I just wish there were less science-talk...I didn't mind some of it but I just think there could have been less.

For me, Ana's relationship with Jasper could have been better, but then again, she might not have met....*drumroll* Cole! Yes, Cole is one of those amazing guys you can't get out of your head. Oh, and not to fear! There are no love-triangles. Which I'm sure many readers don't wait.

So think to yourself: Do I have too much time on my hands? Do I need an interesting book that can keep me entertained in the space of that time? Do I want a unique dystopian? Do I want a book with a guy that is totally amazing and awesome? THEN, this book is for you.

Overall, The Glimpse is an exciting new addition to the genre that I can't wait for you guys to read and enjoy. I'm giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 because I did feel lost at times and wish that some of the details and dialog weren't so complicated. Claire Merle has done a great job at delivering a book that is different and will stand out for both it's gorgeous cover and chilling plot!

Read more of my reviews at Falling Books!
Profile Image for Hilda.
200 reviews143 followers
June 13, 2012
I was confused when I first read it. I’m still confused now that I’ve finished it. The Glimpse is a very different take on dystopian genre. Sanity has never been deeply questioned, and people in dystopian worlds usually struggle with physical enemy like war, famine, or lack of natural resources. The Glimpse shows a frightening possibility of economic collapse and how government discriminates people by their DNA tests. I have to say that the idea is very original and it held such amazing premise.

However, there are parts in this book that bugged me. I didn’t understand the world. I had to restart reading it after forty pages because I couldn’t understand the story. Is it just me or the dialogues are really complicated? Sometimes I just hope that the characters would say the reason or fact out loud so I could understand what they mean. The answers in this book are implied, not stated. Sometimes I like it, but most of the time, I was simply lost.

With all the adventures and troubles Ana faced, I should have felt some kind of connection toward her. However, I wasn’t deeply emotionally invested with her. I know she’s smart, but most of the time she has a knack of not thinking ahead. Ana was instantly drawn to Cole, the main interest of this story, and I found their instant romance hard to believe. Maybe they’re meant to be, just like ‘the glimpse’, some sort of prophecy that Cole had seen in his dream, showed. However, I think the time is too short for Ana to hopelessly fall in love with Cole. I also think it very strange that the title of this book is ‘The Glimpse’, since in my opinion we are given very little information about the glimpse. It wouldn’t hurt if Jasper could have a bigger part in this book too.

I usually avoid books which involve mental institution since I always feel sorry for the patients. The mental institution in this book is horrible. I hate the absurd, crazy, and ridiculous treatment they give to the patients. The doctors and nurses are supposed to help, not making the patients worse. It’s impossible to lead a normal life after you’ve experienced living there, just like Ana discovered later.

For me, The Glimpse is a take it-or-leave it book. I like it but there are some flaws I just can’t ignore. If you’re interested in psychology, then you may want to give this book a go. I like reading Ana’s deep thinking, and she’s certainly a very interesting character to watch!

She wondered if what she was doing proved more than any suicidal mother or DNA tests that she belonged among the Crazies. The deceit, the danger, her curiosity – surely a normal Pure girl would be running for her life right now? But Ana was still there. Because, beneath her determination to help Jasper, there was also the fact that she’d been waiting years to take control of her future. Because like a wooden puppet in a fairy tale, when she’d ventured into the City, the strange, dark place had brought her to life.
Profile Image for Teri Terry.
Author 24 books2,043 followers
June 13, 2012
OK I think 4.5 stars. Why won't they let me give half stars?!
What I really liked about The Glimpse - I didn't predict the plot. At all. And I'm someone who does that a lot... I'm annoying to sit next to in movies, cos I always guess (er... out loud) what will happen next. So reading something where I wasn't doing that was FAB.
Well, there were a few times when I thought, not sure I believe Ana could do stuff she did. But so what? The Man is always saying to me when I'm watching things that I need to 'suspend disbelief'. That is the only reason I'd take off half a star.
Just a comment... I know some people have been offended by the Pures vs. Crazies thing. To me, part of the point of Dystopian fiction is to highlight these kinds of things. So - YES, it is mad to categorise people based on predisposition to mental illness. It is awful.
But I think that is kind of the point: to make us think about this. So i'm OK with that.
Profile Image for Micalea Smeltzer.
Author 77 books4,883 followers
April 20, 2012
The Glimpse is an eerie look at a future that seems just around the corner. I found myself captivated by the story that Claire Merle has weaved. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because at times I found myself lost. I wish there had been more background information. Other than that it was an intriguing story that left me breathless and wanting more. I would recommend this book and will eagerly devour the sequel. (Because there better be a sequel) I thought Ana's evolution throughout the book was very real. She really came into her own person. I absolutely love Cole and maybe (Okay, definitely) have a little crush on him.
Profile Image for Mary.
196 reviews
April 26, 2012
The title of this book is "Glimpse" so you would think that a lot of the novel would elaborate on what the "Glimpse" is, but this novel is really about a futuristic society where pharmaceutical companies have created their own fiefdom using the rest of us a lab rats. The author took headline news and created a what-if that is scarily possible.
Profile Image for Sarah.
226 reviews369 followers
July 22, 2012
This review is also posted at Smitten over Books. Actual rating: 4.5.

'We're linked,' she said. 'We could lose each other a thousand times and the universe would still bring us back together. Will you wait for me?'

I was entirely captivated by The Glimpse.

It's the year 2041 and many catastrophes had happened. There have been the 2018 Collapse, the Global Depression and Petrol Wars that lead Britain to close its borders. The Mental Health Care system has so much power over the society and people are now being classified into two, the Pures and the Crazies. The Pures live in the Community with comfort and luxury while the Crazies has to live with the disarray of the City.

Ana is the daughter of Ashber Barber, the man behind the invention of the Pure test. She is a Pure or so she thought. When her father was accused of manipulating her test results, she was branded as a Big3 Sleeper. Only a binding could save her from being thrown out to the City. But Jasper the man she's being bound to has troubles. He knew something big, something that could shatter the credibility of the Pure test and weaken the hold of the entire Board of Psychiatric Testing and Evaluation. That's why Jasper was kidnapped and Ana has only 4 weeks to figure out how to find Jasper or they will never be bound and she will be shunned from the Community.

That's how it all started. Ana was intent on getting Jasper back because she knows he is in trouble. So she sneaked outside of the Community and her adventure started.

The Glimpse reminded me of previous dystopian books I've read. It reminded me of Matched by Ally Condie because of the Binding Ceremony. It also reminded me of Starters by Lissa Price because of its technicality. But in my humble opinion, The Glimpse is superior. Mostly because The Glimpse plays to my love for psychology.

The appeal for me of The Glimpse can be pointed out to its concept. I love the idea behind it all. That because the world is in shambles, the pyschologists and intellectuals will step forward and try to control the crimes and the escalating turmoil by controlling people's action. By mapping out every mental health disorders, they could now classify people into who's harmful and who's not. They could now control people because they believe they fully understand how the brain functions. They give psychotic medications to children and even neonates as a form of prophylaxis or preventive treatment without regard to the debilitating side-effects. At a young age, they become dependent to it and without it, withdrawal symptoms occur to the point of depression and suicidal tendencies. Isn't that positively chilling?

The characters are also part of the charm of The Glimpse. I just like Ana so much. She is intelligent, brave, and compassionate. She had to endure a lot of things. She had to live with her cold, calculating father and has been brought up to lies and deceptions. She had even forgotten what lead to her mother suicide because of the layers of lies her father coached her to tell.

In times where emotions has to be estimated and always reigned in for fear of being taken away by the Psych Watch, being in the City is like freedom to Ana. Yes, she was scared and wary but you could really see that her role was to shake things and to start changing the system.

The only thing that slightly bothered me was the "Glimpse" thing. I just felt that it was the carrots in the soup. Just floating around but I guess we will have more explanation about this in the next installment.

I could go on and on but this review would then be very long. The Glimpse is definitely something. It had me take down notes like I'm on cracked. It made me think so much and even though it's highly improbable for now to have a society like that, it's possible that in the future this could happen. It all really boils down to power and how this power could be very corrupting.

The Glimpse is definitely something. Oh wait, I've said that already. Just reiterating. This is definitely a must-buy and a must-read, people.
Profile Image for Lisa.
257 reviews169 followers
June 16, 2012
Originally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me

With such a beautiful cover, I expected the story to have the same impact on me and it most definitely did. The Glimpse speaks of a world that marginalises and alienates those who are "ill", determined by a DNA test created by Ariana Barber's father. When discovered that her Pure status is an error, she's given one month to marry Jasper Taurell, otherwise she'll be thrown out with the Crazies and separated from the only life she's ever known. Then Jasper tells her he has a big secret, one big enough to kill and die for, and soon mysteriously disappears. She's forced to find him before her one month is up and discovers dark and magnificent things about her world in the process...

The romance in The Glimpse sold it for me. You'll find out who he is when you read the book, but Cole made me swoon like no other. He and Ana don't exactly meet on friendly terms and there's a constant shroud of mystery surrounding him, but he's a mature MAN who will make your heart flutter with his charm and strength. Cole's intelligent, artistic and all kinds of caring too! You'll find that there are multiple groups of people within this society and their motivations and end goals are a complete secret. We don't know where Cole exactly stands so there's always a bit of apprehension when it comes to giving our complete hearts to him. Nevertheless, he's an amazing love interest that will make the sequel very exciting. The book ends on quite the cliffhanger, so I can't wait to see how the story ends!

For a dystopian book, it has a perfect amount of suspense and action. From Jasper's secret missions to Cole's involvement with the Enlightenment Project, you'll be left confused and dying to uncover the truths that are being concealed from all directions. The government is obviously corrupt and we see the stages of this unfold before our eyes with even more shocking betrayals being added to the mix as well. Ana's father is a puzzle and we can't crack him even when the book ends. Throughout The Glimpse, it's very unclear whether he's on Ana's side or not, and whether he's guilty of...many bad things. There's also a story behind Ana's mother's death and… Guh. Merle misleads us and takes us through so many twists, you'll feel like you're walking a tightrope! I was tense and suspicious throughout, a true testament to Merle's great storytelling and building of suspense.

As much as Merle develops her characters, her world is paid equal attention to. It's 2041 and there are 304 catalogued mental illnesses. I really enjoyed exploring the two split societies, a perfect and Pure gated community and an unpredictable "outside world". Jasper's secret is related to a big conspiracy theory and it eventually becomes a fast-paced pursuit for the truth. We question, not only the reliability of the government but also, Jasper's mission. Could it all be a wild goose chase? Oh how Merle keeps us on our toes! I loved the pacing and development of the story, and had only issues in the middle section where it slowed down a little and was difficult to read (emotionally tough!). Apart from that, a brilliant story.

I'm telling you, there are useful clues and red herrings all over this book. You most likely won't be able to tell them apart so Merle will pick at your brain to her heart's content and leave you gasping by the end of it! I'm desperate to know how the characters will go on after the big final scene, and see how the consequences of Jasper's secret affects the society. It was almost twist after twist and entire situations would change with every revelation. Nothing in this book is clear cut black or white so the characters really struggle to decide which side they're playing for. Ana and Cole are fantastic leading characters with sizzling chemistry that will make The Glimpse even more entertaining and engaging than it already is! I have very high hopes for book 2 and I'm keen to finally get all of the answers. At the end of the day, The Glimpse had me feeling confused, angry and fuzzy in cyclic phases and I just adore the mystery of this book.
Profile Image for Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}.
196 reviews153 followers
April 25, 2012
Actual Rating: 2.5

The Glimpse is my first ARC, but I promise not to be biased.

The Glimpse seems is the odd cousin of Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky and Delirium by Lauren Oliver. The plot is different but as a lot of similarities.

Awaken and The Glimpse:
Maddie and Ana are both the daughters of the men who ruined the world (either by making the test to decide whether you are Crazy or Pure or the software in Awaken). Both run of with men who are part of a rebellion.

Delirium and The Glimpse:
In Delirium, love is considered a disease. In The Glimpse, strong feelings are considered a disease. You are strong-willed, something is wrong with you. You are quiet and soft-spoken, something is wrong with you. As with Awaken, the main character of Delirium and The Glimpse both ran off with rebellious men.

This is about the extent of the similarities though.

The plot intrigued me but I could see how it would offend some readers. The Crazies are those with mental illness. The Big 3, as they call them in the book, are depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety. People who know someone with those illnesses may feel uncomfortable with the book.

Disclaimer:
Religious people may also find this hard to read. Religion is banned and anyone who worships it is Crazy. This is not uncommon in newer dystopias though.

Characters:
Ana starts off less than favorable. More than once, I got annoyed at her for doing some really stupid things but, thankfully, she grows as a character. What made me really like her was that she noticed how pathetic she was.

Jasper made me want to tear my hair out from the moment I met him. He was annoying – really annoying. You feel a bit bad, though, when he get’s tortured but that couldn’t make me like him.

Cole wasn’t anything special. Honestly, I couldn’t find anything swoon worthy about him. He was bland. I really didn’t care what happened to him.

My favorite character was Lila. She was funny, cute, and reminds me a lot of my friend. Ana was very good and comes in as a close second. Her brother Nate comes in as third.

Plot:
While the plot wasn’t exactly original, it was entertaining at times. The beginning dragged a bit and took me a while really get into it. The middle was very good though and made up for the dragging beginning. My favorite was probably when she admitted herself to the mental facility.

After that, the plot started dragging again and I found myself skimming the last thirty pages or so. The last fifteen pages were a tad more exciting but still not enough to really grab me.

I really wish Merle went deeper into the illnesses because I would have really loved to learn more about them. Another really fun thing I wish Merle will do it make a small prequel with Lila or Ana’s father! I would buy that in a heart beat.

Minor Spoiler ahead

The insta love between Ana and Cole was really disappointing. The moment he entered the scene I knew how it would end which was annoying. If the romance was cut completely from the book, I might have enjoyed it more. But of course, you can’t do that in a YA book…

Spoiler Ends

The paranormal aspect really took me for surprise. I had no idea that would happen but I don’t really think it fits in with the story.

What I liked/disliked:
Liked:

Character development
Interesting Plot
The love triangle wasn’t done badly

Disliked:

Most Characters were weak and or boring
The plot was not original
Insta love
Cole
Jasper

In conclusion:
The Glimpse has flaws, but I think Merle has potential. I’m not sure if I’ll read the next installment because the ending didn’t make me wonder. I recommend borrowing it from your local library.

————————————————————————

Favorite Character: Lila

Favorite Quote: N/A

Find this review and more at Domus Libri!
Profile Image for Kevin.
175 reviews31 followers
January 4, 2013
Was this suppose to be a psychological thriller with a hint of romance?

When you create a society such as Merle has done with The Glimpse, you have to make sure it makes sense and could actually happen. I don't care if this is the last place to live in the whole world, which by the way it's not, there is no way people are going to be segregated for potentially having a mental disorder. First of all, I don't think there are that many people out there that literally have no chance of having or developing some kind of disorder, plus those "crazies" would literally not let it happen, I'd know, since I'd def be one of them.

Sometimes when a book has a poor idea to it, or it's not executed properly the characters can save it by being interesting or special in a way, in this book, I could honestly care less what happened to all of the characters, especially the main one. She was said to be a "sleeper" of one of the big three diseases, which basically meant she was going to get it at some point, yet she went around calling the people not in the pure society, crazy. That just screamed hypocrite to me, as if she wasn't accepting what she was. Also she kept trying to be a hero to impress her new boy toy, and she just failed time after time..

I know I'm being bitter, but I just didn't care for this book, it reminded me way to much of Matchedand I might of actually enjoyed the first of that series more than this one. This was just a supposedly more realistic and harsh version of Matched. The romance developed eerily similar. With the main character being bonded/matched with someone she's known for awhile, then developing a school girl crush on a rebel guy who wanted to see forth the changes of society. The societies were even similar with a decidedly large group of outcasts living outside the privileged part of the town/area.

I did like the concept of the enlightenment project, and I would be interested to know more about them, but I doubt I will be reading more of this series.

When i finally got to the end, which I was surprised about due to my immense boredom at certain parts, there was like no conclusion! This was clearly not a stand alone book, since...pretty much nothing was solved and a compromise, which is broken 5 pages later, is made that does little for the past 400 pages I just read. Ugh.

Of note*** my friend, who is a girl, read this and adored it. So maybe it just wasn't for me..yeah I'll go with that theory.
Profile Image for Ally.
203 reviews32 followers
April 21, 2012
When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was intrigued and worried: intrigued by this new dystopian concept and worried that I would be offended or put off by the way that people predisposed to mental illnesses are written about. In this future, anyone with genetic predisposition to any mental illness is not Pure: they are Crazies. And they are not allowed to live near the Pures. Ana is pure, or at least she thought she was until her retest revealed an anomaly. It's all she ever wanted: to live in the Community, to bind with Jasper. But when Jasper disappears, the she goes to great lengths to find him make her reevaluate her life in the Community, and the very society she lives in. The way that Crazies are treated, especially in horrible facilities like Three Mills, are reminiscent of treatment of mentally ill individuals in years past. Infused with British slang and locations that Anglophile teens (and adults!) will love, this book is fast-paced, thrilling, and important. Though some parts seem a bit far-fetched, including the not very fleshed out Project and the way the actual Glimpse is described, the justified indignation of the characters make up for it: these emotions ring true. Our teens need to read and talk about the stigma surrounding mental illness, and this is a good start.
1 review
September 26, 2011
I couldn't put The Glimpse down - it was so exciting.... You will love this book, read it and see!!!
Profile Image for Sandy.
949 reviews15 followers
May 4, 2012
I’m thinking The Glimpse deserves 4 stars. Let me start by saying that it’s possible (highly likely) that there is quite a symbolic message with this book. Perhaps Claire Merle is commenting on drug companies and how we never really know what it is that we’re taking, or the food industry and how the average person doesn’t understand the chemicals and such used in food production that we’re taking into our bodies. Perhaps it’s nothing more in depth than a message about following blindly after the government and not questioning the structure of society. And of course there’s the possibility that it’s about none of these things or all of them at the same time. Honestly, this may make me sound completely ignorant of me, but I really don’t care what the deeper message is. I enjoyed this book for what it was: a girl who thought she knew what she wanted from her future, was surprised to find that everything she understood as “truths” were lies, and then seeks to forge a future of her own making.

I read this book while I was at the beach this last weekend and I read it pretty quickly. I even tempted car sickness as I continued to read on the trip back home. I was rooting for Jasper and Ana until Ana met Cole. Typically I don’t change sides in the middle of a book, I pick which character I’m rooting for and I stick with him or her until the end. But there’s a first time for everything. And the saying “you can never go home again” comes to mind…Jasper of course would be home. Things would never be the same after his abduction despite the appearance of Cole, so...changing sides doesn't feel like such a betrayal.

It appears that this book is going to be quite controversial. I’ve read (only briefly because of the ridiculousness of some of the arguments against this book) some reviews on Goodreads. One review was from someone who hasn’t even read the book. I’m not trying to get into negativity here on my blog and I’m not trying to “feed the trolls,” but …People, seriously?? It’s FICTION! If anything, it’s a story about how all of the issues being used as an argument against this book are in fact points the book itself is trying to make. The only reason I’m even addressing this is if the reason you might hold yourself back from reading this book is because of the use of terms such as “crazies” or perhaps you take issue with the science associated with this book (or lack thereof) then just think that if the science for preventing mental disorders, or any disorder for that matter, is out there (currently anyway) then we would already be taking advantage of that. So tell yourself this: “This book is a work of fiction. I do not have to analyze every detail. I can sit back and enjoy a story just for the sake of a story. And perhaps the author actually has a message against what this appears to be, but I won’t know until I read it for myself.” And then plunge ahead. If you’re not one of those people who can do that, then by all means, this is not the book for you. No one is twisting your arm to read anything you don’t want to, but please be respectful enough not to review a book you haven’t read.

Now, enough of all that. I enjoyed this book and will be coming back for more. So there. I hope you check out The Glimpse by Claire Merle. And I hope you find yourself able to push yourself into worlds you never dreamed possible. Happy reading.
Profile Image for Chantaal.
898 reviews90 followers
May 8, 2012
Originally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.

The Glimpse is an odd little book. Under the dystopian genre, you can do just about anything you want to create a dystopian world. Make love a disease? Sure. Have people die at age 20/25? Why not! Create a religious state? Go for it! But you have to be careful, well-researched, and most importantly, conscientious when you pick a topic that is sensitive to many readers. When She Woke treated religion very well, presenting both good and bad sides without feeling like the author was talking down to the reader from a soapbox. Delirium did a good job in showing how the heroine is shaped by the dystopian environment she grew up in, as did Wither.

Sadly, The Glimpse doesn’t do exactly what it should; it simply beats the reader over the head with “crazies” and “pures” and mental asylums as we follow Ana’s journey. Like most heroines in dystopian YA lately, she’s grown up with an idea of how the world should work, and that should be enough to forgive her for the way she looks down on those with mental illness.

But it isn’t.

Ana is an incredibly frustrating character to follow. From the start, we’re with her as her whole world shatters when she’s told the truth about her mother: that she was a crazy, and Ana was a carrier as well. Except…nothing happens to her. Not until her future husband is kidnapped and she suddenly makes the decision to leave her gated community for the dirty, crazy streets of London. Despite her adventures on her own, from meeting and falling for a supposed terrorist to admitting herself into a horrifying mental asylum, Ana doesn’t seem to grow. Her experiences open her eyes to what the world is really like, yes, but as far as I felt, she never really has a light bulb moment. She doesn’t really change, and that’s not fun to read.

I’d talk about the secondary characters, expect none of them really stuck in my mind or stood out. Jasper was bland and Cole, the supposed terrorist she falls in love with, wasn’t any better.

As for the plot, I couldn’t care one bit. It didn’t move along as fast as it could have, and everything crawls to a stop when Ana ends up in a mental asylum for reasons I won’t go into because they might be considered spoilers. The whole mental asylum section…I have a problem with abuse perpetrated simply for the sake of a) making the character suffer, and b) being shocking.

And after all she goes through, does Ana even think ‘hey, that mental asylum was awful, maybe I should do something about it’, or I don’t know, think something like that? Nope.

That was my main problem with the book — for all that Ana goes through, it doesn’t seem to change her as a character. She sees the world in a different light and can’t stand her situation anymore, but she’s still the same boring character she is at the start of the novel, and I didn’t care less how the novel ended, just that it did.
Profile Image for Kristin.
937 reviews100 followers
May 27, 2012
4.5/5 stars!
What an amazing debut novel for Claire Merle. I wasn't expecting much and immediately I'm drawn into the action. There's no slow world building, the reader is hanging on for dear life. The setting is London in the not too distant future. The world has been decimated by both the collapse of the economy and the petrol wars. Borders are closed in almost all countries and London has been set up as city with "communities" surrounding it. In the communities is where civilized "Pures" live safely and luxuriously while all the others fend for themselves in the city. I can't go too much into the story because, like I said, from the beginning it just takes off and you're on a ride! I seriously could NOT put this book down.

I can't really classify this book. It's not a light read. There are a lot of twists, lies and plotting going on that you have to keep track of. The gritty parts might be too "real" for those YA readers 17 and under. But also in here is a story of what love really feels like and what you'll do to have that love. Or what you'll overcome to be the person you want to be. It's also about believing and having faith. But mostly it's just a great ride of a book...

My only gripe about the book was that sometimes the story went a wee bit too fast for me. It was almost like a paragraph or a sentence or two was missing. This was the unedited proof I read from Faber and Faber through NetGalley so maybe it is slightly changed in the final publication.

Oh, and wow... absolutely amazing... I'm talking about some of the reviews I've just seen here about this book. I'm so glad I wait to read reviews until after I read a book. I get a kick out of people who can go on and on about how important their opinion is in relation to a book. Yeah, I get it, you're offended. At least read the book. One thing I will say, derogatory language/slang used in the book shouldn't offend. It is what it is; it's FICTION in a world that doesn't exist. You want to talk derogatory language, look into our history, heck, look at old Bugs Bunny cartoons. And yes, history does repeat itself, whether we want it to or not. I was hardly offended and I will admit that I am clinically diagnosed with 2 of the Big3 discussed in the book, in runs in my family. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it...

I hate drawing attention to those types of reviews but I couldn't let them pass. This book deserves to be read and done with an open mind. A mind that remembers that this is a piece of fiction. Ms. Merle gives a very nice Q&A on her website that can answer any questions about how she came up with the idea for the story.

Speaking of which, there is a second and final book. Tentatively the book is called The Fall. After the ending of The Glimpse, I need to know when it's coming out!!! Like, as in, it better be coming out VERY SOON!!!

Thank you Faber & Faber/NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this compelling book.
Profile Image for Randa.
126 reviews25 followers
June 22, 2012
Rating: 4.5/5
The cover:
This cover is just pure. It is well connected to the story and it represents the love that develops between the two main characters and the barriers they had between them.

The storyline:
This is the first dystopian YA book I’ve ever read and I was lucky enough to have it as my first. In three words: it was amazing.
It is hard to summarize what happens in the story because there is so much going on at the same time. And I’ll probably just spoil the book for you, since I’m in love with this book I won't be able to contain myself and I’ll just spill it all out. So, this time, I’m going directly to what I liked and what I didn’t but before that here’s one sentence which a quote actually from the book that summarizes the story very well :
Things are not what they seem.

What I loved:
- First of all I should thank Claire for the amazing story and how unique it is. I wished I was living in that time and place. The story is so alive and full of emotions.
- I thought the concept of human beings being separated according to their genes was amazing.
- During the story, we get to read from different point of views. I thought it was suitable for this book. This way we could know what was going on with each important character during the same period time or just after it (Something happens with one character and in the next chapter we get to hear what happened with the other one just after the previous chapter or at the same time, depending on the characters him/herself).
- I loved the characters, all of them (except the Wardens, Ashby, Cusher and the whole Three Mills staff to be honest. I thought they were predators).
- I loved the futuristic setting where everyone have an internet connection and have interfaces and no one used normal PCs or phones. It was pure pleasure to me ^_^.
- The relationships between the characters kept going on and twisting until I didn’t know who was telling the truth. That kept me reading until the last page!
- This book is full of mystery and is somehow thrilling. It has death, murder, torture, betrayal, love, fraud and many more. It’s like a whole unique world that Claire created and it kept only getting better.
- I appreciate the London atmosphere in the book. I kept imagining the surroundings (thanks to the books I read about and set in London ^^) and the characters’ accents while reading.
- I’m not a romantic person whatsoever, but the romance in The Glimpse made me wish I had someone like Cole. The romance was clean, slowly developing and safe. I appreciated that.
- May I say the ending was so great in a cliffhanger way that I kept re-reading the last three chapters looking for answers I didn’t find. Which made me wonder, is there a sequel? *praying for a sequel*

What I disliked:
- The story at the beginning was slow paced, for me. Now that could simply be because of how I kept reading few pages while I was suppose to study for my finals. I just felt things started too slow, but maybe it’s because I love the action so much I can’t wait!

The characters:
Ariana Barber (a.k.a Ana): is the main protagonist. A 16 years old at the beginning of the book, the age in which she was diagnosed as a BIG 3 sleeper. Then she’s 17 and one month away from turning 18, in the rest of the book. So all of the story happens during that month or so. Ana is simply smart, beautiful, stubborn in a good way and yet friendly, nice and understanding. I think in all the books I’ve read by far, she’s my favorite protagonist. This is a character you could count on if you were alone with in a deserted place full of Zombies (She hates zombies, by the way ;)).
Jasper Taurell: is a pure boy that Ana befriended when she first moved to the Community. She fell for him and then they were bound waiting for their joining when she turned 18. (Joining is technically marriage. Except there’s no option for a divorce once joined). He somewhat bothered me at the beginning of the book like something was wrong with him. And then I understood why. He is handsome and smart but he has this feeling about him that I don’t like. Oh! and at the end of the book, I couldn’t believe what I read! Sorry, Jasper, I just don’t like you nor do I sympathize with you.
Tamsin: is the long lost friend of Ana. They’ve been friends since they were fourteen but seven months before Ariana’s bounding, Tamsin disappeared. She’s later discovered by Ana and yet again, they get separated.
Lila: is a girl living in the City (where the “Crazies” live). She and Ana meet when Ana goes to the City searching for… someone. During the story they become friends.
Cole: is supposed to be a terrorist and a suspect in three different cases. Ana helps him after knowing he’s Lila’s brother. Towards the end, a love sparkles between them. He’s strong, determent, sometimes scary, intelligent and loves music.
Ashby Barber: Ana’s father. I don’t think I ever hated any character’s father as much as I hate him right now. He’s a puzzle to be solved, yet it is obvious he’s ignorant when it comes to others’ lives and selfish. So selfish.
Other characters worth mentioning: Nate, Cole’s brother. Jack Dormant, a Warden working for Ashby.

Conclusion:
This book is essential to any dystopian reader. You won’t be disappointed.
I have a strong feeling this book is going to be my favorite read in 2012, and so far, it is!
I should thank Faber & Faber for granting me the opportunity to read the book. Thank you.
Profile Image for Soumi.
Author 1 book378 followers
June 21, 2012
In a distant future, England is divided into Pures and Crazies based on the result of a DNA test. When an error was detected in Ana’s result, she was given a second chance, a privilege of living in the society only if she joins a pure boy before her 18th birthday. After three years, finally she got joining invitation from a Pure boy Jasper, but few days before her joining Jasper gone missing and her world nearly shattered. Anna decided to take matters on her hand and sneaks out of society’s boundary to find Jasper. The more she got closer to find Jasper, some devastating truths unravel about her family, her society and those she loves. She also learns to love the way she never loved before.

The Glimpse is a compelling debut of author Clare Merle. Well written and a promising plot line, I found myself attracted to this novel from the moment I have read the book blurb. Not your traditional dystopian, it has many unexpected elements. I bet the author did many scientific researches on the book and brings out every single detail.

Raised By Lies

I can imagine the blue print of a perfect society of futuristic England, where the Pures live inside a safe and secured wall of city; the crazies are struggling with day to day’s life outside the city wall. The society runs by few influential and powerful people, and Anna’s father is one of them; A very complicated man who discovered the Pure test and cares only for his reputation, but eventually we finds out a softer side of him, although his true motives are not clear. As I progressed in the story, I was thrust inside seemingly perfect but a cruel world, where everything is darkness, torture and pain.

As a protagonist Ana is very strong, stubborn and determine once she set her mind on something, also concerned about welfare of others. I liked her courage when she set of a journey to find Jasper. Anna is a character no one can hate, trust me on this. Believing Jasper has been taken by an unauthorized organization who strictly opposes the Pure test, investigations led Anna to a guy named Cole, an ex-member of this organization. With help of Cole Anna begins to solve the mystery behind Jasper’s abduction.

Transformed By Love

Cole is absolutely charming and lovable guy, always supportive to Ana. A vision of The Glimpse to the future led him to Ana and hope for a bright tomorrow. Presence of Cole throughout the novel felt so real and heartwarming to me that I wanted to jump into pages and hug him.
On the other side Jasper has less presence but he has been mentioned many times, but his character played a very important role. He wanted to be with Ana despite of her defects but as I said his tureself remains in mystery. I was expecting to know more about his character, but hopefully we get to know real Jasper in next book.

Bound To Destiny ?

Romance is slow burning. Ana finds her heart beats for Cole, where she is promised to Jasper. The way she loved Cole and cared for Jasper, even endangering her own life, I can't help but adore her. Who is the lucky one, she is destined to be with, oh boy! that's a huge cliffhanger.

You may think that you can guess the whole story from the official book blurb, but let me assure you, it’s definitely not what you think. The official synopsis is just a side of the actual story and a very subtle attempt to capture reader’s attention which proved successful. The original novel contains so many unpredictable twists and turns which you don’t wanna miss, trust me on this.
Profile Image for Mitchii.
802 reviews256 followers
April 28, 2012
My interest in this book fluctuated the whole time. From bored, disbelieved to fascinated then lost. But all things considered I think The Glimpse was still a decent read. It didn’t excite me like other dystopian books I have read before but honestly, there were times that it was really engaging but I’m completely saddened that it did not sustain it.

I was about to take the issue of how the book incorporated mental illness seriously. But just like love is an illness in Delirium, I’m giving this one a free pass. Even though my history in psychology is not in the clinical side, I just couldn’t entirely pretend that I’m clueless. Diagnosis of mental illness is more complex; there are lots of thing to consider. The book however generalizes this that for me felt different and in the process loses my strong prenotion. This is just me, but I would have preferred if it uses the already existing categories of mental disorder instead. In the book, it classified schizophrenia, depression (mood/affective) and anxiety as the big three. But after I finished the book all these things in my head had taken a backseat; especially after I found out about the ‘glimpse.’ Then it mentioned shaman and the spirit world that completely removed the crease in between my eyebrows and all those serious thoughts. I'm somehow relieved. Another thing is that story itself slammed down the idea of a test identifying which are pures which are not (I’m also not comfortable with the term ‘crazies’) But all in all, the way it handled the subject was one of the major factors why I find it less entertaining.

Now going back, the story was passable. Ana the main heroine was daughter of a famous geneticist Ashby Barber who also one of the people behind the pure test. Then it was found out that she’s not actually pure and realized that her father altered her test result. In the long run, we found out what her father role in the grander scheme of things. And some other secrets about their government. And I must say that part where I was really interested.

It also reminded me of some other books, like Delirium and Matched. The binding reminded me of the matching procedure in Matched. And because of that I can’t help comparing the characters from that book to this one. Jasper reminds me of Xander. And Cole, yes, you guessed it right; he’s kinda like Ky for me. Like him, Cole opened a lot of secret doors to their society. The ugly truths. If you follow the pattern (did I mention it’s a love triangle?) you probably have a hunch who she chose. So no denying that I liked the romance (I’m hopeless romantic what can I say.) That’s also one of those times that I enjoyed. But that said this made the characters tad unoriginal to me.

It was a fine read. It offers nothing new. However, I think the idea of a society that focuses on mental health was interesting. It just that the execution failed to impress me. Needless to say, to those who love dystopian/romance books I think this will suit your palate.

**Thanks Netgalley and Faber & Faber for the eARC**
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,687 reviews1,266 followers
August 20, 2013
(Source: I received a paperback copy of this book as a birthday gift.)
17-year-old Ana lives in a society split into ‘crazies’ and ‘pures’ – those who have a genetic predisposition to mental health problems, and those who do not.
Ana lives as a pure, and was shocked when she discovered at the age of 15 that she was in fact not a pure; that her mother had committed suicide, and she was in fact a carrier of a genetic predisposition for mental illness.

After some bending of the rules, Ana needs to be joined (married) to a pure before her 18th birthday if she wishes to continue living as a pure. When the boy who she is to be joined to – Jasper is kidnapped, she knows that she has to risk everything to try and save him, even if this involves a trip into crazy town, or she may just end up there permanently.
Can Ana rescue Jasper? Is there more to the testing of ‘pures’ than Ana realises? How deeply is her geneticist father involved in this mess? And why was Jasper kidnapped in the first place?


I enjoyed this book, but I did notice some discrepancies in the story.

Ana was an okay character. I understood what she was going through most of the time, but I also felt that she had some pretty dangerous plans, and would go from being totally confident in her abilities one moment, to being totally in despair over the way things were going. Admittedly this might have been done on purpose to show that maybe concerns over Ana’s mental health were not unfounded, but I really don’t think so.

I liked the storyline in this book, although I didn’t expect certain things that happened. I did find a couple of flaws though; firstly when we are initially told that mental health problem genes are always dominant – and are then told that there are carriers – sorry but that is wrong, if a gene is dominant it is always expressed, which mean that a carrier will also have the disease – i.e.; there are no carriers who are not affected (please Claire Merle check your genetics if you’re going to use them in your plotline). And secondly, when a video is shown in which Ana recognises herself, but no-one else does. I’m sorry, but considering all the wonderful technology that this society has, there is no way that Ana wouldn’t have been recognised, which would actually have made things worse.

There was some romance in this book, but it wasn’t the kind that made you swoon or made your heart beat fast, which was a shame as it became a major part of the storyline.

I did feel that there were some slow parts in the middle of this book, but I did still want to keep on reading, even if it was just to find out what happened at the end. I wouldn’t say that this was compulsive reading though.

I thought the ending to this one was alright, although it did leave us hanging a bit. I’ll definitely be reading the second book to find out how Ana’s story ends.
Overall; an enjoyable dystopian, but not without its flaws.
7 out of 10.
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