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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  3,623 ratings  ·  517 reviews
In one moment,
it is over.

In one moment
it is gone.

The morning grows
thin, grey
and our lives—
how they were—
have vanished.

Our lives have
when I walk in
on Lizzie
my sister

holding a shotgun.

Twelve year old girl Hope's life is turned upside down when her older sister Lizzie becomes an elective mute and is institutionalized after trying to kill herself.

With raw and haunting w
Hardcover, 487 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (first published May 26th 2010)
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Melancholy Depends on her sensitivity to certain issues/how mature she is. I don't believe in choosing reading material on age alone, personally, but I will say …moreDepends on her sensitivity to certain issues/how mature she is. I don't believe in choosing reading material on age alone, personally, but I will say that this one contains heavy themes of attempted suicide, death, dysfunctional family dynamics, and some <spoiler> sexual abuse. </spoiler>

If she can handle these things, I say go for it. :)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,623 ratings  ·  517 reviews

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May 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Glimpse is the third Carol Lynch Williams book I’ve read, and my first experience with her verse. I had suspected from the eloquently spare style of The Chosen One and Miles From Ordinary that the author would handle verse effectively, and that theory was borne out by the pared back, sharp poetry used to tell the story in Glimpse.

It’s abundantly clear that Lynch Williams isn’t afraid of tackling complex, even controversial topics, having covered polygamy, child abuse and mental illness
Schizanthus Nerd
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: content-warnings
This is a tough book to read. Important, but painful. Lizzie, Hope’s older sister, has been hospitalised after a suicide attempt. She’s not talking so no one knows why she did it. Well, almost no one.

Hope can’t understand what was causing her sister so much pain and she’s at a loss when her sister’s psychiatrist seeks her insight. It doesn’t help that their mother is doing everything in her power to silence both of her daughters.
makes a person
keep their lips pressed
tight together.
I know
Emily May
Dec 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2012, poetry

I have been a fan of Carol Lynch Williams' books for a while now but, though I think Glimpse is a decent story, I still believe it to be the weakest I've read so far.

I would be the first to say that the author has a fantastic talent for getting inside the mind of her protagonist and dragging the reader with her along a tumultuous and usually painful journey. Williams' books are all about the characters, the relationships, the emotions and the darkest depths of the human mind. They are not pr
Morgan F
I'm not a big fan of verse novels. The only exception was Sold by Patricia McCormick. That is, until now. I still don't like the fact that this book was written in free verse, but I was able to get past that and enjoy the story underneath.

Glimpse is about 12-year-old Hope and what happened after she found her older sister, Liz, in the bathroom with a gun in her hand. Liz becomes virtually silent and is sent off to a mental care facility. Meanwhile, Hope is trying to cope with things back home.
Michelle Wrona
*4.5 stars*

Carol Lynch Williams is one amazing author. Her words captivate me and reading her books through poetry is the best experience that a reader can have. A lot of people don't enjoy poetry in YA books and think that grammar and spelling is important to captivate readers but I think the opposite: reading YA books through poetry is amazing! Better yet, reading this book through poetry is amazing. The concept and plot matches perfectly with the words and this author is great at making m
Aug 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was quite surprised when I flipped through this book to see it's all written in poetry style. And, honestly, I groaned. I'm not a big fan of poetry. I think my main problem with it is that I believe in the rules that go with our use of English – grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. They all serve a purpose. As such, it can be hard for me to operate outside these rules. Not for lack of trying, just it slows me down SIGNIFICANTLY. Usually.

While written as poetry, this book flows like a typical
Sara Grochowski
Apr 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, verse
It isn't often that I am so emotionally overwhelmed by a novel that I want to simultaneously hug it to my chest and throw it across the room. I was riveted by Hope and Lizzie's heartrending story and, even though it was difficult to read, I found that I was unable to tear my eyes from the pages.

I found it hard to determine if it was the book's content or the age of the narrator that called to my protective side, but it was there in full force. Williams' depiction was so vivid that I found mysel
Nov 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-swap
WARNINGS: Grief, suicide attempts, (view spoiler), fat-shaming. ...more
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, ya
This is not an easy book to read.

It’s a novel in verse, a format that has been known to put off many readers who aren’t used to it. Furthermore, the subject is a very difficult one emotionally, as it deals with child abuse, dysfunctional families, and trauma in a very raw, hands-on way.

The writing is rich and haunting, unpretentious, and really manages to put the reader in the mindset of a thirteen-year-old girl grappling with very adult questions, trying to understand why her beloved sister wou
Abigail Young
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love this author.

This book is written in poems which I love.

This book is good.

It made me sad.

But I didn't cry.

It leaves the reader with a hollow aching feeling inside.

It's a book of loneliness and hurting.
Apr 07, 2010 rated it liked it
As an English major I had my fair share of classes who's required reading lists included quite a good amount of work written in verse. I admit that I never really enjoyed it much. It could have been for any number of reasons, I may have been too immature to grasp the beauty of it, it could have been because it was simply required, or maybe because it was the fact that I had a time deadline that I needed to stick to, but either way I stayed away from it after graduation. Maybe I just don't have a ...more
Apr 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lori by:
I have come to really love verse novels. This one is no exception. Carol Lynch Williams takes on some very tough issues in this book, and does it in a way that will make you want to protect Hope until the very end.
Hope and Lizzie aren't just sisters, they are best friends. When Hope finds Lizzie with a gun to her head there lives are changed forever.

The tragic events in this story are pretty easy to unravel from very early on, but because of the age of the narrator, Hope, it takes a while for th
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Finding her sister
with a shotgun to her
Hope tries to figure out
what would make her sister
do such a thing.

Glimpse had a high bar to reach after
The Chosen One
and Carol Lynch Williams managed to

Written in verses,
Glimpse is a novel to breeze through,
but the emotional and tragic subject
for the novel is

It is a stunning novel
of redemption for the soul
as Hope stumbles along
the road of her sister’s trauma.

It is a story of struggle of money,
of deaths,
of protecting the si
Still quite depressed after finishing this one. It was slow to start, but became heart-wrenching around midway. Wasn't satisfied with the ending at first, but after re-reading it on the plane I believe it's the best possible ending for this book. Lizzie <3

Full review to come :)
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I'm not a fan of books written in verse but this one worked. The story was heart wrenching but a bit predictable. I often question why I buy and read these dark YA contemporary books because they always leave me feeling miserable but this was one of the better ones that I've read. ...more
Joan Conte
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow! That is all I can say. Knowing that this book was written in verse intrigued me. It kept me reading. In two hours the journey was over. This book should have some hefty trigger warnings. The writing captures a story in ways that I physically felt the details. The poetry isn't amazing but the story is one that rarely is told in such detail. This is a hard book to read but the ending is satisfying and gives me hope that this narrative can help young women in similar situations find courage. ...more
Emily Ryder
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Hard to read and very dark story.
I read this a few years ago and after finding it in an op-shop decided to pick it up again.
Definitely doesn't pack a punch like the first time I read it.
Didn't exactly leave me feeling much but sadness either.
Heather Pearson
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, poetry
Ouch. Wonderfully told story of the site events in two young sisters lives. How could a supposed loving parent be so heartless.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Bird
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Glimpse: A short and easy read on flashbacks to months ago when life wasn't so rough, when Hope still had a sister. Follow the struggles of having to grow up at a very young age, before you're a teen. Having to leave home so mom can work, having to be dropped off so mom can meet a stranger for work. Take a glimpse at what life for 2 sisters who rely on each other for life, while their mother relies on desperate men for life. This story captivates you on a new level, and leaves one big question l ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Personal Response: I personally liked this book. I thought that it was very good book because I can relate to it. I also thought that this book was very sad. I thought so because Hope walks in on her sister Lizzy holding a shotgun to her head with her fingers on the trigger. This book is a good book to read because, it tells a story about a girl who wants to kill herself, and how shows how much that it hurts the people around you. It also makes you think of how much you should appreciate what yo ...more
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was okay, but not a favorite of mine. It was written kind of like Ellen Hopkins writes her books, but a lot easier. It was almost too easy for me. The plot line didn't really get interesting until the end. It was really slow throughout the story. The end, when a big secret was revealed, is what made it more interesting. Two sisters were separated when the oldest tried to commit suicide. She was sent away to a hospital to get better, while the younger sister stayed at home with their mo ...more
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Glimpse," by Carol Lynch Williams, may be threatening to some teens because of its first appearance - it is nearly 500 pages in length and the cover is entirely uninviting. However, if you can entice a teen into really examining and reading the cover, actually opening the book, and reading the very first page - he or she will be hooked.

In the fashion of Ellen Hopkins or Cathy Ostlere or Patricia McCormick, Carol Lynch Williams has written a novel in verse with terrific teen appeal! It is long,
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
"Her voice
pierces me in the chest,
right under,
the breastbone
And my heart,
right then and there,
rips in half.
I can feel the weepy
tear in it."

That's right. It's another one of those books that is written in verse. This one is about two sisters, Hope and Lizzie. Lizzie tried to kill herself and Hope is trying to find out why. Her mother is a prostitute so they aren't living in the best living conditions. I've never absolutely loved a book in verse. Burned by Ellen Hopkins got close only because the
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I have found myself falling head over heels in love and exceptionally addicted to novels in verse lately. I've had Glimpse on my wish list for quite some time and finally bought it. The synopsis appealed to me and Carol Lynch Williams has delivered such a powerful, emotional, and incredibly engaging novel.

We learn that Hope's life isn't that wonderful but it hasn't been all that bad either. Having her sister Lizzie to connect and bond with over the years has really made a huge impact in her l
Clairyssa Mahaney
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The setting of this story is in the '60s. Hope and her sister Lizzie's life gets turned completely around. Lizzie, all the sudden, stops going places and seeing friends, and then out of nowhere she tries to kill herself, three times. Hope spends all her time trying to find out why her dear sister would want to kill herself. As the story goes she finds out more and more about why her sister would do such a thing. Then when seeing her sister one day in the hospital Lizzie says something about a di ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Having read _The Chosen One_ by Carol Lynch Williams, I was eager to dive into this one, especially after reading raves about it on this site. I was not disappointed at all. Written in free verse, Williams has told a painful and beautiful story of sisters, and what it means to love and protect someone in the face of horrible circumstances.

Hope and Lizzie are sisters, one year apart, living with their mother in a small Florida town. Their father died when the girls were young, in an accident that
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Carol Lynch Williams is the author of more than 30 books for middle grade and young adult readers. Her novels include The Chosen One, Never that Far, Messenger and Never Said. Her most recent book is the novelization of the movie Once I Was a Beehive. Carol has an MFA from Vermont College in Writing for Children and Young Adults and teaches creative writing at BYU. She runs Writing and Illustratin ...more

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“I'm old with living.
So much older than almost thirteen.”
Lizzie says
my name over


And, oh,
I stand there.

Oh, my heart.

I stand there,
More quotes…