Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review: The Glimpse by Claire Merle

Read from June 7, 2012
to June 8, 2012
Book: The Glimpse by Claire Merle
Publication Date: June 7, 2012
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Number of Pages: 432
Genre/s: Young Adult, Dystopia

In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.
Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.
Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society, and as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper’s abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe. - From Goodreads

'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.

Cupid's Verdict:
4 1/2 Cupids

An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley


  1. I wasn't a fan of Starters and I haven't even read Matched, but I certainly want to read Glimpse after your review. I love that it's captivating - I'm in dire need of attention-gripping books.
    Lovely review, Sarah! You really did convince me to seek out a copy. :)

    1. Thank you, Maja! I hope you love it as much as I did. Can't wait to read your review! :)

  2. I loved Matched, and really want to read Starters, so this sounds like the book for me! Looks like a great dystopian– thanks for the lovely review :D and you're from The Philippines?? I used to live there for 3 years!! :D

    Confessions of a Readaholic

  3. I've been reading some mixed reviews on The Glimpse but I'm really glad you enjoyed it, Sarah! After reading your review, I'm convinced that I need to give this book a go and see what I think of it for myself.

    Awesome review, Sarah! ♥

  4. This book is already on my TBR and wish list. Hopefully I could read it soon. Thanks for the review :)

  5. I am so glad that I chose this post to comment on. I remember reading about this book a good while back, but I forgot all about it. I am happy to be reminded! This sounds fantastic. And I have a huge fascination with psychology as well. Those kind of books get to me. Make me think. Thanks so much for the awesome review!


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