Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Glimpse by Claire Merle

The GlimpseThe Glimpse by Claire Merle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once you've seen into the future, can you change your destiny?

Ariana Barber knew her life wasn't going to be the same the day she was tested to be a Big3 Sleeper i.e. a potential Crazy. Nearly two years since being diagnosed , Ana is at last going to be joined with Jasper Taurell - a guy she has a crush on since she was eleven. Jasper was also the only one who could save her from being condemned to the City. Everything was on path of being right until Jasper disappeared days before their joining ceremony. A journey to save Jasper takes Ana out of her safe Community and into the City of Crazies. The Glimpse weaves a tale of betrayal, love, politics and lies as Ana uncovers some truths that are going to change her, and everything else, forever.

 Warning: Contains mild spoilers

The Glimpse was an enticing, controversial, complicated, witty, intriguing, uncensored, smartly-written, mysterious, dark, brain-racking, fast-pacing, lovely, captivating book. It is certainly a genre of its own. Looking at the cover, one can expect a light contemporary which is is totally opposite of what The Glimpse is - A heavy, complicated dystopian.

Claire Merle is a genius. She has crafted an amazing story of a smart-witted and independent girl who tries to find logic in the chaos created by the Crazies and Pures alike. She has wonderfully mixed political elements with mystery and teen angst and frustration to create a story that'll leave you turning pages long after the book has finished. But the problem - it actually took around 140 pages (out of the total 422) to actually to pull me in and intrigue me. Before that, it seemed a bit boring.

Ana is a bold, strong, assessing, determined and logical character. She simply won't believe what everybody says and questions everything rightfully. Ana is also no love-struck, vulnerable girl. She might seem weak, but then to be kick-ass you don't need to know how to pack a punch, but she's a really strong character. Ana is increbily smart and you can see that in the court scene. Leaving Community behind to venture into an unknown City, shows how brave and independent she is. All the while, she comes across as an lonely, rebellious and realistic teen. She is certainly one of my favorite heroines.

The more deeper I get into the book, the relationship of Ariana and Jasper becomes clearer. In my opinion, it is no way love between them. It feels like they barely know each other, which is exactly the truth. I loved Cole and Ana's chemistry. The scene where they play music from digital colors was my favorite. But individually, Cole and Jasper came across as shallow characters, which is one of the reasons why I couldn't give this book the perfect five rating. Though Lila was a wonderful addition to the story.

Ashby, Ana's father, is a very intriguing character and complicated character. At first, he is uncaring, then all about reputation, after that he is hell-bent on saving his daughter, then she's a precious possession. He loves her, that is clear but he rather keep her keep caged without her wishes than give her the freedom that she needs to be really alive. Because in the end, her freedom is his downfall. And Ashby is dillusioned when it comes to that. The world will be thrust to chaos and anarchy without the society indiscriminantly divided into Pures and Crazies. I think that is one of Claire Merle's messages: No one is crazy or depressed. People make them like that. The percentage of kids taking anti-depressant pills is shockingly increasing, The Glimpse is just an example of what might possibly rest in the future.

The actual idea of Glimpse and the Enlightenment Project was interesting but I didn't like the fact that the author didn't elaborate on it much. I had so many expectations from Cole's Glimpse but when time came for that, it kinda fell flat for me. Many threads were left loose in the end which I hope the author would look after in the sequel.

Other short musings:
- The interface idea is a genius, completely loved it. Though a little confusing in the beginning.
- The Three Mills scenes are at best chilling. The horrific reality of it would shock you to the core.
- I don't know why, but the part of the book set in the community gave me a little gothic-victorian vibe.
- Courtroom scene is one hell of a scene. One of my favorites.

I can't wait for The Fall, the sequel to Glimpse, to release in 2013. Glimpse is surely one of the best books I've read in 2012.

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