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Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Glimpse by Claire Merle (Reviewed by Sabine Gueneret)

Order “The GlimpseHERE

INTRODUCTION: First of all, I would like to stress that the girly cover and blurb for The Glimpse, which seems to indicate another “paranormal love story” in the vein of Twilight and such, are completely misleading. I had read the ARC some time ago before the artwork and blurb were finalized, and was really surprised by what they had chosen for the book!

The Glimpse is much more than that: it is a brilliant, fast-paced adventure that raises many contemporary worries about the science of DNA and its possible consequences. In short, The Glimpse is another illustration of the saying: don’t judge a book by its cover…

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Claire Merle has worked for some years within the British film industry, before moving to France where she currently lives. The Glimpse is her first novel.

FORMAT/INFO: The Glimpse is 432 pages long. June 7, 2012 marked the UK Paperback and Ebook publication of The Glimpse via Faber & Faber.

OFFICIAL PLOT SYNOPSIS:  In the not so distant future, society has been divided into Pures and Crazies, according to the results of a DNA test.

When Ana finds out there was a mistake with her test, her whole world crumbles. Now, Pure-boy Jasper is her only hope of salvation.

But when Jasper disappears, Ana is distraught. She sets off on his trail, determined to solve the mystery of his abduction. In doing so she uncovers some devastating truths, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before…

ANALYSIS: Again, dear reader, this is not a love story! The Glimpse deals with dark and disturbing themes such as abduction, mental illness, death and deception by your is far from the standard pink romance, even if this element is present.

For starters, The Glimpse introduces readers to a dystopian world where DNA is used to discriminate people by determining a “person’s predisposition to mental illness.” This is not a new or revolutionary idea—in France for example, there have been heated discussions about whether to test criminals for “criminal genes”—but the concept works well, while raising interesting questions about the ethical issues of DNA testing. The world itself is very detailed and credible, and overall the writing is much better than in most YA novels I have read.

Secondly, The Glimpse features well-drawn and emotionally engaging characters led by the main protagonist Ana. Ana is wild, with a strong character forged by years of bullying by the institution after it is discovered that she is not, in fact, Pure. She escapes to explore the City by herself (where all the Unpure live) and is open-minded enough to question the doctrine she has been made to believe all her life, which leads to Ana rebelling against the established order.

Plot-wise, The Glimpse is very gripping and fast-moving, with many unpredictable revelations and twists sprinkled throughout the novel, which made the book enjoyable to read.

In the end, Claire Merle’s The Glimpse is a great adventure novel, which I really enjoyed and warmly recommend to all YA readers!


SQT said...

I'm so glad you reviewed this because I would never have given this a second look based on the cover. I'm not totally against YA but I'm not a fan of the romance variety. Now I'll be sure to check it out.

Sabine said...

You definitively should! I'm not a huge fan of YA either, yet it is a term that hides some terrific books!

I guess it is a marketing question for publishers though, but it's a somewhat questionable choice as a big part of their audience is not attracted to their books - shame!


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