Monday, April 30, 2012

The Glimpse by Claire Merle

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

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 into the pits of the human soul. 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, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

Wasn't able to finish, so I won't rate it on principal. Didn't like it and couldn't get into it. I really wanted to like it, but it just didn't work for me.

First, the story is vague. I got about a third of the way through, and I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out what exactly was going on. I had a vague grasp that Ana had gone to save Jasper from the "Crazies." But it seemed to veer off track and as I kept reading, I became more and more confused as to what exactly the story was. Once Ana crossed over into the part of the city where the Crazies lived, she seemed to forget about Jasper and didn't mention him as far as I got.

That leads us into problem number 2: The characters. For some reason, I couldn't get myself to even like them. I especially disliked Ana because she seemed so...detached. When she found out about the false test results, she didn't have any emotional reaction, not when she was bonded to Jasper, and not when Jasper disappeared. She would say she was upset,but she didn't act like it. I just couldn't get myself to even care about her problems. I liked Jasper, he was endearing and an interesting character...but he vanished a couple of chapters in and didn't come up again. All of the other characters just fell flat to me.

The last problem I had with this is the world building. I didn't ever get the reason as to why the country was split into Crazies and Pures, the very basis of the book. Not some kind of war or upheaval, like most dystopians, not any kind of apocalyptic event, nothing as to what necessitated the split of the population. There was mention of a genetic marker of mental illnesses that was found which began the systematic split, but, to me, I would think that the discovery would make it easier to track the defect and fix it prenatally, like some tests that are done today. And wouldn't that make mentally ill people more accepted, rather than be split away from society? And some of the scientific facts were skewed, so that made me raise an eyebrow for the entire 150 I managed to get through. Add to that some people may find the references tactless and somewhat offensive, and you get a potentially interesting plot that was executed poorly.

I really hate having to give a bad review, it makes me feel horrible, but I just didn't like this book at all. There were so many problems that I couldn't overlook that ruined any potential enjoyment. On principal, I won't give this a rating. I'll just say that this wasn't for me. If you feel you can overlook the problems that I couldn't, I would definitely encourage you give this a shot but warn you to proceed with caution.

With all due rating

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy

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