By Claire Merle
Expected Publication June 7, 2012
Faber and Faber
YA Dystopian/Science Fiction
From Goodreads: 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 interfere 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.
What an amazing debut novel for Claire Merle. I wasn’t expecting much and immediately I’m drawn into the action. There’s no slow world building, the reader is hanging on for dear life. The setting is London in the not too distant future. The world has been decimated by both the collapse of the economy and the petrol wars. Borders are closed in almost all countries and London has been set up as city with “communities” surrounding it. In the communities is where civilized “Pures” live safely and luxuriously while all the others fend for themselves in the city. I can’t go too much into the story because, like I said, from the beginning it just takes off and you’re on a ride! I seriously could NOT put this book down.
I can’t really classify this book. It’s not a light read. There are a lot of twists, lies and plotting going on that you have to keep track of. The gritty parts might be too “real” for those YA readers 17 and under. But also in here is a story of what love really feels like and what you’ll do to have that love. Or what you’ll overcome to be the person you want to be. It’s also about believing and having faith. But mostly it’s just a great ride of a book…
My only gripe about the book was that sometimes the story went a wee bit too fast for me. It was almost like a paragraph or a sentence or two was missing. This was the unedited proof I read from Faber and Faber through NetGalley so maybe it is slightly changed in the final publication.
Oh, and wow… absolutely amazing… I’m talking about some of the reviews I’ve just seen trainwrecked on Goodreads about this book. I’m so glad I wait to read reviews until after I read a book. I get a kick out of people who can go on and on about how important their opinion is in relation to a book. Yeah, I get it, you’re offended. At least read the book. One thing I will say, derogatory language/slang used in the book shouldn’t offend. It is what it is; it’s FICTION in a world that doesn’t exist. You want to talk derogatory language, look into our history, heck, look at old Bugs Bunny cartoons. And yes, history does repeat itself, whether we want it to or not. I was hardly offended and I will admit that I am clinically diagnosed with 2 of the Big3 discussed in the book, in runs in my family. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it…
I hate drawing attention to those types of reviews but I couldn’t let them pass. This book deserves to be read and done with an open mind. A mind that remembers that this is a piece of fiction. Ms. Merle gives a very nice Q&A on her WEBSITE that can answer any questions about how she came up with the idea for the story.
Speaking of which, there is a second and final book. Tentatively the book is called The Fall. After the ending of The Glimpse, I need to know when it’s coming out!!! Like, as in, it better be coming out VERY SOON!!!
Thank you Faber and Faber and NetGalley for graciously letting me read and review this book!