15 May 2012


Author: Phoebe Kitanidis
Series: No, standalone
UK Publisher: Balzer & Bray
UK Release date: April 2012
Genre: YA
Won via NetGalley

Elyse and Marshall wake up one morning in Summer Falls without any recollection of who or where they are. They must learn to trust each other to find out what happened to them. But as they discover a number of mysterious goings-on in Summer Falls, their situation worsens. What seems like the perfect town is riddled with bouts of amnesia, disappearances and malevolent ghosts. Can they trust each other enough to save the town and themselves?

Glimmer has a very interesting start to the story as Elyse and Marshall wake up  next to each other absolutely stark naked, but without a single memory or who they are or how they got there. The premise of having to re-figure out who you are as a person is very intriguing, and as they try and discover what's going on and get their memories back, they also discover that Summer Falls is very creepy and far too perfect to be true. I enjoyed watching them as they gathered clues about what kind of person they were and trying to reconcile that with how they actually felt. The creepy and sinister elements of Summer Falls, including the mysterious heatnaps and 'forgetful' residents built very well, and I really enjoyed the first half of the book. But despite this very compelling start, I did become slightly confused and caught up in the whirlwind of magic spells, memory loss, disappearing people, unusual glacier climate, spirits, ghosts and so on.

I did feel a little affronted at Elyse's outrage at finding out she was short. ""I'm short." I am, in fact, a shrimp. What a complete and total disappointment." OK so my indignation is only because I myself am short. But she made a huge fuss over this, and to what end? She was also highly offended at being curvy with boobs, a cheerleader, having a boyfriend of two years that she'd slept with and so on. She made assumptions about past herself based on the smallest of superficial clues rather than her actual actions, making her think she must be slutty and childish.

There were a number of serious undertones to the story, with issues of child abuse and domestic violence. When Elyse discovers bruises over her shoulders and no memory of how she got them, it was very disturbing and unsettling. Her determination to stop it from happening again and to try to remember was a positive redeeming feature to her character.

Glimmer is a fast paced, mind bending and creepy thriller that will have you reeling.

Rating: 3.5*


Mimi Valentine said...

A lot of people seem to be having the same feelings about this book! Elyse doesn't seem like she'd be the easiest to like, but I've always been intrigued by memory loss stories so I'm hoping that I'll like this. Especially since you mentioned that they have some serious undertones too -- that's a nice surprise that I wasn't expecting! :)

Awesome honest review, Hannah! A creepy thriller with a great start? Sign me up! ;)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Oh interesting. This is the first review I've read of this. Sounds like Elyse would drive me a bit nuts, but I like the unique sounding premise. Thanks for your thoughts.