What if you forgot your identity and had to rely on other people to tell you who you were?
And what if to discover your true self, you first had to unravel a mystery so big and terrifying you were not sure you’d survive solving it?
When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other’s arms with zero memory of how they got there or who they are, it’s the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.
Terrified by their amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find the answers that could jog their missing memories. As they piece together clues, they discover they’re in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls, where everyone seems mysteriously happy, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town’s perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall’s mom, not the hidden shame in Elyse’s family, not even the day-to-day anguish of high school.
Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marsh and Elyse fall into an intense relationship...but the secrets they uncover could be the death of this growing love—and the death of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls. ~ From GoodReads
If I had to describe GLIMMER in one line, it would be young adult meets The Stepford Wives meets Memento. Does that make any sense at all? Probably not. Hmmm....Okay, in The Stepford Wives, you have people who are unnaturally perfect and happy. The town of Summer Falls has residents who are unable to recall any unpleasant memory from their life. They are always happy. The movie Memento, with the yummy Guy Pearce, is about a man who wakes with no memory of himself or his life. He must rely on small clues to unravel the mystery of who he is and what has happened to him. Same with GLIMMER's main characters Marshall and Elyse. That makes for an intriguing mix, yes?
From the opening lines of the book, with a girl waking in the arms of a boy she doesn't know, both unclothed, I was reeled in. Who are these two? Where do the belong? What happened to them? Will the be happy when they found out who they were before the memory loss? I had so many questions! The author pulled me in swiftly and gradually doled out just enough answers to keep me completely hooked. I honestly wanted to nerd out and grab a notebook, take notes so I could play along. I loved the plot, so much. The quirkiness of the town had me smiling while also scratching my head. WTF is wrong with these people? Actually, I couldn't tell you how many times I said "WTF?" to myself while reading GLIMMER. So. Much. Fun.
I have only little gripes about GLIMMER. First, the cover. I actually like this cover, but I have a compulsion that requires covers to match the story. As you can see, the cover features a girl with striking blond hair. Elyse's hair is brown. She even says so explicitly on page 62 (ARC). So why? I don't get it, and that bugs me. Second, and far more important, since I would never rate a story based on the cover, is the ending. I actually loved how the story ended. It was very satisfying. The problem is, it felt rushed. There was so much suspense that built up throughout the story. My nerves were taught, I begged my family to leave me alone so I could finish. But when I read it, I felt as if I were getting the condensed version. I would have loved it so much more if the final confrontation was able to "stew" more. But again, still happy.
When I read the synopsis for GLIMMER, I didn't over think it. I also avoided the reviews. I loved letting the interesting, weird, and stunning story unfold, with no preconceptions. I adored the mc's, even when they frustrated me. There was huge character development, and guess what?? I love when characters learn from their mistakes! I highly, highly recommend this to those who like a quirky, neatly unraveled mystery with great mc's and tons of suspense.
Author Phoebe Kitanidis stopped by to check out the review and left a very kind comment. She also made mention of the cover and the ending, saying this:
"In the finished book--as opposed to the ARC--Elyse *is* blond and the ending scenes are less rushed. :)"
I'm so happy to know that those two issues have been worked out in the final copy.
"How could I stay away from Elyse? How could we abandon each other to this place? Protecting her has been my purpose, almost from the moment I woke up to this new life. But it's more than that. I need her in order to survive, need her honesty, like a compass, like a knife, like a lit match in the darkness. Need her rare, low laughter like food. Need her trust, her soft arms around me, like water. Parting ways would feel like a death sentence." (pg. 141, ARC)
Expected publication: April 17th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
You can pre-order Glimmer at:
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