Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review ~ GLIMMER, by Phoebe Kitanidis

GlimmerWhat 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. 

Favorite Quote:

"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:
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository


  1. Wow, this sounds awesome, Andrea! I agree completely about the cover matching the story. I love all the beautiful dress covers, but how often have I read on of those novels and asked myself, How does that dress play into the story? IT DOESN'T!

    If your review hadn't sealed the deal, the inclusion of that quote surely did the trick. Great review! You've ensured I'll be picking this one up! :)

  2. I so need this book!! It sounds really great. OMG you make me laugh. "Nerd out" hahaha!! You are awesome!!! Fab review chick!!!

  3. This really does sound like a great read. I like the cover too, but it bothers me when covers don't match the character. Why does that happen? Doesn't anyone catch things like that? Glad you liked it! Great review babe!

  4. Thanks for taking the time to review my book, GLIMMER! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I just want to add that as a reader I too can't stand it when the character on the cover looks nothing like the character I'm spending several hours getting to know. In the finished book--as opposed to the ARC--Elyse *is* blond and the ending scenes are less rushed. :)

  5. This sounds really good! How am I ever going to get my TBR down? LOL! Great review Andrea! :-)

  6. A rushed ending for a stand-alone? Why do that? But, this does sound like something that'd be interesting to read. I loved the movie Memento. That movie is a classic, although I don't expect this book to be on par quality-wise. Still, your review makes it seem like a good read.

  7. Hi my dear!
    it's been a while and Im finally back after my finals!! woohooo!! mi missed u!

    OMG!! your review holy cow!! I SO have to get myself a copy of Glimmer! holy cow!! did you said Memento? OMG!! loved that movie!! and you said, great character developpment? OMG!! this one is 100% a good investment! thnx so much for your great review!!! woohoo! Im so glad you lvoed it =D ow I have one more book to add to my to-read pile! yay!!

    have a great wekend! muah!
    Dazzling Reads

  8. Wow, look at you getting an author to stop by your're famous, girl!

    I have been curious about this book but now that you've liked it I'm definitely going to be checking it out. The premise fascinated me too...imagine waking up with no idea who or where you are. AND WITH A BOY.

    1. Lol! I sorta freaked out when I saw the comment. I was so afraid I was going to get yelled at or called out about something. Thats why I'm always nice, you just never know.

  9. This book had me at amnesia but Stepford wives? Shiny happy people? I'm very intrigued! I also hate when the covers don't match the characters but I know the author's art department is in charge of that. Like Richelle Mead's VA series! The author stated that she didn't even know who was on the cover! LOL I'm glad to hear the new ending is not rushed. I hate an ending that feels rushed. I can't wait to see the mystery unfold!

  10. Ooo, I'm looking forward to this one! I love the premise, and I'm really happy to hear you enjoyed it, Andrea. :) Yay.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  11. Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis was a strange book, and I mean that in a good way. I love magical realism, but hardly ever read it because I don't think a lot of people know how to write it, and it's also an emerging genre. Think Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, a fantastically written magical realism.


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