Author: Phoebe Kitanidis
Genres: Dystopian, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Imprint of HarperCollins)
Date Published: April 17th, 2012
Source: ARC (Provided by Publisher)
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.
Glimmer is like a young adult version of Pleasantville meets The Stepford Wives, but only with more of a supernatural/magical element to it. There are some rumors going around for some reason that it’s about zombies. I think because the book description uses the phrase “happy zombies”. But it’s not. Let’s clear that up. It’s not about zombies, but more of people who have been seemingly brainwashed. Two teens who we later learn are Marshall and Elyse seem to be the only ones who see this. So they’re trying to figure out what’s going on with the town, and why neither of them can remember anything, including who they are.
This was a really intriguing ride and I had trouble putting the book down. It has a lot of mystery to it and the visuals are really good. I could picture the whole little town perfectly and honestly I think this would make a seriously awesome movie. I liked that we were not only trying to solve the really strange goings-on of the town, but Marshall and Elyse are trying to find out who they are too — literally. The town is so creepy, yet happy creepy, that it gives you chills to think about a town being like this.
I won’t give away too much but let’s just say that these happy town-goers and tourists are kept happy no matter what. No mean, bad, nasty, angry thoughts allowed in this little town. But the how and the why are where the mystery lies.
The one downfall of the book is that the ending just seemed a bit abrupt and happened a bit too fast and too easily for me. I was hoping for more of a standoff and more fireworks than we got. It’s a standalone book, which is a refreshing change from the usual, but because of that everything had to wrap up in one book. While I think the author did do a good job of this, I just wish the planning for the end and the whole final conflict was a bit bigger and more drawn out.
But overall, this was a great book. I definitely recommend it. It’s a chilling and mysterious young adult urban fantasy (semi-dystopian), with a touch of romance.
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