Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: April 17, 2012
Summary: Elyse and Marshall wake up next to each other with no idea how they got there—or who they are. They soon discover that they’re in Summer Falls, a small town in Colorado that has unusually nice weather and an eerily calm atmosphere. It turns out that Summer Falls is more than it appears—it’s trapped in a curse that causes memory loss and ignorant bliss in the townspeople. Elyse and Marshall need to figure out how to break the curse and restore their memories before it’s too late for everyone in Summer Falls.
My thoughts: Glimmer was a huge surprise! It seems like a relatively mild book based on the synopsis, but Glimmer is so much more. The creepiness is what gets to you first—between Marshall’s crazy dreams and the amnesia, we’re left with a feeling of unease for the first part of the book. Add that to Summer Falls, a town that holds secrets that will knock you off your seat, and Glimmer is definitely a spine-tingler. Phoebe Kitanidis is great at building suspense and slowly revealing pieces of the mystery’s puzzle, which keeps Glimmer at a good, satisfying pace. The author knows how to keep us coming back for more—I found it nearly impossible to put Glimmer down.
Glimmer is technically a paranormal book, but it defies the stereotypes of the genre, which is fantastic. The romance doesn’t dominate the storyline (it’s still there, but it’s wonderfully complicated); the paranormal isn’t too out there; and the heroine, while still a strong individual, is realistically flawed and easy to relate to. The dual narration also keeps things fresh: both Marshall and Elyse get to tell their story. Surprisingly, both characters are equally solid: they’re both dynamic and developed, and their voices are unique. I couldn’t say whose point of view I preferred more!
The only place where Glimmer falters a bit is in the latter third of the book. Everything seems a bit rushed, as if to quickly pack in all the answers before the final page. This means that Glimmer is a standalone, which will please some readers, but it also means that the ending just seems…too fast. This could be the author’s way of making the readers feel just like the protagonists—it works; my heart was pounding during the final few chapters—but I just wasn’t a fan.
Glimmer is a stellar sophomore novel from Phoebe Kitanidis. Fans of paranormal YA will eat this one up—I know I did!
For those who like: unreliable narrators, ghosts, mystery
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