Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Glimmer - Phoebe Kitanidis

Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis (Link to Goodreads)
Released: April 17th, 2012
Bought from Island Bound bookstore on Block Island, RI
Description from Goodreads:
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.

HOKAY – I had been pinning over this book because the title really drew me in. I admit, it was because of the character from District 1, Glimmer, in The Hunger Games that initially drew me to look into this book. I figured this book would be about two kids losing their memory and maybe some weird scientist was behind it all. BOY, WAS I WRONG. It was completely different than I expected! I was reading this before bed last night, and I decided to put it down for a little break, and I was torn between continuing and putting it off until the next day. But one of the things I notice is that when I get into a reading mood, if I take a break and wait until the next day, I may not have as much enthusiasm to finish the story, especially if it was dragging a little.
Onto the review! 

Character development was really interesting because we were introduced to two blank slates who were learning who they were along with us. It was interesting to see how these two characters who believed they were good people were finding out that they may have been involved in less than “good” activities or behavior. It’s always interesting when someone realizes that they might have done something wrong in the past, and for these characters, they have literally forgotten those memories.
The story is told in alternating chapters by Elyse and Marshall, and sometimes it was hard to follow whose head we are in. I had to clue in to the “she/he” the person was referring to, so for the most part it was pretty easy to follow. Sometimes, I prefer it to be one or the other, but since there was so much going on between each character, together and separately, it was important for Kitanidis to focus on one character at a time. Elyse and Marshall are not always together, so the story isn’t weighed down by overlapping experiences, only the particularly important ones; the ones that Kitanidis wanted the reader to see two sides of.
The romance between Elyse and Marshall was different, because we learn from their memories throughout the story what they are to each other and it wasn’t the main theme of the story, which I appreciated. I don’t mind if characters slowly grow interested in each other, but the whole love at first sight crap is a bit boring and usually turns me off from reading a story. Elyse and Marshall realized that there was something bigger than them going on, and they kept their relationship in perspective.
The minor characters were also involved, which I really liked because sometimes minor characters are just pawns; used to put in information or present an idea to a main character. But with Elyse’s parents, we as the reader get to see inner conflict, versus just the main problem of the story. There are other characters that are revealed to be someone else in the end, and for me, it wasn’t completely obvious, which I appreciated. When I can figure out the problem and the solution before the middle of the story, it’s a problem.
The story takes place in Shadow Falls, Colorado and it was such an inviting and intriguing setting. There are explanations for the setting and it was always covered up and sewn up nicely until the end when it was unraveled and dismantled by the main characters exploring the main issue of the story. It felt realistic, almost satirical of actual places. There weren’t too many lengthy descriptions of setting or events, which made the story flow easier.
This story has so much going on that at times, I had to put it down and just think about what was going on. Kitanidis really does challenge the reader with this story, she doesn’t present the facts and continue on, she lets you figure it out on your own and then pull a rabbit out of her hat and it’s completely the opposite of what you first thought.
It’s understandable that most authors don’t give all the facts about a story so the reader is able to come up with their own ideas, but one thing that I remember reading did not resolve itself in the end… SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!: During the fair, Pete is injured in the ferris wheel mechanisms and is taken away by men in grey suits in a black car. Later on in the story, when the other people taken away during traumatic experiences surface again after being hidden at the insane asylum, Pete is no where to be seen. He lost his leg, but did they kill him off? Or did Kitanidis just forget to tie up that lose end? And who are the men in grey suits? If they didn’t take Pete to the asylum, where did they take him?! END SPOILER.
I’m still working on Pure by Julianna Abbott and Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby, so I’ll get those reviews up once I finish, but I did get a bunch of new books from my local bookstore, Island Bound, and I’m really itching to read the brand new books, so we’ll see what I’m in the mood for next!
Happy reading!


  1. So I tried posting a comment and my internet went out (College internet sucks). I'm not sure if it posted, so here goes my second attempt:

    I'm planning on reading this book in the near future. It's in the mail already! I laughed when you said you picked this book up because of Glimmer from the Hunger Games. Awesome! She even kind of looks how I would picture Glimmer, lol. The book sounds so interesting, especially with the whole blank slate premise. I didn't know it was in two perspectives. Sometimes I like that and other times I don't. It really depends if I start liking one narrator more than another. I'm glad to hear that the minor characters weren't pawns. I hate when that happens! Great review, Sallie!! And I'm excited to hear your thoughts on Pure. I've been seeing it all over blogs lately. Happy Reading :)

    1. I HATE when you post a comment/blog and then it doesn't go through and it's gone. It always happens to really long comments. :(

      For whatever reason, I found myself liking Elyse's perspective more than Marshalls, only because she was going through different stuff than him (you'll see when you read it!). I also just generally like Elyse more than Marshall, Marshall kind of turns into a jerk (again, you'll see why in the story!). I hope that didn't give anything away...!

      I'm also excited to finish Pure. I had originally gotten it from the library and it took me a month to get 60 pages in, only because I kept getting distracted and was busy with work. I decided I'm just going to buy it from my local bookstore, so I'll have it all to myself and I won't feel pressured to finish it before it's due.

      Thanks for the comment, Krista!


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