Book Review: Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams

Glimpse CoverBook: Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams

Published June 2010 by Simon & Schuster|484 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

What It’s About: 

In one moment,

it is over.

In one moment

it is gone.

The morning grows
thin, grey
and our lives-
how they were-
have vanished.

Our lives have
when I walk in
on Lizzie
my sister

holding a shotgun.

Twelve year old girl Hope’s life is turned upside down when her older sister Lizzie becomes an elective mute and is institutionalized after trying to kill herself.

With raw and haunting writing reminiscent of Ellen Hopkins and Elizabeth Scott, Carol Lynch Williams is a promising new YA voice.

What I Thought:

I didn’t like Glimpse as much as I thought I would.  It definitely deals with some very tough issues, namely with Lizzie and what she goes through, and with Hope, who finally figures out what her sister was going through.

I really felt like the story being told in verse took away from the characters and the emotional impact of everything going on. What happened with Lizzie was horrible and I really felt for both Lizzie and Hope, and it’s so sad that the mother would do something like that (and yet it doesn’t surprise me).  I feel like the story was better suited to being told in prose.  I don’t know that verse is something that works for me in print, maybe listening to it would have made the book more enjoyable.  Or if it were arranged in really interesting ways on the page.

The mother working as a prostitute, and forcing Lizzie to do the same…I really wanted the mom to get into massive trouble for what she did to Lizzie, and she just kind of disappears, which is slightly frustrating.  I’ve read one or two books before that dealt with similar issues, and in Glimpse, it just didn’t sit right with me. Lynch Williams handles it well, but there was something about it that felt a little forced to me, and like it was there to make the book different and edgy.  I don’t doubt that it happens in real life, and it is horrible, but it just didn’t work for me.

Still, the book went pretty fast, and there was something compelling about it.

My Rating:

2 stars.  Glimpse was okay, and the verse didn’t work for me, but I did feel for Lizzie and Hope.

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