Monday, March 19, 2012

GLIMMER by Phoebe Kitanidis

Phoebe Kitanidis

Grade: B+
Release Date: 04/17/12

Synopsis from
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.

My thoughts on the book:
Glimmer is definitely different from most of the YA Paranormal books out there. It's a Utopian Fantasy with likable characters and an engrossing plot. The story starts out with both Elyse and Marshall not knowing their own names, where they came from, or even what they look like. It's intense, to say the least. Readers are unable to uncover the mysteries of Summer Falls right alongside Marsh and Elyse, which is cool. The story is told from both POVs, and it worked okay. I felt like there could have been a bit more difference between the two voices, but overall, the two different POVs worked out just fine. If you like Utopian Fantasies, then you do not want to miss this book. 

I was hooked from the first page, determined to figure out all of the secrets surrounding Summer Falls. Summer Falls, CO, seems to be the perfect town. The weather is perfect (60-70 degrees F year-round), the residents are beyond happy, and nothing bad ever seems to happen there. It has a natural beauty, which attracts the outdoorsy types, and the town's laid back demeanor and the "heat naps" attract tourists who are looking for an escape. What could be the problem with such a wonderful place, you ask? Well it turns out that a place that terrific has a lot of problems. 

At first glance, it may seem like not remembering bad things that happened would be a good thing, but not only does the ripping of bad memories cause brain damage, it also allows the same terrible things to keep happening over and over again. The only problem is no one knows that those things happened more than once. When someone tries to get away from a bad situation, they suddenly take a nap and forget anything bad ever happened, and then the vicious cycle starts again. 

Marsh and Elyse are both likable characters. One pet peeve of mine, throughout this book, though, was that they rarely referred to their parents as "Mom" or "Dad." They always called their parents by their first names. I would have written that off to Summer Falls weirdness, but Marshall wasn't from there originally, so it seemed odd to me that he'd call his parents by their first names for his entire life as well. It just didn't seem natural to me.

The pacing of the book is pretty spot on, though it does lag in a couple of parts. And some parts don't flow correctly. Sometimes a character is in one place, and they end up in another place and I had no idea how, when, or why they went to where they went. I feel that things like that could have been handled a bit better. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Glimmer is a thrill-ride that you won't want to miss! I'll definitely be looking for more books by Phoebe Kitanidis. 

Want to pre-order Glimmer?


  1. I enjoyed this one too! I always love it when an author tries something new and original!

    Not sure if I've ever read any utopian fantasy, but seems to me that most utopias are really dystopian underneath -- just like in this book!

  2. I'm really happy to know you liked this book, I was drawn by the cover and it sounded cool but I wasn't sure if it actually was, so know I feel more comfortable with picking it up.


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