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Reading Under the Willow Tree

Environmental Science student, book reader, big dreamer, Sailing/Kayak/Surf instructor, Film buff, Adventurer, Girl.

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The Glimpse - Claire Merle Review also found on my blog

*The publisher provided me with this book for review, via Netgalley.*

Before I go into what I thought of the book I think it is important to point out that unlike others I did not find this book offensive. (And before someone makes a comment I should point out that I have suffered from mental health problems for a while so it is not a lack of understanding that has bought on this opinion) There has been a lot of talk and labelling this book as wrong, offensive and dangerous because of the use of the word ‘crazy’ and because this book is about a society where people with mental health issues are supported from people without mental health issues.

For me this book was not about mental health at all. The people who are being segregated are not sick. They are people the government consider dangerous or problematic. The whole ‘Pure’ vs ‘Crazies’ thing is a lie being used by the government to control the people. Not once did I feel the author was being offensive or that she was trying to force a dangerous opinion onto others (as some have suggested) I think it says a lot that this book paints the ‘crazy’ world to be better and more free than the ‘pure’ world. I know where I would rather live. This is just my opinion, I know many other people disagree but each to their own.

This is a hard book to review because there were parts of it that I loved and parts of it I hated. I am going to split this review into what I liked and what I didn’t.

What I liked
•I found The Glimpse to be strangely engaging. It was easy to read and get into and the pages seemed to flow by really quickly.
•I thought this book was really brave, not just because of what it was about but because of the futuristic world that it inhabits. There is a lot of technology that does not exist in this book. It does not always work (sometimes I struggled to visualize it) but for the most part it was really imaginative and added to the story.
•There were some parts of this book that were brutally realistic and hard to read. It may seem like a weird thing to put in a ‘liked’ section of a review but I appreciate the honestly and realism.
•Cole is awesome; I really liked him as a male lead. He was not full of charm and personality but still I felt a lot for him.
•Ana grows a lot as a character, it is great to see a female lead learn and develop (although she has a massive relapse towards the end which really annoyed me.)
•I found this book quite frightening because this is the kind of future I can actually see happening.
•There is a ‘villain’ of this piece and I literally hated him. He was so awful that I couldn’t bear to read about him.

What I didn’t like
•The beginning is really confusing. The first few chapters jumped over a lot of time and it wasn’t done in a way that was easy to understand.
•There were times where this was a little far-fetched. (The lawyer bit especially, when you read it you will know what I mean)
•There are times where there seems to be drama for the sake of drama. The actual story line was good but towards the end I felt a lot of it was unnecessary.
•I really disliked the end. I felt like this awful world was created just for a ‘romance’. Where is the revolution? Where is the future of this world going? I felt like I went through all that pain for nothing.
•There is a moment when the names ‘Jasper’ and’ Dr Cullen’ are next to each other. Jasper Cullen…I do not like it when books do this. I have no idea why there is a reference to Twilight in this book (I know Jasper is not ‘Cullen’ but still it was a little too close for comfort.)

This book is going to turn a lot of heads and I expect a lot to be said about it in the upcoming months. I will be amazed if this book doesn’t kick up a stink. For good or bad reasons I am pretty sure a lot of people are going to hear about this book and like anything controversial it will probably be huge because of it.

If you think you will not be offended then The Glimpse is a quick and engaging read, but it is also far from perfect. If it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, or is something you do not think you will be comfortable with then it is probably best to stay away.