Author: Phoebe Kitanidis
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins imprint)
When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other's arms with no memory of how they got there or who they are, it's the start of a long journey through their past and their future. Terrified by the amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find answers. As they piece together clues, they discover they're in idyllic Summer Falls where everyone is mysteriously happy, but the two soon learn there's something dark lurking beneath the town's facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but no one ever retains their bad memories. Not the death of Marshall's mom, nor the hidden shame in Elyse's own family. Lonely in a world of happy zombies, Marshall and Elyse fall into an intense relationship, but the secrets they uncover could be the death of it, and of everyone in Summer Falls.
Glimmer was mysterious, an intriguing journey of weird piled upon weird. It was, in my opinion, and interesting mix of amnesia, an idyllic town of happy zombie (in a metaphorical sense) people who don't remember bad memories, and ghosts. Weird can mean good or bad, but here I just mean weird. Such a unique mix of different ideas, mystery and horror and paranormal and romance, but also a bit quirky.
Both Elyse and Marshall were perfect flawed and broken characters. The book starts and we're as clueless as they are, but they have so many scars hidden deep behind memories they wanted desperately to forget. While the book is a journey to re-discover what they both forgot, it's also them pushing past those memories, learning from them, learning that forgetting doesn't remove the pain.
The tag line on the cover says so much about this book, that perfection that a price in Summer Falls, but you don't necessarily have to limit it to the town or even the book. There's a candy-coated happiness over Summer Falls, smothering the dark and creepy danger beneath it, the imperfection and the flaws. It's up to Elyse and Marshall to decide to leave it as it is, or ruin the perfect town that comes with a hefty price.
Also, the cover itself fits with the book. It's rather striking, the bright colours in the girl's face, the water turning dark and murky. It's like Summer Falls, the sickly sweet coating over the truth, and Elyse with the darkness around her eyes. There's something hidden there, locked away, waiting for her to decide if she wants to realize the truth.
I didn't expect what I found in this book, such raw pain and such a strong desire to hide it, such mystery and struggle to discover the truth. This book will be strange, it will be weird, it will be creepy and bizarre, but the story it tells is rather moving.
(I received an advance copy of this book from the author.)