Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis
Genre: Paranormal YA
Publication Date: April 17, 2012
Source: Received a review copy from the publisher
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.
I loved Glimmer so much — it was one of those books that I finished the same day I started. There was so much mystery in the story, especially in the beginning, and I NEEDED to know how it ended.
Glimmer switches from Elyse and Marshall’s point of view through the story, both told in first person. With some books this can get confusing, but their voices were different enough that I never found myself confused about whose head I was in. I liked both main characters — they had enough flaws to make them seem real, while still allowing them to be likable. I loved watching them figure out what their lives were like before they lost their memories, especially since both of them were unhappy with what they discovered.
The ghosts were different than anything I’ve read before. I don’t want to give anything away though because I don’t want to ruin the story, so you’ll just have to find out what I mean by reading the book yourself 🙂
Glimmer was a fun, fast read that you’ll want to finish the day you start because you’ll need to know what’s going on. When I got to the end I was shocked by the reason they lost their memory — it wasn’t what I expected! Also, it’s a standalone, which is nice among so many trilogies/series. Finally I can finish a book and have it be The End without having to wait a year between each following book.
The beginning of Glimmer reminded me of Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, which I loved. The end sort of reminded me of an Are You Afraid of the Dark episode, but with older characters. Even if you don’t consider yourself someone who typically likes ghost stories, I definitely recommend reading Glimmer!
*I love the cover of Glimmer, but the girl doesn’t fit Elyse’s description AT ALL. I was confused about who she was supposed to be the whole time I was reading. My guess is Elyse’s mom … but that was the best I could come up with.