Terrified by their amnesia, Marshall and Elyse make a pact to work together to find the answers that could restore their missing memories. As they piece together clues about their lives, they discover that they're in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls. Everyone seems happy there, 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 violence in Elyse's family, not even the day-to-day anguish of being a high schooler.
Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marshall and Elyse fall into an intense relationship founded on their mutual quest for truth. But the secrets they're trying to uncover could be the death of this budding love affair—and of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.
I am a sucker for a pretty cover and this one is no exception! *stares at the pretty*
This story is nothing like I expected and I'm still trying to decide if I enjoyed it or not. I did like the alternating POV's. It opens with the characters, Elyse and Marshall, waking up naked in bed together, neither having any memory of how they got there, each other or themselves. Awkward much? Um, yeah! They decide to trust each other to figure out what's going on and why everyone in town seems to know them but can't give them much information.
The people in town are super strange, easily distractable, forgetful and seem to fall asleep suddenly whenever they're too stressed out and wake up unable to recall what they were previously upset about. (I think I suffered from a similar condition a few years ago because whenever I got overwhelmed I too would feel the sudden urge to nap but I always remembered what was bothering me when I woke up - bummer.)
Elyse discovers she can see ghosts and is the popular girl at school. So popular that all the girls want to BE her. Creepy. Her home life is bizarre too and dangerous. Marshall finds out that he has special talents and his strange tattoo zaps the ghosts back to wherever they come from but only temporarily. Together, they'll uncover the secrets of their eerily happy town (some of which are heart breaking) and when they do, it will change their lives and the lives of everyone forever...or will it?
Faced with the choice to either save the townspeople or save themselves, Marshall and Elyse will have to decide whether falling asleep and losing their memories is worth it? In doing so, they risk losing the relationship that's started between the two of them as well as their lives and right now, they're all they've got.
Elyse is a strong female character but her weakness is her pride and unwillingness to forgive easily.
Marshall is protective, a bit selfish at times but he's also sweet and redeems himself. His weakness is allowing his feelings for Elyse to cloud his judgement.
I couldn't get into the characters because they didn't even know who they were, so they're just these awkward potatoes walking around trying to get their memories back. I didn't have any type of feelings for them. The romance was lame, too, and at times a bit over the top/creepy. I don't think Marshall was in love with Elyse; I think he was obsessed.
And let me get started on these ghosts. Hm. Whenever I think 'ghost' I think Paranormal Activity; these ghosts only popped up from time to time to make a person (who is under a lot of pressure) forget their bad memories. The people of Summer Falls calls this a 'heat nap'. I don't know, I have mixed feelings about this. I thought they were going to be talking and be a big part of Marshall and Elyse's memory loss.
The ending was extremely predictable and slow-paced. I had to skim the last 50 pages. Oh and I completely forgot about the magic. Yes, magic. Kitanidis failed to impress me with this, I think this was just thrown in there to make the story all more exciting. It was a nice shot, though. Glimmer had a good premise, but I'm sorry to say it wasn't all that it's cracked up to be.
This story is told in alternating points of view, which actually works really well in the overall flow of things. Both Elyse and Marshall are vivid characters with just enough difference in their voices to make them easier to discern. Which is important, because a lot of times they will have the same thoughts. It's eerie, and slightly sweet. Still, what I loved was watching their struggle. As Elyse and Marshall discover who they once were, they realize how much they dislike those people. The reader gets to follow along as they figure out how to fight back and become better.
In case you're worried that Glimmer is all ghosts and no romance, let me assure you that there is a romance here. It just so happens to be a beautifully broken one. Here we have two people fighting to figure out where they came from, while working together to figure out where to go next. Elyse and Marshall have a lot of tough moments in the story (and some creepy ones as well), but Kitanidis balances it out with a bit of sweetness too. These two have their fair share of adorable moments together, and it makes everything even more worthwhile.
I'd love to say more, but I don't want to give anything away! The ghosts in this book are especially fantastic and different, but if I say more you won't have that part to uncover. So instead I'll just say that this is a read that is well worth your time! If you are looking for something outside the box. If you need a paranormal that strays away from the usual zombies, vampires and werewolves, pick up a copy of Glimmer. Just be prepared to read all night.
Going into it, I thought Glimmer would start out in some sort of hospital or lab. I have no idea where this assumption came from but the point is that it didn’t bother me in the slightest that it wasn’t. I was too busy being distracted by the fact the neither of the characters had any idea what was going on which, in turn, left me completely clueless too. If you’re the type who doesn’t like to be totally in the dark then Glimmer definitely isn’t for you, but that kind of thing is my absolute favorite.
Neither Marshall or Elyse were really my favorite characters, but I didn’t dislike them either. I enjoyed seeing both of them struggle with who they once were and who they were becoming. I know that sounds kind of sadistic, but I just mean that even though the characters weren’t my favorite I could still appreciate their emotional journeys.
I’m declaring Phoebe Kitanidis a mystery master. There was always just enough mystery to keep me flipping the pages to find out what happened next but not so much that I felt like ripping my hair out. There were some moments I was left sitting there going “what in the WORLD?!” but it was in the best possible way.
The Nutshell: If you’re looking for a good non-murder mystery that will keep you flipping pages then Glimmer is definitely your book. If you enjoy being terribly confused while being fed bits of information little by little then you need to run out and get this book into your hands as soon as possible!