Customer Reviews: Glimmer (Zellie Wells Book 2)
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on January 22, 2011
3 and 1/2 stars

Why I Read this Book: I read Glimpse, the first book in this series, and I really enjoyed the story. This series carries a very unique paranormal story that just grabs you. I definitely wanted to read more about Zellie and the complications that surround her. If you've read Glimpse, you'll definitely want to read Glimmer.

What I Liked: In Glimpse, we didn't really get to know Benjamin, we just got to meet him. He was a very intriguing character and in Glimmer, he's one of the characters that takes center stage. I like Benjamin; he's cocky, funny and smart. I like that he makes Avery feel uncomfortable and keeps him on his toes.

There is a character in this book that at first seems like a new addition to the group. However, that is not the case. This character was in Glimpse a little bit, even had a few lines of dialogue. I just didn't know that he was going to have a bigger role in Glimmer. This move was very well played by the author. There were also some interesting twists and turns to the storyline that I didn't see coming. Just like with Glimpse, there's no cliffhanger ending but there are some loose ends that need attention. Glimmer ends well considering there is another book in this series; you know there's more to come, the door is not closed yet.

What I Didn't Like: There were a couple of moments in this book that I feel could use a bit of clarity. One thing in particular that I needed clarity on involves the circumstances surrounding Rachel. If you would like to know specifics, click on the SPOILER button below. But be warned, it could be considered a SPOILER, which is why I wanted to hide it away. You have been warned.

I'm also a bit confused about the "loophole". I'm not sure if that's been solved with the certain turn of events towards the end of the book or if it still remains an issue. Perhaps it will be addressed in the next book in the series...

Glimmer had lots of characters to keep track of. Also the POV bounced around a lot, unlike the simplistic POVs in Glimpse.

Overall Impression: Glimmer has a bit more mature content than Glimpse did. Profanity was definitely more prominent in Glimmer than it was in Glimpse. It doesn't bother me a bit but since this is a YA novel, it should be mentioned. Also, Zellie and Avery's relationship...shall we say, progresses, in Glimmer. I enjoyed reading Glimmer but I enjoyed Glimpse a bit more. I look forward to the release of Glow, the next installment in the Zellie Wells series, which is set to be released sometime in 2011.
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on November 9, 2010
When I saw that "Glimmer" had been released, I rushed to download it on my Kindle. I have been eagerly awaiting this sequel, and I was excited that I might be one of the first to read and review it. I rushed through the reading part- just like its title, "Glimmer" shines with wit, the return of beloved characters, unexpected twists, humor, romance, imagination, and that aching mixture of sexual attraction and innocent love most of us only experience around the magical age of sixteen or so. But then, when I got to the actual reviewing part, I stalled out a little, because I realized I had something worth thinking about on my hands. Something new, I think. Not just a good story, but an emerging talent in a vibrant new genre. Let me come back to this point. First, the book:

Did I mention humor? Stacey Benefiel outdoes herself here. I laughed out loud more times than I can count. I recounted parts of the book for friends, who laughed along with me. Just a taste: Zellie, wondering just what the heck you do with your dream boy once you have him panting in your arms, thinks: "I guess if you make a guy talk like Yoda, you're not completely messing up." I almost choked to death when I read that, I laughed so hard. Since then it's kind of gotten stuck in my head: "Mmm. Kiss you I will. Love you, I do." Really disturbing, I know, and it's all your fault, Stacey Wallace Benefiel!

Many of the things left hanging in "Glimpse" get addressed here: we discover a lot more about the mysterious Benjamin; about the Society of Retroacts and their Lookouts; Zellie and Avery's impending little brother; and how family ties, so badly shaken in "Glimpse," wind up merely stirred but settled in "Glimmer." I loved reading about the Pacific Northwest. Without giving too much away, I have to say that setting is more important in this sequel. I loved the way Benefiel writes small towns. If you live in one, or come from one, you will recognize the authenticity with which she writes. My two wishes for this series: I would like to see a more thorough exploration of gay characters, and perhaps a deeper understanding of how they operate as Retroacts and/or Seers. Also, even the best of them come off a bit creepy. I wonder if Lookouts ever get jealous of their sister's powers? It seems to me they have a lot of grunt work and little glory.

A warning: Benefiel writes realistically, and humorously, about teen sex. She handles it in a responsible, straight-forward manner, and the actual writing is incredibly tender, highlighting the strengths and vulnerabilities of both characters. The "sex question" has got to be one of the hardest things for a YA writer to navigate, just as it is for real-life teens. I think Benefiel's handling of it is magnificent; it irritates me when people freak out about things like this, but some of them do, so consider yourself warned. What is even more curious is Benefiel's blending of Zellie's religious upbringing with her powers as a Retroact and her burgeoning sexuality. Raised to be in church every Sunday and then some, Zellie must suddenly navigate both the supernatural and the sexual, and she's not finding her answers in her father's bible. I love the way Benefiel portrays church life as not just "holier-than-thou". It's also wacky and irreverent, and the place to pick up boys. "Glimmer" is, in part, the story of a young woman who must carefully pick through the values her parents have so carefully instilled in her to find the ones that will work for her bizarrely unconventional life. She makes mistakes, of course, but Benefiel has lain enough of a small-town, family- and moral-centered universe that we can watch Zellie stumble and still hope not to see her fall.

On the whole, I think "Glimmer" is a better book than "Glimpse." Perhaps my favorite thing about reading it was seeing the ways in which her writing had become more sophisticated. "Glimmer" is a tighter, more focused book with a more cohesive magical system. I look forward to learning more about her world of Retroacts, Seers, Lookouts, of finding out more about Zellie and Avery, of finding out what happens to Benjamin, and, in general, just losing myself in her world.
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on September 11, 2012
Totally sighing right now, I just adore this series. This sequel was such an amazing installment in this series! I dread sequels that are used to just fill the space between the beginning and end of a story. We were given more information in this book and there are some crazy twists that go on in this book. I thought I knew what was going on and what was going to happen but I had no clue. This book was a huge shocker for me! It was full of action which I love, I don't like books that don't have some sort of craziness going on! This was a great book also because we get to see Zellie and Avery's relationship strengthen through hard times, they stick together in this book even though people try to force them apart. It's really admirable to see them not give up like Zellie's mom did.

If you haven't read the first book you have no clue who Ben is but if you have guess what?! We get to learn about him and his past!! He is an awesome character, I absolutely adore Ben. It might sound crazy because of what happened between him and Zellie in the first book but once you read Glimmer you'll understand. We're also introduced to a psychotic character who has some crazy plans swirling around in his head, he had a small part in the beginning of the book. I will not give any names away but once you find out you'll probably be shocked, I was. This book just makes the story of the seers, retroacts, and the society so much better! If you enjoyed Glimpse you'll definitely enjoy this book more, it was just amazing. I would recommend it to anyone who like paranormal reads, young adult books, or paranormal romance books.
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on September 23, 2014
Glimmer has a unique slant on the Paranormal that I enjoyed. The Author - Stacey Benefiel - did a great job of getting you caught up in the story right away having you hooked on reading the other two books in the series. I think Stacey Benefiel has a promise of becoming a great author... IF ONLY she took a page or two from the TA Authors for Twilight and Harry Potter... no profanity or sexual the whole family can read them and enjoy them. There are many books well written books on the market that are not filled with profanity and graphic sex scenes. This starts out about a 15 year old virgin girl Zellie Wells who is a daughter of a Pastor. This where the script gets confusing. Zellie and her friends have a big problem using profanity - The author seems to LOVE the "F" word and other crude words and uses them as many times as she can in the story. Zellie's Mother has an affair with a man in town, gets pregnant by him... He dies but she can see his ghost and they live happily every after raising the baby together. Her father - the Pastor - becomes involved with the wife of his ex-wife's Baby ghost daddy... Zellie becomes sexually active right away and decides never to marry till she's at least 30 or older.... Many of her friends are gay and the sexual images are very blatant. Unfortunately I can not recommend this book to my TA (I pre read the books to ensure their content is clean).

It's unfortunate because I think Stacey could have done this same series cutting out all the profanity - possibly elude to sexual content without actually writing about it. I will definitely have to put this author and series on my "Do Not Read" list.
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on November 12, 2012
I love this series! Zellie is freaking hilarious and her friend and sister are so cute in their protectiveness and determination to help her. In this second book Zellie is trying desperately to save the boy she loves from an inevitable death. We see her grow into her powers with the help of new friends with the same powers as she. Oh, she gets the boy she loves and the new guy is little more than a distraction. The love story from the first story continues and only gets sweeter.

I highly recommend this series read in order.
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on April 14, 2011
This is a really great follow up from the first book, Glimpse. Very few authors are able to bring their novels to the next level with sequels and she's done a fantastic job with Glimmer.

Well Zellie is still developing her powers, and trying to get use to Avery being her boyfriend, Ben reappears in her life along with other characters that truly make this book great. The dialogue between the late teens is hilarious and totally on point. I laughed out loud more times than I can count. Between Claire's funny remarks to Ben's oh so smooth cat character. Not to mention the POV between Avery and Zellie are great.

What I like the most about the first book is that you didn't have to wait 20 chapters for an answer or two books. Here in Glimmer it's the same deal. Things happen that you do a WTF but then are satisfied within a chapter of two. What you want to happens does happen and it so refreshing that an author has finally gotten that right.

This is a YA book and there is swearing and some sexy-ness going on. All of which should be expected, cause that's what teens do. There where a few plot twist that where fabulous that I didn't even come close to seeing. Great page turner! Looking forward to the next one!
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on June 30, 2013
Sometimes YA leaves me feeling unsatisfied. Some YA novels feel too young, too light, too teen-angsty, or too recycled. Happily, none of that is the case with Stacey Wallace Benefiel's books! She has created a world just like ours except for the addition of people with powers such as communicating with spirits, rewinding events to make them go another way, and seeing the future. People with these powers have no other abnormalities and the rest of the population is left in the dark.

Glimmer picks up where Glimpse left off. Zellie and Avery are trying to be together despite warnings by their parents to stay apart to prevent Avery's death that Zellie glimpses every night. Zellis learns more about her powers and has continued interaction with her grandmother and aunt, who are also gifted like Zellie.

I found Glimmer to be faster paced than Glimpse. The story moves along quickly until the surprising conclusion. I actually gasped out loud twice---I love to be surprised like that! One of my favorite things about Benefiel's writing are her well-developed minor characters. They each have such well-defined personalities and add a lot to the story.

I would recommend Glimpse and Glimmer to fans of paranormal fiction and YA. They are such sweet books!
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on August 8, 2013
This book might be my favorite of the series. I know that I'm only two books in, but the characters are just so absolutely great. I'm not saying that they aren't flawed and whatnot, it's just that I've fallen in love with each and every one of them. The author's writing style is also one of my favorites. I love the language and the "realness" of the characters. Yes, they're young. I don't care if they are drinking and having sex. It's like I'm getting the best of both worlds - a YA book with adult themes and plotlines. I love it.

Maybe I'm a sucker for an ensemble cast, but this group of characters really had me furiously flipping pages to get more! Ben, Christopher, Zellie, and Avery (and Mel) are so fabulous together that I wish this weren't just a trilogy. The dialogue is fast paced and matches the action jam packed into this book. For me, the pacing was perfect. I don't like a drawn out final battle and this book wrapped things up nicely for me. No cliffhangers (really... kind of... sort of) and we see the character developing and growing with each chapter. Give me a hundred of these books and I still would want more. I'm addicted to this author now!
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on August 2, 2013
Followed right along with the first book and didn't do a lot of repeating, but picked it right up where it left off. Fun book that was an easy to follow story. The characters were well developed and fun. I really enjoyed it.
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on January 21, 2015
The second book is the Zellie Wells trilogy takes off with more of the paranormal than book one. While the first book seemed more contemporary to begin with, there is no mistaking that Glimmer is a paranormal novel. Glimmer continues Zellie's growth as she learns more about her powers and the mysterious Ben who crashed her first solo rewind. I absolutely loved the addition of Ben to this story line, he's fun, attractive, and a good addition to the group.

I found that Glimmer had lots of twists that I didn't expect which was kind of fun. I don't want to spoil anything but I will say that there was some neat powers introduced in this book. There was also a focus on LGBT issues that wasn't expected. Although I didn't find this enough to turn me away from the series (because sometimes books can start to feel preachy about these things) it may be something others won't like. I think the biggest surprise for me was the context. Zellie grew up in a Christian home and seeing how she reacts to these developments is interesting (and good, kudos to the author). On the downside Zellie's parents were SO annoying in this book. Granted that is a big part of the story but seriously, I hated them while listening to this story. I even hated Zellie's dad who I had loved in the first book.

Glimmer was an excellent transition from the first book to the third and even though it took me FOREVER to write this review I am really looking forward to finally starting book three tomorrow on my drive. And by writing this review I am already recalling a bunch of what happened in Glimmer which is another indicator that this was a good book. It stuck with me! Overall, I really enjoyed this second addition to the series.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
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