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Glimpse Hardcover – June 22, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–Lizzie and Hope learned long ago that they had to watch out for one another. Their neglectful mother, who turns tricks for a living, has left the girls to fend for themselves for nearly as long as they can remember. Yet when Hope walks in on Lizzie and finds her holding a gun, everything changes. After Lizzie is sent to a psych ward, her sister is left to wonder when and why things got so bad. Though Lizzie's terrible secret will be quickly evident to readers, Hope's painful, yet poignant, self-realizations unfold more slowly. This well-paced, raw novel-in-verse is a worthy purchase, especially for Ellen Hopkins's fans who are looking for another verse novel in which teens overcome dire circumstances.Jill Heritage Maza, Greenwich High School, CT
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Sisters Hope and Lizzie are also best friends; Lizzie, the elder sibling, has looked after Hope since she was an infant. When Lizzie suddenly becomes suicidal, though, Hope is bewildered, but she gradually realizes that she may have some insight into the roots of Lizzie's depression. Glimpses into her memories and her dreams unfold a story of neglect and abuse that will haunt both Hope and the reader alike. Williams tells a brutal, gripping story through the veiled language of free verse, choosing her words and Hope's memories with careful intent. Although the descriptions are not graphic, Williams leaves little doubt about Lizzie's trauma, their mother's role in her older daughter's fate, and the lack of a perfect resolution to both girls' pain. The unresolved ending is realistic, but it is hopeful, too, and it includes a tribute to caring friends and adults who struggle daily to rescue children from untenable situations. Grades 8-11. --Frances Bradburn
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; First Edition edition (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141699730X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416997306
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,401,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have found myself falling head over heels in love and exceptionally addicted to novels in verse lately. I've had Glimpse on my wish list for quite some time and finally bought it. The synopsis appealed to me and Carol Lynch Williams has delivered such a powerful, emotional, and incredibly engaging novel.

We learn that Hope's life isn't that wonderful but it hasn't been all that bad either. Having her sister Lizzie to connect and bond with over the years has really made a huge impact in her life. Everything was as good as could possibly be until the day that Hope walked into the room, looking at Lizzie holding a gun to her head and about to take her life.

Instantly, the plot has become enthralling.

Lizzie is taken away and committed for her act that she could not perform. Hope has no clue as to what led her to that point. She thought they were so close. They still are. So what happened? What would make Lizzie want to take her own life? She had a secret diary stashed away. Are the answers in there? The doctor believes so but Hope believes it needs to be kept private. Their mother? She's quite a different story.

It's just their mother who takes care of them. The mother that supports them. The mother who now demands answers as she continues on with her frivolous lifestyle. As Hope slowly starts to wonder what has happened in the past that must have been covered up, she slowly and unknowingly gets dragged into it all. Talking to the doctor and realizing that she should do the right thing, the thing that might uncover the secrets, the thing that might make Lizzie come back home, is the thing that will lead to the ghastly truth.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first heard about Glimpse when it was reviewed in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy as a challenging book to read since it is written as a poem.The author creatively unfolded the story bit by bit drawing the reader deeper and deeper into the lives of the young characters. Glimpse is a dark and sad story/poem that provides insight into the life of one dysfunctional family. Because of the unique style of story telling, it should be considered for the Newbery Award.
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Format: Hardcover
As an English major I had my fair share of classes who's required reading lists included quite a good amount of work written in verse. I admit that I never really enjoyed it much. It could have been for any number of reasons, I may have been too immature to grasp the beauty of it, it could have been because it was simply required, or maybe because it was the fact that I had a time deadline that I needed to stick to, but either way I stayed away from it after graduation. Maybe I just don't have a lyrical soul? I hope that's not the reason. But this year I have found myself reading quite a bit of verse voluntarily. Is this a new trend in young adult literature? This is my third tour book written in verse and I was once again unsure if I would enjoy it. I think this book could have been written another way or in a different format but I also think a lot of the powerful emotions behind the words comes out so strongly simply because of the formatting Carol Lynch Williams chose to work with.

Hope is a young girl who comes to find her older sister Lizzie attempting to commit suicide. Lizzie is placed in a mental hospital and Hope is left with her mother and no clue as to what could have driven her sister to take such drastic actions. I've never felt such hatred and disgust for a character the way I did towards Hope and Lizzie's mom. If you give this book a chance, you'll come to understand why I have these extreme feelings toward the woman. Hope comes to learn that Lizzie kept a journal and the story becomes a race between Hope and her mother to find the journal before the other does. It's a tough read emotionally to make your way through, but Williams will amaze readers with her ability to weave such a deep and moving story together with such ease and flow. This is not a light read but one that I think worthy of a reader's time and energy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Grade: D

**WARNING - unnecessary, gratuitous and frequent mention of dying and dead kittens and puppies**

Hope finds her sister Lizzy in the bathroom, holding a shotgun to her head. Now Lizzy is hospitalized, barely communicative, leaving Hope confused, trying to figure out why. In order to help her sizer, Hope must sift through Momma's lies and assist the doctor as to what caused Lizzy's breakdown.

I've only begun to warm up to lyrical novels. Having read less than a dozen, I'm hardly an expert, but I had trouble understanding why Carol Lynch Williams chose to pen GLIMPSE in this genre. Other than page formatting, this story didn't have a lyrical, poetic feel, though I did like the writing. Hope's uneven narration was at time gripping and emotional, at times more telling than showing.

A very sympathetic character, as twelve-year-old Hope develops insight into the true nature of Momma and what lead Lizzy to become suicidal, I think GLIMPSE might interest more older teens even though YA readers usually prefer older main characters. Tweens and younger teens may not see the reasons behind Lizzy's hospitalization coming like older readers will. I'm always concerned when books about mental health provide factually incorrect information about mental health to YA readers, because they don't necessarily have the knowledge of life experience to see the fallacy. For instance, the psychiatrist tells Hope that something must have happened to precipitate Lizzy's breakdown which is categorically not true. A lot of mental illness biological and to present to young people that there needs to be a trauma is dangerous. I blame both Williams for poor research and her editors for this implication.
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