Reading level: Young Adult
Size: 352 pages
Release Date: April 17th 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Won from the author
First Line: "I come to life with a gasp in the darkness."
Summary (from GoodReads):
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 don't know if I can put into words how much I loved this book. I am certainly going to try though! It's rare that I find a book that simply ticks all the boxes for me... And I am sure that a part of it may be timing and mood...but this book completely amazed me!
First of all I absolutely loved the two main characters as well as the narrative style. We alternate points of view with each chapter between Elyse and Marshall and as we do so we slowly get to know each of them as they in turn not only get to know each other but also strive to discover exactly who they are - we're dealing with amnesiacs here. The voices of each of these characters is completely believable.
I love Elyse... She's tough and smart, she can make hard decisions, and she can change her mind without being stubborn. She has a good heart and a surprisingly refreshing honesty for a young adult. And not once did she descend into whiny teenager mode for which I as excessively grateful! Marshall is a bit more of a complex character which we learn as he learns just who he is (and how he's changed) He's a very realistic mix of candor and deviousness, of hero and false hero and I think that makes his character ring all the more true.
The pacing and writing style are also spot on...I sped through this book in two days and would have stayed up all night to finish it if I could have!
And Glimmer's premise...it is without a doubt one of the most creative and original books that I have read in a long time. I don't know how Phoebe Kitanidis thought up all of this but I loved it all. The sweet romantic moments, the character defining moments, the whole crazy paranormal element that is Summer Falls, the secondary characters...all amazing.
And perhaps most amazing is how it leaves one thinking about what exactly defines us as individuals. How much do our experiences and our memories inform who we are?? And how possible is it for each of us to change "our signatures?"
Get this book, read this book, it really is THAT good.