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Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams

This stunning and PEN Award–winning novel of triumph over trauma is a “page-turner for Ellen Hopkins fans” (Kirkus Reviews).

In one moment
it is over.
In one moment
it is gone.
Twelve-year-old Hope’s life is turned upside down when her older sister, Lizzie, becomes an elective mute and is institutionalized after trying to kill herself. Hope and Lizzie have relied on each other from a young age, ever since their dad died. Their mother, who turns tricks to support her family, is a reluctant and unreliable parent—at best. During the course of this lyrical and heartbreaking narrative, told in blank verse from an exceptionally promising YA voice, readers will discover the chilling reason why Lizzie has stopped speaking—and why Hope is the only one who can bring the truth to light and save her sister.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416997313
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 468,654
Product dimensions: 5.08(w) x 6.84(h) x 1.32(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Carol Lynch Williams is a PEN Award–winning author of more than a dozen books and a graduate of the Vermont College MFA program. Carol facilitates the children’s writing conferences at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University. She lives in Utah with her family. Visit her at

Read an Excerpt


In one moment

it is over.

In one moment

it is gone.

The morning grows

thin, gray

and our lives—

how they were—

have vanished.

Our lives have


when I walk

in on Lizzie

my sister

holding a shotgun.

She fingers the


Looks up.

My sister.

My sister just looks

up at me.


the trigger

of that gun.

© 2010 Carol Lynch Williams

Customer Reviews

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Glimpse 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Sarah7498 More than 1 year ago
Hope and Lizzie are as close as sisters can be. So when Hope walks in on her sister holding a shotgun, her life is altered in a permanent way. Their mother sends Lizzie to a mental hospital, where she becomes a selective mute. Meanwhile, Hope is left wondering why her perfect sister would try to kill herself and what made her think death was the only way out. The cover of Glimpse is absolutely amazing, matching the story perfectly. The subject is so real, nude, raw, and awful that it makes you want to cry, scream, and hug it at the same time. I was drawn into Glimpse so much that it felt like I was there with Hope the entire way. My favorite part was in the beginning when Hope found Lizzie: "What are you doing, Lizzie Girl?" "Just thinking, just thinking about leaving." It is written with so much emotion and description in a way that drew me in and kept me that way until the last word; when I finished the book, I closed it and stared at the front cover for a long while, just thinking about Glimpse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought this was a book but its poetry.... and I LUVED IT!!!
Kyla Cottrell More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. It was a page turner that made you want to know what was going to happen.
CiciBear26 More than 1 year ago
Read this in under two hours, that's how captivating and simply enticing it is. To start, 'verse books' are always a quick, fun read for me. I can read the entire 400+ page book in basically one sitting, where I would normally get maybe 200 pages done normally, so that's what drew me into the book. Now, I would have, under normal circumstances, put the book down once I learned that the MC was just about to turn 12...her sister being only 14. BUT, after reading...I don't know, 30? pages before finding out the girl's age, I was totally hooked. The story is so different than anything I would normally read. I really don't want to give it away, but, I like to think that this is a "Lifetime book"--a book that is a topic that Lifetime Movie Network always plays about. It's a topic that never gets old to me, since I feel strongly about it. It broke my heart, and I even teared up, when I learned the secret the sister was withholding. From the first to the last page, I guarantee you will be grabbed into the story. I don't know how you couldn't be! (Oh, and I love the cover! It's so gorgeous, yet so simple!)
Burg More than 1 year ago
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.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Lizzie and Hope are as close as two sisters can be; so, when Hope walks in on Lizzie with a shotgun in her mouth, Hope is thrown into a world of confusion. She can't imagine what would drive Lizzie to such an extreme action. After Lizzie is taken to the hospital and put in lockdown, Hope is left alone in the house with her inattentive, prostitute mother. She does her best to keep up a normal life even though Lizzie is always in the back of her mind. In a visit with the hospital's therapist, Hope finds out about a journal Lizzie kept, and after seeing how anxious it makes her mother, Hope realizes she needs to find it. She knows her mother did something to make Lizzie attempt suicide, but can't decide what. Her mother has been acting guilty and scared ever since she found out about the journal, and Hope knows if her mother finds it before she does, no one will ever find out what Lizzie wrote. GLIMPSE is a heart-wrenching story about the deep love between two sisters and Hope's courage as she finds a way to rescue Lizzie from the hell her life has become. Told in verse, GLIMPSE is a fast-paced story that will grab you as soon as you finish the first page. Carol Lynch Williams handles this edgy topic with grace and finesse. If you enjoyed THE CHOSEN ONE, you'll definitely want to read GLIMPSE.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am hooked. Best YA lyrical book ever... So far
Tigerlily3 More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of story that sticks with you for days.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Surprised yet again with these verse novels, thinking its about one thing. While it is, it also has more to it. This one was interesting, a little sad in the middle but still really interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You wont regret reading this! Its a tear jerker!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im on chapter 12 and im kinda bored most people say ite really good so its either slow or just not something i enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Book Was Very Great And Emotional ! I Couldn't Put My Nook Down Once I'd Bought It And I Finished It In An Hour.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disnt lov eit didnt hate it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love reading free verse. I've read every Ellen Hopkins book (yes, before she became well known) and I feel that it has a certain quality to it that is easy and quick to read. But, in this book, sadly, I feel it kind of takes away from the story. And in some cases it was was hard to tell who was talking if anyone considering there was no quotations or italics. Also, considering I've read some Ellen Hopkins and others books, I've read a lot of books dealing with certain controversies. I don't really know if that contributes, but I found it to be no surprise about why Lizzie tried to kill herself. In fact, it was clear as soon as you find out the mom has something to hide about the situation. I don't know if I'd be willing to buy this book again. But hey, you may like it more than I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had gone to school with the girl who took the cover picture. She's only in high school, she did a great job!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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