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4.0 32
by Carol Lynch Williams

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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 the death of their father. Their mother, who turns tricks to support her family, is a reluctant and unreliable


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 the death of their father. 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 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Williams (The Chosen One) opens her latest novel with a bang--almost. Written in spare yet resonant verse ("Last night/ me and Lizzie/ sit/ in the dark,/ sit on my bed,/ in the quiet of/ night./ We're all grown up,/ I think./ But we are/ having us some/ troubles"), the book is told from the unreliable perspective of 12-year-old Hope, whose 14-year-old sister, Lizzie, threatens to shoot herself on page one. Lizzie is hauled off to a mental hospital, but the reason behind the suicide attempt remains unclear--even to Hope. As the story progresses, clues about the girls' upbringing are revealed in a series of flashbacks. Hope's memories paint a picture of sporadic sisterly bonding (secret club meetings in the attic, lip-synching to Jesus Christ Superstar), while other incidents (their father's death, Lizzie's crying spells, their alcoholic mother's abusive temper and prostitution) hint at a darker reality. Williams's decision to wait until the end to divulge the cause of Lizzie's misery is a gamble, but one that works. The truth-- exposed after Hope reads her sister's diary--is appalling. Ages 12-up. (June)
From the Publisher
"Glimpse is a subtle punch in the gut. Williams’ demonstrates how courage, resilience, and love can help young people in the most dire of situations survive. This is a book I will read again and one I will recommend to teachers and to my own students."Chris Crowe, author, professor at BYU and former ALAN president.

" An edge-of-the-seat thriller written in sharp, glinting shards of words. Held in, held back, whispered and shouted. Fantastic!" Tim Wynne-Jones, author of the Uninvited

"A brutal, gripping story." —BOOKLIST

"A page-turner for Ellen Hopkins fans."—KIRKUS

"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."—SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, August 2010

Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
Lizzie and Hope are sisters, a year apart. Now thirteen and fourteen they have taken care of each other since their Daddy died and their Momma started spending more and more time working. They have shared trust and secrets like only sisters can until the morning that Hope walks in on Lizzie holding a shotgun with her finger on the trigger and talking about 'leaving.' Lizzie is taken to a mental care facility and it is up to Hope to find a way to help her or to lose her forever. In images and emotions effectively conveyed by the verse format of the story, mature readers will understand Lizzie's breakdown more quickly than Hope does. Hope's awareness of her mother's lifestyle, including alcohol-induced rages and prostitution, has been slow to develop but gradually she realizes that Momma has played a horrifying part in Lizzie's crisis. Knowing the secret does not diminish the impact on readers of Hope's realization of it, however. The novel is gripping and emotionally harrowing to the end. The verse format insures that the story must be carefully reconstructed like fragments from a broken mirror through which only glimpses of the truth are seen. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
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
Kirkus Reviews
From the middle of page one, when Hope walks in on her sister holding a shotgun and "thinking about // leaving" (killing herself), emotional velocity never slows. They've grown up intricately bonded: "It is your job, / Liz, / to take care of your / little sister. // And you, Hope, / Momma said / her finger pointing like / she meant it, / you take care of Lizzie." Momma's harsh (musing that she should've aborted them), money's short and Daddy's dead; but the girls have each other and the freedom to roam around their Florida town, so what's causing this new violent depression that forces Lizzie into hospital lockdown? Despite the close first-person narration, hints emerge before Hope quite comprehends them; readers may envision two possibilities about the nature of Lizzie's trauma, by the time dedicated Hope figures it out. Williams leans hard on her free-verse line breaks for drama ("And I almost / forget / every / awful / thing / in / my / life"), and it works. A page-turner for Ellen Hopkins fans. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
630L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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

Meet 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 CarolLynchWilliams.com.

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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!
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