Girls*Heart* Books: Tammy's Two Cents: Interview and Review with Claire Merle

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tammy's Two Cents: Interview and Review with Claire Merle

The Glimpse

London, in the not too distant future, and people are now divided into Pures and Crazies, according to the results of a DNA test, with the Crazies sectioned off to live within 'the City', on the other side of the Community wall. Until the age of fifteen, Ana has lived a privileged existence amongst the Pures, but her whole world crumbles when she finds out that her DNA test was faked, which makes her one of the Crazies. She has just three years before she will be cast out of the Community . . . But Ana meets Pure-born Jasper and is offered a ticket to freedom when he asks her to Join with him. She looks forward to a 'normal' life, and fulfilling her dreams of becoming a musician. Then, just a week before the Joining ceremony, Jasper goes missing; it appears he is somewhere in the City, and no one knows why. Ana sets off on his trail, which takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper's disappearance Ana uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before. (from Amazon.com)

There is a lot going on in this novel; at times I was a little lost in details and dialogue but, I stuck with it and enjoyed it in the end.  I was actually surprised Merle was able to keep the story intriguiging with the multiple plots and characters; it really is a well written novel.  Merle will leave you questioning the Mental Health field with this “Glimpse” into her Dystopian London that is completely plausible! 
I do LOVE the female lead, Ana (Ariana)( a Pure)!  She is a no nonsense, smart as a whip, tough cookie.  Several of the secondary characters in the book are memorable as well; there is even a teency weency zombie part thrown in there.  We know I do love my zombies; Merle’s version of these is plausible as well.  My interest peeked with the introduction of Cole Winters (a Crazy) He’s intelligent, sweet and Musical, like our Ana.  There is an attempt at a Love triangle, don’t be fooled, anyone that reads this book and thinks there is, is a Crazy!
Slow to start but full speed ahead in the end, I give “The Glimpse” 3.5 out of 5 Quills… I’d recommend it to anyone that loves Dystopian Novels.  But, that’s just my 2 cents!! 
And now for the good stuff; here is my Interview with Author Claire Merle
(Photo of Claire Merle with Author Amy Plum)
*Tell me a bit about yourself.
Ooh, that could go so many ways. But I’ll keep it simple! I’m 37, I live in Paris and have two
young boys. I moved to Paris after meeting a French man who became my husband a year
*Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Oxford, England but I never lived there. I actually grew up in Highgate, North
London. For me, home is where my husband and kids are.
*What was your inspiration for Glimpse?
The original idea came to me around ten years ago after I went to a talk on mental health and
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). I was alarmed to learn about the rapidly
increasing number of children being prescribed medication such as Ritalin for behavioural
Over the years I found myself returning again and again to read up on mental health issues,
particularly in regards to young people. I started asking myself, ‘what will happen if the
number of people with mental health problems just continues to go up and up?’ ‘What kind
of solutions are out there?’ ‘Why are more young people experiencing these sorts of problems
than ever before?’
*For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Glimpse, how would you introduce it?
A YA thriller set in a near future, with a romantic twist.
*What are the Pro's and Con's to being a published Author?
Pros: I don’t need to make excuses anymore for all the time I spend writing. It is
officially ‘my job’ and I love my job!
Cons: Juggling everything there is to do and keeping up with the deadlines.
*What was the first thing you did when you got the news Glimpse was being published?
I called my husband, who didn’t answer his mobile phone. Then I called one of my oldest and
closest friends in the UK.
*Whom in your life would you say has influenced you the most?
That’s hard. My husband is definitely close to the top of the list though. He is a very
determined person. Never accepts ‘no’ for answer. Never admits defeat. He’s helped pick me
up along the way when I’ve been nursing injuries and feeling sorry for myself.
*What has been the most interesting comment (or review) about your book?
To be honest I’ve stopped reading reviews. It is very hard to write book 2 with all that going
on in your head. But it is intriguing to discover the way different people interpret what you’ve
written. One review that I found particularly interesting was from a woman who has suffered
mental health problems and who said, ‘For me this book was not about mental health at all.
The people who are being segregated are not sick. They are people the government consider
dangerous or problematic. The whole ‘Pure’ vs ‘Crazies’ thing is a lie being used by the
government to control the people.’
I think it’s important to let the reader make their own conclusions, but this reviewer is
very close to a truth that is sometimes overlooked in the book.
*Who is YOUR favorite Author?
Ooh, that’s like asking what’s your favourite ice cream or who is your favourite actor. It
totally depends on my mood. I love variety.
*What are you reading right now?
The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
*Tell us your latest news.
I was very excited about The Glimpse being selected on Amazon UK as editor’s pick of the
month in June. I’m also about to take part in the massive author YA Scavenger Hunt with lots
of signed book prizes by wonderful authors. Highly recommended!

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