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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: 392,928
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 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 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.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though written in a poetry-style, Glimpse is a very moving novel. It's suspenseful, but also terrifying as we try, along with Hope, to find out what made her sister Liz try to kill herself. I figured it out about halfway through, but wasn't quite sure I was write until Hope eventually came to the same conclusion. While the book looks huge, it is not. The style fits the novel quite well and even if you're not sure if it's good, it's worth a try. A good, hard book.
book_worm127 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Glimpse is a heartbreaking and powerful novel that had me turning the pages as fast as possible near the end just to find out what happened. It's told in verse, and it only took me about an hour and a half to read. Oh, how I love novels in verse. Every word is important, everything has to work together or you're left confused with no idea what's happening. Carol Lynch Williams understands that and this was an exceptional novel in verse.The characters really make this book. Hope is a strong girl, especially considering the way she lives. Her mother is a prostitute, her father is dead, and her sister is all she has. Until she tries to kill herself. Then Lizzie is taken to a mental hospital and Hope is left to figure out what happened. I really felt for Hope. Thinking of her life makes me feel slightly sick. From the get go I didn't like Hope and Lizzie's mother, and by the end I despised her. We don't see much of Lizzie, but there are flashbacks and they visit her a few times. I'm in awe of her and what she endured.This book isn't for the faint of heart. A lot of it horrified me, because I know that right now, somewhere, this could be happening. It breaks my heart. I really enjoyed the writing in this book, a lot of it was beautiful. The only complaint is that sometimes I was confused about whether it was the past or present. Basically: Go read this! It will break your heart in the best way!
storylove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading The Chosen One last summer, I was so excited to read Williams' new novel. Having finished Glimpse, I find myself feeling indifferent. I think it's because with each book I read, I'm always either emotionally or mentally involved on some level. But with Glimpse, I was surprisingly unaffected. The story itself is actually very heartbreaking: prostitute mother, suicidal sister, dead kittens, sexual abuse - all things cringe-worthy that make you jerk a few tears. But I think the major flaw was the format Williams chose to write Glimpse. The verse format of the book is creative and original, something only a handful of YA authors have attempted. This, combined with the southern diction and setting, was interesting enough to hold my attention and made it to easy to read. However, the verse format also made it easy for me to float above it all. I could detach myself from the story at any time and have no urgent need to return myself. Williams' style of verse was choppy, and because of this, I wasn't able to get very far under the surface of the characters. Therefore, I didn't care about what happened to them. Overall, Williams' attempt at writing verse was average. But it's still interesting enough to hold your attention just so you can find out what happens in the end.
ylin.0621 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Finding her sister with a shotgun to her head, Hope tries to figure out what would make her sister do such a thing. Glimpse had a high bar to reach after The Chosen One and Carol Lynch Williams managed to deliver. Written in verses, Glimpse is a novel to breeze through, but the emotional and tragic subject for the novel is not. It is a stunning novel of redemption for the soul as Hope stumbles along the road of her sister¿s trauma. It is a story of struggle of money, of deaths, of protecting the sisterhood. Glimpse is only a glimpse of I foresee and expect of Carol Lynch Williams. This was literary L O V E . Ah, but I do question some of the vague details of their past life and of Hope. Is she 13? Or is she 12?
Awesomeness1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm not a big fan of verse novels. The only exception was Sold by Patricia McCormick. That is, until now. I still don't like the fact that this book was written in free verse, but I was able to get past that and enjoy the story underneath. Glimpse is about 12-year-old Hope and what happened after she found her older sister, Liz, in the bathroom with a gun in her hand. Liz becomes virtually silent and is sent off to a mental care facility. Meanwhile, Hope is trying to cope with things back home. Her mother isn't the best role model around. She's selfish and turn tricks to bring in cash. Hope suspects that her mother knows something as to why Liz almost killed herself that night, and resolves to bring Liz back to a safe home. I definitely got caught up in the story. The mother is probably one of the worst fictional parents I ever encountered. I wanted to go in there and call DCF myself. I was just amazed at the atmosphere. At first I thought the book took place a few decades ago in the South, but I came to discover it took place in modern-day Florida. It made me realize how poverty and ill-treatment can really isolate someone. The big secret as to why Liz was suicidal is pretty easy for the reader to figure out, but that doesn't lessen the emotional impact. Poor Hope and poor Liz. I don't see why this book had to be in verse, though. Is it because they are in style? That the author thinks it makes the work seem more emotional? Original? I would have enjoyed it more if it was written in prose. But it was a quick, emotional read, nonetheless.
ShellyPYA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Told in poems. Hope and her older sister Lizzie have always been close. Their fatehr died when they were young and they've been raised by their mom, who has tried various ways of supposting them, including prostitution. When Lizzie tries to kill herself, Hope can't understand why. It's not until she finds her diary that she discovers the motivation.
korjon1905 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A novel told in verse, this story of two young sisters and a mother, who resorts to prostitution to support her family, is heartbreaking and yet I couldn't stop reading it. When one sibling tries to commit suicide, the other sister, who happens to be named Hope, finds a diary explaining the events leading up to the decision. I loved the way the story unfolded. Even though the material is challenging, by breaking up the sentences into poetry seemed really fitting and help to lighten the story for me. Would not suggest this book to anyone though.
thehidingspot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It isn't often that I am so emotionally overwhelmed by a novel that I want to simultaneously hug it to my chest and throw it across the room. I was riveted by Hope and Lizzie's heartrending story and, even though it was difficult to read, I found that I was unable to tear my eyes from the pages. I found it hard to determine if it was the book's content or the age of the narrator that called to my protective side, but it was there in full force. Williams' depiction was so vivid that I found myself completely invested in the characters, which caused many frustrated tears. I wanted to protect Hope and Lizzie from their awful, selfish mother and prevent the tragic events that I felt were sure to unfold. I haven't read very many books written in verse, but, after GLIMPSE, I may have to. Williams' writing had a much more powerful impact written in blank verse than it would have in any other format. I'm astounded by how the deletion of superfluous words can hone text into a dangerous weapon that cuts straight to the reader's heart. GLIMPSE is left me swollen-eyed and emotionally drained, but in no way regretting my soggy state. It's often the difficult reads that leave a permanent mark, opening the reader's eyes to an issue or situation that they'd rather avoid. My eyes are officially open.
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.