Glimpse (Zellie Wells #1) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Publisher: Orange House Press
Released: In paperback, May 9th 2010 (first published April 20th 2010)
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Zellie Wells has a devastating crush on Avery Adams, the son of her mom’s high school sweetheart. At her sixteenth birthday party, held in the basement of her dad’s church, she finally finds the courage to talk to him. Turns out, the devastating crush is mutual.
As Avery takes her hand and leads her out onto the makeshift dance floor, Zellie is overwhelmed by her first vision of his death; shocking because not only are they both covered in his blood, but they’re old, like 35, and she is pregnant.
Afraid to tell anyone about the vision, (she’d just be labeled a freaky black magic witch, right?) Zellie keeps the knowledge of Avery’s future to herself and tries to act like any other teenager in love. When they get caught on their way to a secret rendezvous by her mom and his dad, they are forbidden to see each other.
Convinced that their parents are freaking out unnecessarily, Avery and Zellie vow to be together no matter what. They continue their relationship in secret until Zellie learns that their parents are just trying to prevent her and Avery from suffering like they did. The visions are hereditary, they’re dangerous, and if they stay together the visions will come true.
Now Zellie must choose between severing all ties with Avery, like her mom did to prevent his father’s death, and finding a way to change Avery’s future. (from Goodreads)
Glimpse starts off with Zellie Wells daydreaming about her crush, Avery Adams, whilst waiting in line for communion. Zellie has liked Avery for ages, but she’s sure he can’t be interested in her. But when Avery appears to reciprocate her feelings, Zellie is ecstatic. Until she has a vision of his death that changes everything. At first, Zellie is content with ignoring the visions. Nothing bad will really happen, right? But after a while, Zellie has to face the fact that being with Avery will lead to his death, and there’s no way she can stop it. Will Zellie be able to let go of the guy she loves?
Glimpse is a fast-paced and thrilling novel with a very unique concept. I was intrigued by the premise from the very beginning – the idea of having visions of the future is something that has always interested me. Zellie was a great character; I liked how she was sure of herself and confident, yet was prone to embarrassment and spacing out as well, which made it easier for me to relate to her. She could be a bit shallow at times but I thought that made great reading because I thought she was funny too, and I laughed out loud at some of the situations she got herself into. Zellie’s not your typical pastor’s daughter and I really liked that about her. I also really liked her best friend Claire; I think they made a great pair and their friendship seemed real and easy – I could easily imagine seeing them at my school or out in town.
One thing I really liked about Glimpse is that not only do we hear the story from Zellie firsthand, but we also get to read about it in third person from Avery’s point of view. I think this really helped keep the book flowing, and it also gave us insight into Avery’s mind and what he was thinking. This means that we as readers find out a few things before Zellie and Avery do, so we get to formulate theories and ideas about what might happen next, which I think really involves us in the story. We also get to know Avery a little better; we discover how sweet and caring he is and how he gets just as embarrassed as Zellie does, and I found myself able to empathise with him more because of this. The connection between Avery and Zellie is very intense – there are definitely a lot of sparks flying, and they feel inexplicably drawn to each other. Whilst I think that perhaps the “I Love You” s were exchanged a bit too soon and their relationship progressed quite fast, I definitely understand why they felt so strongly about one another, and I loved the way Zellie’s mum and Avery’s dad reacted to the situation – they knew history was repeating itself and they felt powerless to stop it.
However, Glimpse isn’t just a love story. There’s a fair amount of action involved, some of it quite shocking – at certain points I felt my eyes glued to the page, unable to stop reading. There’s also a lot of learning going on; Zellie has to learn how to control her powers, and this was one of the parts that interested me most. I loved finding out about Zellie’s history, and discovering all the things she could do with her powers. Aunt Hazel was a quirky character, but also quite serious, and I enjoyed her interaction with Zellie and her sister Melody. But Zellie doesn’t just learn information, I think she grows emotionally too, and I thought it was very big of her to forgive her mother towards the end, even though she was still upset and angry. Even though I think Zellie should have told about her visions earlier, I think she makes up for it later on in the book and really begins to understand the seriousness of the situation.
The character who intrigued me most though was definitely Ben. He made a short and surprising appearance, and there are now a lot of questions surrounding him. I’m really eager to find out more about him – waiting for the sequel is going to be torture!
In conclusion, Glimpse was an exciting read, and I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to the sequel, Glimmer, and I would recommend this to anyone who liked Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready or The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.