Review: 'Glimpsed,' By G.F. Miller1G.F. Miller's new novel follows Charity, a teenaged fairy godmother who tries to keep her distance from the "Cindies" she helps — until the wishes she grants start going disastrously wrong.
So. 2020. Yeah. What a year that was. I don't know about you, but I am Worn Out, like Cinderella run ragged by her evil stepsisters. Just as I was thinking, "You know, I could really use a fairy godmother right about now," G. F. Miller's Glimpsed entered, stage right.
Not only was this book utterly delightful, it was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. I'm not sure if I fell in love with Charity's magical Memom first — or Charity's pepper spray face-off with Captain America, but this book wormed its sparkly way into my sad and tired heart pretty early on.
Charity is an 18-year-old fairy godmother — a gift she gets from her grandmother (Memom). She sometimes receives mental "nudges" when she encounters a person. These "glimpses" (Memom calls them "flashes," but Charity informs her that being "flashed" by people doesn't mean the same thing these days) are visions of the person's most deepest wish. Whenever a fairy godmother gets glimpsed by someone, they are bound to help that person achieve their dream.
And then they have to fade away — so Charity has become a master of not getting involved with people. This also means that no one really knows Charity. Not even her mother. Charity doesn't have friends, not really, and everyone knows that fairy godmothers shouldn't date humans. Memom is the only person remotely close to Charity, and she lives in a retirement home.
Charity has helped more than a handful of Cindies (Cinderellas) during her time at Jack London High, the most recent being Vindhya Chandramouli, the STEM star who dreamed of becoming homecoming queen. But Charity's machinations have been found out by the overly-observant Noah. Noah sees himself as a Captain America of sorts in all this, determined to save past and future Cindies from Charity's meddling.
See, Noah was an unwitting victim of Charity's help when she tried to make a girl named Holly's dreams come true. Seems Holly and Noah were really hitting it off before Charity got involved, and Holly doesn't seem to be faring all that well in her Happily Ever After. Neither does Vindhya. Could Charity have gotten it wrong? Is that even possible?
Since Noah is the only one who knows the truth, he and Charity begin to investigate the ins and outs of fairy godmother powers together. After all, Charity can't really go to her mother (who's traveling for work all the time) or her sister (who is in Thailand saving elephants) because her gifts skipped a generation, and she can't be constantly dropping in on Memom, who is busy organizing her own Cindy's HEA at the retirement community. But Noah will only help Charity if she vows to untangle the HEAs she's orchestrated, and helps him get back together with Holly.
Charity realizes quickly that part of the reason some things went so wrong was because she didn't ever get to know her Cindies at all. Asking about their heart's desires, instead of just assuming, probably would have gone a long way. But getting to know people is against everything Charity stands for! And yet, the closer she gets to Noah, the more she realizes that having friends maybe isn't so bad ... and maybe she and Noah could be more than friends? (And maybe she should listen to Memom and stop trying to second-guess the universe.)
Glimpsed was wonderful, twisted, clever, laugh-out-loud funny, and there were more than enough Star Trek: The Original Series references to make even my nerd heart smile. Once the story gets going, the action barrels right to the end. Be careful when you start this book, because you will stay up until you finish it. And in the morning, don't be surprised if you find yourself with the irresistible urge to make someone else's dreams come true.
Alethea Kontis is a voice actress and award-winning author of over 20 books for children and teens.