Cover Image: The Glare

The Glare

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Member Reviews

Content Warnings: Suicidal thoughts, self harm, suicide, death, underage drinking, drugs, psychological torment, murder.

Dark Web. Psychological Thriller. Horror. Alright, I was sold immediately. I am really glad I gave this book a shot, I enjoyed it so much more then I thought I would. I stayed up until 4 a.m. to finish because I needed to know what was going to happen next.

For the past 10 years of her life, Hedda has lived on a ranch isolated from society and technology by her mother who is protecting her from "the glare" which is any from of technology with a screen, mainly cell phones. Now 16 years old, Hedda is going back to California to live with her dad, step mom and step brother in a world full of technology that she has no idea about. Shortly after arriving and being reintroduced to technology Hedda begins to have flash backs from her childhood and that dark things that happened because of technology and the final straw that led her mom to whisk her away to their isolated ranch. Exploring her belongings from childhood Hedda comes across a link to a game from the dark web and begins to play. But urban legend says if you die 13 times on level 13, you will die in real life too and Hedda just died for the 13th time.

I think The Glare brings up a good discussion on technology in this day and age. There is no set time frame of this book so I am going to assume present day (2018/2019) which would make 10 years ago 2008/9. Tablets were only released in the last decade for Android ('08) and Apple ('10), which would mean that when Hedda was 6 years old this technology was still fairly new. It also talks about a social media that is used and most of the characters have used as children. But we live in a day and age now that this isn't unheard of, children using Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and having cell phones. The internet can be a dangerous place and I think The Glare does a good job in showing that, even if 99.9% of children don't have access to darkweb games.

The Glare actually refers to the game that circles on the Dark Web that played a huge part of Hedda's childhood. When Hedda is introduced to the game and then introduces it to her friends is when the story begins to get interesting. The horror and creepiness of this story really does creep up on you, at first I was like "this isn't that scary" and then suddenly my dog was making noise outside my room and I was paranoid that one of the creatures from The Glare was behind my door. The later half of The Glare is unpredictable and the action keeps happening and as more of the secrets behind The Glare are released the more I needed to know.

Overall I really enjoyed The Glare and I am really content with how the story ended. Margot did a great job in keeping her readers invested in the story as well as addressing the issues in current day society about technology. If you love sci-fi, horror and thrillers you should check out this book!
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I'm on board with exploration of the dangers of technology to our freedoms and mental health, especially when it comes to the manipulation associated with advertisements. So the concept here is strong. We have a game that might be killing people, much like the idea of the movie "The Ring". The explanation of the reality of what is going on is thin and vague. The ending is dissatisfying, the mastermind behind the plot poorly motivated. The characters and their relationships lack in depth.
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4.5 stars

Harrison has done it again with the Glare. Like her first book The Killer In Me, this book had me on the edge of my seat needing to know what was happening and what was causing it. 
Hedda has lived tech-free since the age of six when something happened to scare him, mom, into taking them as far away from the city, and tech-life as possible. Now at the age of sixteen, Hedda is having the opportunity to go and live with her dad who is big into tech as he is a programmer while her mom goes and takes care of a friend. While Hedda is being given freedom her mom still wants her to stay as tech-free as possible... Well, I think we can all guess how quickly that want goes out the window as soon as Hedda gets the opportunity to be like other teens her age. 
Once back to 'civilized life' Hedda gets her hands on some tech thanks to her dad and step-mom Erika. Erika is the main parental figure in Hedda's life now as her dad is a very busy man. So Erika is the one we see helping her get adjusted to being back with tech and around her old friends again that she hasn't seen since she was six. While some things have changed, others haven't. 
Hedda ends up stumbling upon the game The Glare and because she has no idea what to do with it she asks her old friends for some help. This is when the chaos starts happening and the game starts getting all too real. People start getting jumpy at any type of electronic noise, and others start trying to figure out why it suddenly stops after a certain point. One thing they all have in common though is a fear of what they can't undo. 

Overall this book is terrifying to a certain extent. Harrison always manages to make her books feel very real and she did it again with this one. You can feel the fear that Hedda and her friends are experiencing while also wanting to know what is happening, and why it's happening all over again like it did ten years ago. I loved Hedda's step-mom and brother and the interactions they had. It was so nice to see an involved parent for a change in a young adult book, especially a step-parent not being made the enemy for a change. 
The ending was one that I wasn't expecting and I loved that. I figured out what was happening at the same time Hedda did. Harrison is always able to surprise me and scare the daylights out of me when it comes to her books and I love that!

There is so much packed into The Glare that I know I am going to have to read the finished copy when it comes out to catch everything that happened.
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This book is deliciously creepy!! Adding such a high creep factor to the intense, lengthy screen time most of us have today is brilliant. I loved the characters. The plot hooks you pretty quickly and gets creepier as you read...Did I mention it’s creepy?? I would love to read more books by Margot!
Heddy’s mom has sheltered her from The Glare (Heddy’s designation for technology with screens) for most of her life. They fled their high tech life in California when Heddy was 6. She has always been taught The Glare is dangerous and addictive. Now, thanks to an opportunity her mom must take in Australia, Heddy is returning to a Glare addicted society to stay with her dad. Heddy wants to seem normal, and creates boundaries for herself when it comes to Glare technology. But what if The Glare isn’t really what she remembers? What if it’s a game she doesn’t remember playing in which the stakes are all too real? If you die 13 times in a level, you die in real life.. and Heddy has just lost for the 13th time....
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