Series: Glitch #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin (8.7.2012)
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 371 pages
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In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.
When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.
As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.
In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.
I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book. The premise was awesome, but I felt the delivery was a bit lacking in parts, particularly with the world building. So, as per usual with me, let’s get the bad out of the way, then move to the good.
Things I didn’t like:
First, what year is it supposed to be? At one point it mentioned something about an event that happened in the year 2274, but it never said how long ago it had been since then. I like to have a time frame in dystopian books.
At first, the history of how the V-chip came to be was a little foggy, not being properly explained…and what explanation I did get made me feel skeptical. But if you plan on reading this, never fear, it will all come to light. Eventually. You just may be confused for a while on the technicalities (unless of course, you’re not like me and can look past that stuff to actually enjoy the book for what it is).
So, I have a dumb question. “I breathed in the dry smell of old paint and dust.” How does she know what exactly old paint and dust smells like? This is from the same girl who had to look up emotions to figure out what they were because she’d never felt them before. So if she’s never smelled, either, or seen colors, how does she know what those things are? Maybe I’m just thinking too much into it. >.<
There were some things that just made my brain hurt, like the how’s of hacking a memory chip. When that was being explained there were a lot of terms being thrown around, leaving me with an overall feeling of, ‘huh?’ I had to re-read those paragraphs a couple times for it to really make sense.
Things moved a bit fast between Zoe and Adrien for my tastes. They basically met, escaped, and BAM they were in love. When they left each other the first time things got a bit gushy for me. Seriously, they barely knew each other. I can kinda understand it from Adrien because of his Gift (no spoilers), but still. The ‘romantic’ scenes made me want to puke.
Then the love triangle came in. It wasn’t as annoying as I thought it was going to be, thankfully. But Max bothered me. He was creepy, possessive, and selfish. Not to mention jealous to the extreme. The fact that Zoe couldn’t see how awful he was (or chose to ignore it) irked me a lot. She just chided him like she would a petulant child and let it go. He was destructive to anyone else but Zoe, and while he did seem to truly care for her, he only ever kept his own well-being in mind. His disregard for everyone else pissed me off.
Plus I found it a bit disturbing how quickly his obsession for Zoe came about. And the fact that he wanted them to spend life together, despite the fact that they didn’t even know one another. All in all, I despised him. Which is actually a good thing in a book. But that was the only emotion I felt for any of the characters, sadly. I couldn’t really connect to Zoe like I wanted to.
Things I liked:
This particular depiction of the future was brilliant and creepy with the V-chips controlling emotion. While it was disturbing, I could still see the point in the intention. Because emotion can get out of control, right? So by omitting those volatile emotions, they created peace in the Community. That’s what made this a convincing read, is that the control made sense in a twisted way. The world created was very vivid and easy to picture, so I felt like I was watching a movie in my mind. This made up for the instaluv and the gaps in the world building.
The way Zoe lived would be terrible. No betraying any emotion at all, because if she did, she’d be reported as anomalous and deactivated. And she was closely monitored – the officials could access her memories on her V-chip, and if she got too panicked or distressed, her heart monitor would go off and give her away as anomalous
Adrien’s language. I love when a book has its own language (like Across the Universe). Words like gnangy, godlam’d, crackin,’ and shuntin.’ With the context it was easy to figure out what they meant (except for the obvious one).
It was interesting to track Zoe’s journey as she learned what emotion felt like, and learned about the world that had been hidden from her. In many ways the Glitchers were like children, exploring their freedom and the ways of the world for the first time. Although the ‘pleasures’ part was a little bit….um, disturbing? When a certain character said, ‘Can I look at your genitalia?‘ I facepalmed so hard I got a headache.
There were twists thrown in, which is something I love in a book. The ending was by far the best part, with everything happening regarding the Chancellor, Max, Adrien, and Zoe’s brother.
“It’s just a saying. It means that two people start loving each other. I guess because it can feel really sudden and because it’s powerful. Like gravity – an unstoppable force.”
“Love is like gravity? It sounds violent.”