Glitch (Glitch #1) — Heather Anastasiu
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. 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.
The Community is perfect; everyone is safe; everyone is obedient. Or so Zoel — Zoe — always believed, until she began glitching. Now she finds herself experiencing emotions for the first time, emotions that are beautiful and confusing and painful and exciting. At first, Zoe feels alone, but then she discovers Adrien, who not only knows about the glitching, but also knows about her secret power, the power she can’t yet control. Adrien opens up a whole new world for Zoe, one that includes other glitchers, like Max, a classmate she’s known forever. Together, the glitchers plan to escape, but Zoe soon finds out that she has to be careful who she places her trust in.
Glitch is a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing read. The story opens with a fair amount of world-building, and while I don’t always like having so much overwhelming information thrown at me, I can also appreciate having our world established early on. While the world-building is thorough and the world somewhat unique, the characters really steal the show here. Unfortunately, the character development is a little slow at first, but as soon as Zoe meets Adrien, things quickly pick up and there’s no putting the book down.
The problem with Glitch is that it feels too familiar, which isn’t Heather Anasatasiu’s fault. The world and the characters she’s created are intriguing and exciting. But after finishing the book, I can’t help but feel like I read some sort of mash-up of The Hunger Games, Insurgent, and Delirium. And I like all of those books, so it stands to reason that I like Glitch. It just didn’t wow me. However, the science fiction aspects are definitely refreshing and I really enjoy reading Anastasiu’s scientific explanations — especially when it comes to the glitchers’ abilities. The abilities coupled with the strong characterization and unpredictable plot are real highlights; they’re the elements that set Glitch apart from the aforementioned books and make Glitch a worthwhile read.
Fans of Katniss and Lena will love Zoe. She’s a revolutionary with strong convictions. She’s also a character whose actions speak louder than her words. Too many female “heroines” are physically weak, easily manipulated, or charged with lofty aspirations that they can’t quite put into action. But Zoe is strong. She knows what she wants and she goes after it, even at risk to herself. And nothing comes easily to her — she has to work for all the good she accomplishes; she doesn’t have control of her power; she doesn’t know who to trust; she’s compassionate enough to rescue people who don’t even appreciate her help. Basically, Zoe’s a real heroine, one whose journey I’m immensely invested in.
The love triangle is an interesting addition. At times, I loved it and at times, I hated it. However, I do appreciate Anastasiu’s ability to play with our emotions when it comes to these boys. We quickly learn that things aren’t black and white. The characters you might think are trustworthy aren’t and vice versa. Anastasiu kept me on my toes until the very end, which was incredibly frustrating…in a great way. Glitch and Zoe definitely get my recommendations.
Publication Date: August 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Teaser Quote: “‘…Evolution might be the wrong word–it’s not like glitchers are a new species. Just highly adapted. We’ve started developing abilities that get around their programming, making neural connections to subvert the hardware. Even with all our tech, the brain is something.’“