I am excited to be a stop on the Glitch Tour. Today I have a review for you as well as a giveaway!
Glitch (Glitch #1) by 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. 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.
Paperback, 371 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by St. Martin's Press.
Three Stars: A chilling look at a futuristic computer controlled society.
Zoel blinks quickly adjusting to her sudden detachment from the Link. Her glitches are occurring more often these days. A few stolen moments where her mind unexpectedly frees itself from the mind numbing Link. Zoel lives in a grey world underground. Everyone has a chip implanted in the back of their neck. A chip that links them to the computer controlled society. As part of the Link, a human loses all their emotions and in essence become a drone. A human going through the same motions, leading a life without joy and love, unable to experience beauty and color. An adult works their entire life and then eventually they are deactivated. Children are bred selectively and mates are matched by the computer. It is a society that believes in the community and the Link ensures everyone remains in check. However, from time to time younger adults glitch. Repeatedly disengaging from the Link. Any anomalous behavior must be reported immediately. Glitchers must be eradicated as they are a danger to the community. Zoel knows that she should turn herself in so she can be fixed. Glitching is dangerous. Yet, she repeatedly puts it off, enjoying the brief time when she can feel and experience the things around her. She unexpectedly finds out she is not the only one glitching. Now she lives in fear trying to hide her deadly secret. Can Zoel escape The Link and the community?
What I Liked:
- I enjoyed all the chilling and though provoking ideas presented in this novel. Life attached to the Link as a drone, a mindless part of the hive is a horrific thought. It is a world devoid of all the things we love about humanity: individual thoughts, emotions, color, art and freedom. To never experience these intricate parts of the entire human experience would be heartbreaking. The reason for the Link and the computer controlled society is supposedly to create a world of peace without war and all the other ills that plague humanity, but is it worth the price? I think not!
- My favorite aspect of this novel was the wonder and joy that Zoel experienced as she continually detached from the link. Through her eyes I was able to experience her fascination and astonishment as she saw color, and learned human emotions and ultimately felt the pull of love. I think too often we take for granted all the amazing things that are all part of being human. This book is a reminder how lucky we are to be able to feel and see and love. Yes, there are negative parts as well, but I think the good far outweighs the bad.
- I liked the world building. Ms. Anastasiu does a good job creating her computer controlled, drone society. It is a world where the few in power determine the quality of life for everyone else. As a member of this society you must conform or risk the consequences. The danger of being caught engaging in anomalous behavior creates an anxiety driven atmosphere. The reader experiences dread at the turn of each page, knowing that danger and disaster lurk everywhere in this world.
- I was surprised by the big twists and turns at the end. At one point, Zoel doubts almost everyone and is left questioning everything she believes up to that point. Who is lying? Who is really the bad guy? You think you know, but suddenly there are a few curveballs.
And The Not So Much:
- This book takes us through two of the most hated concepts in YA books: The love triangle and insta love. The insta love doesn't bother me so much because I tried to look at it through the eyes of someone who has gone her entire life without knowing love, then when the opportunity to experience this beautiful emotion arises, of course Zoel is going to grab it with both hands. I appreciated that what is presented as an insta love type situation, backs off and takes its time to form. The love triangle is also a bit deviant in that it never really forms into a believable triangle. Zoel makes her choice and the second suitor never establishes himself as a candidate with whom Zoel can form a romantic bond. I never thought that she would develop feelings for the second boy.
- Max is a troubling character for most readers. I have read countless reviews complaining about him. I didn't find him as distasteful as others. He does have his flaws. I consider him to be the personification of someone who once free of the hive experiences and embraces some of the darker elements of humanity. He is greed and lust personified. He is demanding and seeks to control. He is also forceful as he tries to engage in a sexual relationship with the naive Zoel. I think the line that is most disturbing for readers is when he asks Zoel to "show him her genitalia." Yes, he is troubling, but he is present to show the dark side, and at the end of the book I was certain that he will be back to cause more conflict in the next book.
- I was extremely annoyed at the constant use of made up slang and swear words. Adrian especially lost a lot of his charm as he was always saying things like "cracking" and "shunting" and numerous other words that grated on my nerves.
- The other disappointment for me was that this book, though, thought provoking lacked originality. Reading about this mind controlled society, I was constantly drawing references to the many other books and movies that explored this same concept: A life lived in a controlled society without freedom to enjoy the entire human experience. There was nothing dramatically original or different with this book.
Glitch plunges the reader into a frightening world where humans spend their entire existence linked into a hive-like computer controlled world. It is a life devoid of everything wonderful and beautiful. A world where a few call the shots and no one is allowed to be different. If you enjoy thought provoking, sci-fi with a bit of dystopian then this would be a book for you.
"Secrets were wrong. Keeping one was wrong. But I had more than one now, dangerous secrets, piling up like the lies I had to tell to keep them hidden."
"Order first. Order always."
"We had learned the lessons of the past and finally scrubbed out the animal of man."
"There was no such concept as loyalty to the family unit, only loyalty to Community."
"The sky was right above me. It was beautiful and horrible all at the same time. It was just like my nightmares, making me dizzy like I could fly one second and then feeling it was pressing down and compressing my lungs the next."
"History isn't all fact---it's just the story the victors tell to keep themselves in power. And it's been a slow revision. The more time passes, the easier it becomes to reinvent the past."
"People do a lot of things that don't make sense when they're scared."
"Fell in love?" I frowned. "Love makes you fall?"
"Beauty, happiness, they're things so big they can't capture them with their scientific words. It's like what they used to call magic."
"We were a wrong fit, like unmatching puzzle pieces."
"Love between two people can make life worth living."
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review. All quotes are taken from the ARC copy and may differ from the final copy.
Heather Anastasiu is the author of the young adult sci-fi novel,GLITCH (St. Martin's Press/Spring 2012). She recently moved to Minneapolis with her family, and when she’s not busy getting lost exploring the new city, she spends most days writing at a café.
Random Facts About Me:
- I played the piccolo in my high school marching band.
- I paint a little, but for some reason, only in winter.
- So, the last name, I know it looks like Anastasia, but it has a U on the end: Anastasiu (rhymes with 'so-nice-to-see-you'). It's Romanian in origin.
- I like body art. Well, I like art of all kinds, but especially body art, i.e. tattoos, because it's the art you get to take with you. I figure, there's so much about the body we're given we don't have control over (hips, nose, forehead, chin, height, foot size, health), so much that we get no choice in, but hair color and ink designs? Hello world, this is me and the kinds of things I find beautiful!
- I was in a wheelchair for a year during college because of health problems. Being wheel-bound and knee-high for a year certainly changed my perspective on life (pun intended).
- Yes, I am a fan of cheesy puns.
- My favorite book is East of Eden because it blew open my world when I first read it at age 20.
- I also unabashedly love Twilight. I even wrote a chapter in a forthcoming book of academic essays about how Twilight, for all its shortcomings, can also have positive implications for readers in that it provides a platform for public participation in a communal female myth. It's compulsively readable and is all about engaging our fantasy lives and letting us participate in vicarious wish fullfillment.
- I like pink and black together, but not apart.