Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
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.
I used to think the worst kind of book to review was one that just didn’t do anything for me because it left me with nothing to say. I’ve changed my mind. The worst kind of book to review is one that gave me things I wanted to rant like crazy about one minute and then enjoyed and wanted more of the next. An, “I like it but I don’t like it,” review isn’t something that I can do in an hour or so.
I loved the premise of Glitch which was why I requested it from Netgalley. The idea of a society reduced to mindless drones isn’t a new one, but the little twist of teens with glitches that gave them emotions plus some sort of extrasensory talent sounded pretty good.
Seventeen-year-old Zoel Q-24 has been experiencing anomalies outside of the Community Link feed, which should be impossible. Everyone has hardware installed that keeps them continually Linked, but Zoe’s been glitching, dropping out and experiencing emotions and becoming aware of herself outside of the Community hive mind. Getting caught means deactivation and her glitching is uncontrollable, leaving her in a constant state of anxiety. Now that bugged me. If she’s Linked she shouldn’t be anxious and she’s Linked a good part of the time.
At school, Zoe’s inadvertent movements when she’s glitching draw the attention of Adrien and Max who are also glitchers and want her, for different reasons. Adrien is part of the Resistance movement above ground and his mission is to save as many glitchers as he can and get them up there before they can be deactivated. Max just wants Zoe for himself forever, right where they are. I’m not sure where to start with the issues I had with the relationship side of this scenario.
I’m not really fond of the love triangle but I can live with it if the two guys aren’t reduced to stereotypes of good guy/bad guy. I had a problem here. Adrien was a crusader for his people but willing to set it aside and risk his life for the love of Zoe. He was selfless, kind, sweet and gentle with her. Max was so awful I seriously considered quitting during a particular scene with him. It’s “acceptable” in the story because emotions are new to him, but he behaves like an abusive, obsessed stalker towards Zoe. He practically molests her, punches walls and screams at her and she just feels badly about it when she likes Adrien more.
There was also insta-love. Twice, because of erased memory.
The potentially positive part of the story involved the Resistance or Rez, that Adrien was part of. They were amassing above ground, still dodging the Controllers but setting up their own society. I was disappointed that not much was done with the topic – it was one area that I was looking forward to in the story. I did get my action, adventure and suspense later in the story when things started getting hairy for the group of glitchers but I was left wondering why did it take so long for the story to get good?
Unfortunately the one unforgiveable sin in the story was Zoe. I don’t always require my heroines to be total badasses, but I like them with spine and some grit. Zoe just didn’t have it. Her story was full of, “I can’t,” and she was always afraid or crying. There were a lot of repetitive phrases in the book and one of them was about water flowing down her face. There was just nothing take-charge about her. She didn’t even tell Max off when he all but attacked her, she apologized for liking someone else! I just couldn’t respect her when at nearly every turn she cowered in fear, cried or depended on someone else to get her out of whatever was happening.
My Summary: It’s odd to mostly like a book despite its characters, but that’s the position I’m in with Glitch. I still think it’s a great concept and since it’s a series, I can assume the story will move above ground and finally into the interesting location I wanted to know more of. The problem is always going to be those characters. I can’t justify buying a book just because I like the background but don’t like the players in front of it.