Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
Summary From Goodreads:
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.
It’s time for a rant, befitting of a Monday such as this. Enjoy!
Glitch is a bit of a mess. It has parts that I really enjoyed, especially when the action was able to sweep me away a time or two, but there were glaring issues with it as well. Let’s start with the main character, Zoe.
Zoe is supposed to be emotionless, essentially a robot right down to the chip, but she glitches and is able to discover emotions and colors and such, albeit rather slowly in terms of comprehension. The problem is there isn’t a time in the book where she actually is emotionless, even when she supposedly reconnects to the Link network. I understand that she has been learning to keep a tiny bit of her subconscious active while being under the Link presence, but at no point does she act fully robotic without constantly saying how hard she is concentrating on keeping that blank facade going. It’s really frustrating.
Also, Zoe is a tad slow on the uptake when it comes to… well everything really. She follows the lead of anyone who she perceives to have a clue about what’s going on, acting more like a puppy than a human. She doesn’t understand what’s going on most of the time, can’t seem to grasp when people are feeling emotions that might lead to harm for her or those she cares about, and half the time she starts having crying fits and hyperventilating when she is stressed. I’ve mentioned in other reviews about characters just being shells that go in the direction the author needs them to at any given time, but this is probably the worst case I’ve seen.
Then there are the relationships. You’ve got your pick! Behind door number one is insta-love, our old favorite! Behind door number two is the aggressive arse that nearly turns into a rapist at multiple points in the story, aren’t you excited?! While Zoe seems to understand her feelings (as much as can be expected with her) pretty quickly about who she likes and who she loves, it doesn’t stop her from going between the two boys like a ping pong ball, randomly going in one direction or the other based on who convinces her more at the time.
Oh, right, the world, you probably want to know how this dystopian world is realized correct? It’s a cliche. Surprise, surprise, there was some sort of world war and to fix it some scientists and power-hungry leaders got together and programmed a chip so that everyone would behave. Oh, except they stripped the bits that make them human. As usual there are people that broke through somehow, developed a resistance, and now they are trying to make a difference. The resistance on the outside (in this case the surface) and the dystopian rat maze underground in a grid-like gray labyrinth.
As bad as all of that may sound, I actually enjoyed some of what happened with the story. Even though Anastasiu wasn’t able to convey from her MC what it would be like under the Link, she was able to show what discovering each new emotion would feel like, or how powerful the little things around us would be to someone who had never experienced taste, color, or the expansiveness of the sky. There is a better appreciation you can gain from a piece like this about the beauty of our world, especially compared to the one in Glitch.
On a less deep level, Glitch does a really nice job at displaying powers, and the variety of ways that they can be brought out. To me at least, those powers were just extensions of various feelings, and Anastasiu seemed to be using them to show an even greater depth of the feelings and emotions we can have for one another, the strongest (as corny as it is) being love. Although, hatred makes a pretty close second in this one, but the point remains.
Still, as cool as telekinesis is, I never felt like Zoe was the badass that she was supposed to be. Without there being a real connection formed for me to care about her, I guess the rest just felt too unreal, too forced. It could have been anyone using those cool powers, Zoe doing it was simply the way it happened in this case, but it didn’t feel like they belonged to her.
The rest of the characters, while somewhat interesting in their own ways, felt way too creepy for me to get behind and enjoy. Sorry future boy, but being obsessed about someone before you meet them and then being all over them when you do is not endearing, it’s just eerie. Don’t even get me started on Max. *shivers*
So no, I won’t be recommending this book, nor will I continue the series. It might get better now that the facade of being a “drone” is gone there won’t be any reason for Zoe to pretend, but it doesn’t matter. I just can’t get over the variety of issues presented with Glitch. The characters were a minus for me, the “love” interests even more so, and the world wasn’t original. Blah. Thanks as always for reading.
Totally Random Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about things in books that rub you the wrong way and make it harder to keep reading.
1. Insta-love – You know my feelings on it if you follow this blog, I can’t stand it, I want it to go away, and I feel like it is a cop-out. Bleh.
2. Repetition – Whether it is a specific word or an entire phrase, if I see the same wording over and over again I’m going to get annoyed. For anyone who has read a certain series that I won’t name they will know what I mean by just saying “sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.” Just no.
3. Tense Changes – This can be switching from first person to third, or from past to present, regardless I want consistency.
4. Whiny MCs – For some reason in YA you find a lot of whiners. They complain over just about everything and yet we are supposed to support them throughout the book. No thanks. Grow a spine people!
5. Information Skips – Oh you didn’t think we would like to know how we got somewhere in the story? Wrong. You jumped right into the action and ignored the buildup? Good grief. Any time in a book where we lose out on information is not a good sign for me.
6. Jargon, Jargon, Jargon – Yes, certain genres utilize jargon more than others (I’m looking at you high fantasy and sci-fi) but some do it to their detriment. Sure, a new language can be introduced and even used for much of a book, but sometimes it is obvious that the new jargon is unnecessary and that’s when it becomes an issue, or when its purpose is not explained.
7. Modern Pop-culture References – Look, I get that you want to appeal to your current audience as much as possible as an author. However, if you use pop-culture references, especially multiple times, your work has a timer on it. Eventually a time will come, usually it doesn’t take long, where that reference won’t make sense to a reader anymore. Will your book stand the test of time?
8. Typos – They happen, inevitably it seems there is one or two in a book, although many seem to be flawless. When I see a typo in an e-book, even though I shouldn’t be I am more liable to give it a pass, but when it is in print, well, it is a red flag. I won’t stop reading the book, but it might be a point I mention in a review.
9. Character 180s – When a character changes, even in a dramatic way, over the course of a book it is a wondrous thing. However, when I see someone in a book I’m reading do a 180, alter their personality in a major way, and do so usually because of something rather irritating (think relationships) it is a huge turn-off. Give it time for a character to change, this stuff doesn’t happen right away!
10. Dull, Boring, Zzz – If your story doesn’t have something to draw me in within the first 75-100 pages I’m probably not likely to keep reading it unless your name is Stephen King. There are very few exceptions to this and I know I’m not alone, especially with the current generation that are reading YA having attention spans that are the most minute there has ever been. The author must stimulate the senses right away in order to capture the reader’s attention. There is just no choice, slow buildups are tough these days.
So those are my top ten book turn-offs! What is your top ten list for this week? Do you have some ones or am I just a lunatic? Are most of the ones you chose technical or more about the story? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^
Haunted Week: Bats in Your Book Pages
Today’s post concerns the following: Even the biggest book enthusiasts have some bats in their belfries about things in books that drive them insane. Today tell your readers about five things that drive you crazy in books.
There are plenty to choose from with this topic. I think everyone has their own quirks about what drives them insane in a book while others have no issue with it or even find those things to be positives. Without further ado here are five of mine in no particular order:
1. Overly Possessive Males: This can apply to females as well though that isn’t nearly as common. Ordering your partner around, forbidding them from doing a variety of different things, NEVER leaving their side to the point of creepiness, practically stalking them before you even meet them. Any of those traits drive me absolutely crazy and often can cause me to completely lose enjoyment in whatever it is I am reading depending on the level of their ridiculousness. I don’t know why these types appeal to people. Ugh.
2. Insta-Love: This is something I know a lot, if not most of the bloggers/bookish people I talk with detest. It takes a lot to recover from insta-love and often it can’t be fixed because the characters are so “over the moon” with each other already. Dear authors who use insta-love, you no longer have ANY depth whatsoever, I don’t care if your writing is gorgeous, if you use insta-love there is a very high probability your book will not be finished, please don’t. Just don’t.
3. Losing Track of Where You Are At: What I mean by this is that sometimes authors forget where they are in the story they are writing, they forget a step they have already taken and so when they “continue” the story it no longer makes any sense. This can be something as minor as having the character take their shirt off and then a few pages later do it again, unless they had layers this obviously doesn’t work. It can also be as major as forgetting two characters had already met and having them introduce themselves again, it’s weird. I know your books are complex but try to keep your characters from doubling an action.
4. Books That Are Clearly Rushed: I know, you have a deadline and you have to meet it, but if your book is so rushed as to be incomprehensible then it doesn’t matter if it is turned in on time. Take your time, build DEPTH to your characters, let the plot flow a bit more naturally instead of rushing to get to that exciting scene. When I read a book I want to immerse myself into their world, in order to do that I need you to actually TELL me some details about that world. You shouldn’t just skim over parts, so please, just slow down a bit.
5. Cliffhanger Endings/”Fall Off a Cliff” Endings: These are two types that often coincide so I’ll just count them as one. Cliffhanger endings as you know leave a bunch of questions unanswered. What I call “Fall Off a Cliff” endings are when your plot is going smoothly enough and then as you get to the ending (this is most common in series books) you not only leave questions unanswered you just abruptly smash into the wall you call an ending. It feels unfinished, unnatural, and I’m sure if your characters were real they’d be wondering what the heck happened there too. I have had books ruined by endings like this and it drives me crazier than any of the previous four because I’m actually ENJOYING the book generally all the way and then when I get to the exciting ending…face smashed into brick wall. Thanks.
So those are five of the things that drive me crazy when it comes to books. There are plenty more I could go over but they were the ones that came to mind the quickest. Thanks for reading! What are a few things that make you crazy when you read a book? Let me know in the comments! ^.^