Reynje's Reviews > Glitch

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
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Jun 28, 12

bookshelves: arc-egalley, dystopia, e-book-kindle, no-just-no, not-for-me, read-2012, sci-fi, young-adult
Read in June, 2012

I’d like to be able to say that this is one for those readers seeking a solid dystopian YA with strong sci-fi elements, but in truth, this Glitch is not that book. At best it’s an on-trend, marketable novel aimed at fans of Matched and the like. At worst, it’s a formulaic, cliché-riddled book I feel like I’ve read several times before.

While the premise of a community hooked up to a shared network that essentially rids them of individual emotional and thought seems promising, the inconsistencies in the writing are too glaring to overlook. Glitch is ostensibly about a teenage girl who finds herself “glitching”, that is, experiencing anomalous (good lord, but I am sick of that word) events in which she involuntarily disconnects from the Link and begins to experience emotional responses and develop telekinesis.

What’s problematic about this is that Zoe’s first person present tense narration doesn’t seem consistent with her circumstances. She is apparently able to recognise and process some emotions without a thought, while experiencing dramatic reactions to others. The Link gives her little exposure to colour, yet she is able to describe in detail in the shades of aquamarine in her love-interest’s eyes. Given that Zoe has lived her entire life tethered to the Link, I didn’t find her voice realistically rendered. Anastasiu seems to use Zoe’s lack of experience with emotion and individual thought when necessary for dramatic effect, then ignore it at other times.

Despite the potential in the concept of dawning emotional intelligence in a programmed and controlled world, Glitch rapidly resorts to tired romantic tropes and flimsy plot devices to progress the story. Very little feels organically developed, but rather, convenient or forced. Character X just happens to show up at a certain place, and just happens to have X device and X ability.

However, the most difficult to swallow of these revelations is the “love” that springs up between the characters. I don’t know about you, but when I’m removed from my home into an alien environment by a stranger, suffer a violent allergic reaction, then spend a few hours unconscious – upon waking the last thing on my mind would be gazing into said stranger’s eyes and kissing him. When I don’t know what kissing is. Or who this stranger really is. Even if he has indeed seen in a vision that I will lead The Resistance (of which I also have no prior knowledge) in uprising because I am special with super special powers (of course). But what do I know. Love conquers all, apparently.

Seriously, these kind of “Instant! Just add water for True Love” romances feel like lazy storytelling to me. Compounding the issue is the appearance of another “glitcher” and rival for Zoe’s affections. This character feels slightly more realistically rendered in terms of his reaction to physical/emotional impulses. Character discovers sex = character wants to have sex, fair enough. But while his actions are believable, there’s a slightly squicky subtext to Zoe’s responses. Realistic or not, this element of the plot felt poorly handled and lacked the nuance and considered treatment it required.

What Anastasiu does well is write graphic, tense scenes of action and violence. An event that takes places on a train, wherein the full power of Zoe’s ability manifests, is gripping and vividly depicted. What baffles me then, is that given Anastasiu’s capability to portray violent death and exploding rats, why the ridiculous cuss words? Adrien’s repeated use of expressions like “crackin’” “shuntin’” and “godlam’d” do little else but pull the reader out of the story unnecessarily and make them cringe. They are awkward snags in the flow of the dialogue and the irritation doesn’t lessen with repeated use. If the intention was to highlight the difference between those in the Community and the Resistance, I found it unsuccessful. However, I did laugh a lot whenever Adrian made an exclamation along the lines of “We’re all shuntin’ cracked!” I don’t think that was the intention.

Although there are some good ideas in Glitch’s premise, it fails to deliver on its potential. The result feels, honestly, underdeveloped and poorly executed. I can’t help but feel that a sound concept went to waste here, which is a real shame.

An ARC of Glitch was received for review from Netgalley

* * * * *

*Commences attack on Netgalley backlog*
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Reading Progress

06/23/2012
5.0% "I am already thoroughly sick of the word "glitch". This does not bode well."
06/23/2012
30.0% "Wow, super special heroine is going to SAVE THE WORLD with her super special abilities!! You guys, I have NEVER read a book like this before! /sarcasm"
06/24/2012
32.0% "...and here comes the insta-love, after just hours (?) in each other's company. I believe that's got to be some kind of record." 5 comments
06/24/2012
40.0% "Wait, some other guy wants to kiss her? I am SO surprised. /more sarcasm." 2 comments
06/25/2012
70.0% "Oh lord, he's off on a "love is a many-splendored thing / love lifts us up where we belong" rant." 3 comments
06/25/2012
84.0% "I think I want to punch every character in this book."
06/25/2012
100.0% 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-30 of 30) (30 new)

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Fallen for books I want to read it,soon.....!! i love the cover


message 2: by Trinity (new)

Trinity Haha I've been doing the same :)


message 3: by AH (new)

AH I wouldn't have a backlog if they would just instantly approve all my requests. They approve them months later and by then my reading time is all full....Good luck on clearing the backlog. And don't look at Edelweiss....:)


Reynje Thanks AH, I've been staying away from Edelweiss for exactly that reason! :)


Reynje Thanks Jillian.. I'm not sure so far. It all seems a bit too similar to things I've read before and the characters feel a bit stock. Hopefully it improves.


message 6: by Trinity (new)

Trinity Dammit just got approved :( Another one that I'll just have to ignore or eventually decline


Reynje Ehh.. I doubt this is a Trin book :( Sorry!


message 8: by Trinity (new)

Trinity Not your fault ppl insist on writing non-trin books :(


message 9: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Marr I am so going to bring "We’re all shuntin’ cracked!" into the popular vernacular!

I'm pretty sure that's what George shouts every night on Masterchef anyway :D


message 10: by Bonnie (new) - added it

Bonnie Ack. Yeah looks like I didn't miss much by giving up early on. I just couldn't do it.


Reynje @Shirley - I dare you to try it and see if it catches on :)

@Bonnie - This was nearly a DNF for me too. I don't blame you..


message 12: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 27, 2012 09:20PM) (new)

Excellent review, Reynje. :) You articulated my exact thoughts so well. :)

"We're all shuntin' cracked!" Normally I would be amused. Now, I'm just so bloody tired of it...


message 13: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Marr Rey! Hey! I just used the term as a comment on a review! (you'll have to find it, Iz sooo sneaky!)

#proud
#shuntincracked


message 14: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Marr PS - sorry Leanne!


little machines If I could like this review a billion times, I would. Heck, I'm tempted to unlike it and like it again over and over.


message 16: by Marg (new) - rated it 1 star

Marg K. The instalove in this book was just absolutely fucking ridiculous. I think it may have set a new record in unbelievability & lameness.


Reynje fяσzєи wrote: "If I could like this review a billion times, I would. Heck, I'm tempted to unlike it and like it again over and over."

Haha, thank you!


Reynje Marg wrote: "The instalove in this book was just absolutely fucking ridiculous. I think it may have set a new record in unbelievability & lameness."

It really was. This is pretty much the most barf-worthy case of instalove I've read.


message 19: by Nafiza (new) - added it

Nafiza Gah, okay this book is definitely off my list. It has gotten like 3 consecutive one stars from my GR friends. What a pity.


Reynje Nafiza wrote: "Gah, okay this book is definitely off my list. It has gotten like 3 consecutive one stars from my GR friends. What a pity."

It is a shame. I think the idea was a good one, but the book itself was a big let down.


message 21: by Nafiza (new) - added it

Nafiza Oh well, there are plentiful books ready to fill the void.


Reynje So true!


message 23: by Merin (new)

Merin Thank you for this review! Off to mark this one as "declined" on NetGalley; I have way too many other things to read to slog through this one when I already know how I'd end up feeling at the end.


Reynje Merin wrote: "Thank you for this review! Off to mark this one as "declined" on NetGalley; I have way too many other things to read to slog through this one when I already know how I'd end up feeling at the end."

No problems, Merin :) Hope you move on to something great!


message 25: by Lucy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lucy Dunphy Wow! What's wrong with you!


Reynje Lucy wrote: "Wow! What's wrong with you!"

There's nothing wrong with me. I simply did not like this book.


message 27: by pdbkwm (new) - added it

pdbkwm I saw this at the library and felt like it would be like this. I'll still pick it up...eventually, but at least I'll now go in without any expectations.


Blythe Rey, I'd block Lucy. She just trolled my review and just... no.


Reynje pdbkwm wrote: "I saw this at the library and felt like it would be like this. I'll still pick it up...eventually, but at least I'll now go in without any expectations."

Yeah, I think there are definitely better YA sci-fis out there, but give it a go, see what you think :)


Reynje Blythe wrote: "Rey, I'd block Lucy. She just trolled my review and just... no."

Ah.. so I see. Thanks :)


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