Emily's Reviews > Glitch

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
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Jul 15, 12

bookshelves: young-adult
Read in July, 2012

First Impressions: I should probably preface this review with a disclaimer: I love dystopian literature and have since I read The Giver in college. I'm fascinated with the idea of utopian societies not being as perfect as everyone assumes they will be, and what happens when perfection isn't enough. That said, it is hard to find a dystopian novel that is truly unique. My first impressions of Glitch were that it would be a good story, and would follow the dystopian formula well.

First 50 pages: One of the things I immediately enjoyed about Glitch was that it starts with the heroine, Zoe, knowing that something is different. We don't experience the first time she glitches, and I truly think that adds to the book and the character study. Glitch honestly feels a lot like The Matrix. When Zoe unplugs, so to speak, the disconnect between reality and perception is obvious. The first 50 pages set up Zoe's struggle perfectly. She feels the obligation to maintain her connection to the Community and be a good citizen, but she has tasted just a little of the beauty and diversity of the world and she doesn't want to lose that by reporting her glitch.

Characters and Plot: Dystopian literature has characters that just seem to have to exist: the person who realizes the world isn't as perfect as it seems, the peer who can promise life outside the Community, the rebels, the people who want to keep the status quo. Glitch is no different. Despite their well-established characters assumptions, author Heather Anastasiu does a good job of giving each person a unique personality. One of my favorite parts of Glitch was experiencing the glitches from several different points of view. Zoe, Max and Adrien all have to learn how to operate in a world where they've never experienced the emotions we all learn to live with as children.

The world of Glitch is dark, plain and boring. Each person spends their lives plugged in and linked to the community, making them almost robotic. Programmed to live without emotion, Zoe and her fellow community members are smart, mathematical and unthinking. Glitch moves forward quickly, leaving little room for extra story. Each scene and moment is intentional, and the pacing works perfectly for the story. Glitch inhabits a world that is thought-through and intentional.

Final Thoughts: Glitch fits perfectly within the dystopian cannon. The contract between the Community and the work Zoe sees when she is glitching is well- defined. As a story, Glitch feels very familiar, but that just adds to the reader experience instead of taking away from it. Max's inability to deal with his emotions makes you almost want the Community to find a way to plug him back into the system.

Unlike many dystopian stories, Glitch actually deals with changing the brains of the characters. These characters are not only unaware of a life outside of the Community, but they are being controlled from the inside-out. I find that idea very scary - that any society would degrade to the point that mind control would be a viable alternative. The end of the book leaves the story wide-open for a sequel or two, and I am very interested in where the story goes from here.
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