Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Everyone is plugged into the Community. Their senses are dulled and emotions simply don't exist anymore. Everything is done for the greater good with no thought to selfish desires. Zoe has started to glitch. She is periodically free from the Community ad experiences raw emotions, sensations, and a sense of self. She knows she should turn herself in for the good of all, but ultimately decides to hide it out of curiosity. The risk is great and rapidly escalates as her emotions are hard to hide and she develops telekinesis. If anyone discovers her secret, the authorities will deactivate her. There are others like her and a Resistance exists outside of the community which occasionally infiltrates, but their efforts may be useless if anyone finds out about them.
I love reading about dystopian worlds where even emotion is outlawed, like Glitch or Equilibrium. It's just something so fundamental to humans that it seems an impossibility to ban it. I was definitely drawn into Heather Anastasiu's unique world where technology is used to sedate and dampen the masses into little automatons that don't protest or care about anything. The government is free to do whatever they want with people: kill them, enslave them, or make them do anything. When Zoe glitches, she starts to question her whole society and sees value in these emotions instead of destructive as she has always been taught. The world building was one of my favorite parts because it just fascinates me. The writing was fluid, engaging, and succeeded in sucking me into the world. It made me gloss over some of the flaws while I was reading the book because I was so interested in the world and the conflict.
There are some very glaring flaws. It was interesting to see Zoe dealing with new colors, emotions, and situations, but it was very uneven. For someone who has never experienced a lot, she had names and definitions for many things she shouldn't have. I liked Zoe for the most part and I understood her emotions throughout the novel, although others may find her annoying. The things that really annoyed me were made up curse words and one of the love interests. Come on. If you're going to use curse words, please use the normal ones in our parlance. If you think they will really offend, just don't use any at all. I cringed every time one of them came up. It sounded very juvenile and grated on my nerves. On to my next grievance: Max is another glitcher that she goes to school with. He is very selfish and is fascinated with sexuality to the point where he was pushy and demanding. He truly disgusted me and the fact that Zoe continually forgave his horrible behavior and basically thought to herself how nice he really is underneath it all. No, Zoe. It's not ok and he's not nice. Ugh. I just wanted to shake her and get her to see how much of a jerk he was.
Glitch is a fun new dystopian novel with some unique elements and also some big flaws. I will definitely stick with it for the next installment to see what is in store for these characters and hope that some of these flaws are corrected.
My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins
Read as part of Dystopian August at Presenting Lenore.