Glitch  - Heather Anastasiu
TW: Sexual Harrasment
Several years ago, I won a giveaway for the second book, Override, which included a copy of Glitch. Only what I received was two copies of Override. My attempts to receive a copy of Glitch went nowhere so I’ve had two copies of the second book languishing on my shelves for years. I finally said fuck it and got a copy of Glitch for myself.

I really liked the idea of Glitch, the reality not so much. I didn’t hate it so much as others but I didn’t really enjoy it either. The romance is god awful and dominants the book. The interesting premise languishes behind inconsistencies and obviousness while the characters play hook-up and catch-up.

The world and set-up is pretty standard fare in dystopians but hey, they became standards for a reason. I really liked where it was going at first. With Zoe glitching out, the explanations of rolled out smooth instead of in an info dump.

But that may have been a double-edged sword because she’s inconsistent. There’s no rhyme or reason to the things she understands but shouldn’t and those she’s clueless about. Like knowing the fruit taste of her drink (hasn’t been glitched out before during lunch tho? Was it a new drink? Why would it matter to drones? Why not just water?) and names of colors. Color names aren’t, you know, innate or obvious. Her drone-hood is seemingly used when it’s convenient and otherwise forgotten.

Maybe there’s something we’re missing, not seeing her first glitches and not hearing what lies they’ve been told about emotions. Maybe it’s really fucking hard to write and put your mind in her drone state because it’s so alien, so slip ups happen. Either way…*sigh* but this is one of the smaller things I could let go and forget about, especially in the face of everything else.

The Plot:
Again, pretty standard. I did like her memory being wiped and sending her back. But sending her back didn’t work out so well. There was just so much relationship drama, things obviously didn’t add up but they were too slow to get it, and suddenly the cast grows. It alternated between too much too fast and too little too slow.

It was rather obvious something more was going on or the government was extremely incompetent. Zoe had too many fuck ups in public. And in front of Max. He clearly had something going on from the get-go. I mean come on, touching her and leaning in to smell her hair? But Zoe’s too wrapped up in herself to notice anything else. And of course, why would they allow them to study privately? There’s a reason she was so surprised when it happened.

Having another glitcher rebel in a different way was…interesting. It certainly solved the problem of The Community catching them. But again, I don’t have a good feeling about it. It seems like a way to distract and delay from dealing with The Community, who’s the actual fucking problem.
I did like how she reacted to being outside for the first time, and I thought her being allergic was a nice twist. Though adding it to the end to prolong the perilous journey was a tad much. They at least brought sunglasses along too.

Later, Molla’s been throwing up for a week pregnant, and they practically just fucking met? That’s not how pregnancy works! It’s not instant conception and it’s not instant morning sickness either. It’d fit better in a ridiculous anti-sex abstinence education ad.

At the end, Zoe had to “lose control to gain control” over her powers. Pah-lease. I’m so over that lightening “Ureka” moment where characters, especially women, go from pathetically helpless to stopping bullets mid-flight and saving the day. I do like how her telekinesis is described though.

The Romance:
Instalove. Greaaaaaaat. There needs to be more lead up, more something. Without it, it’s ridiculous and squicky how Adrian just leaps on Zoe, who knows nothing! How is that not taking advantage of her and the situation? He says he knows it’s creepy to know about her from visions but damn if the boy uses his brain after that. It feels like a Nice Guy™ bait and switch.

Then it becomes a love triangle and tries to justify it with memory lapse and desperation. Sure, that explains Zoe’s flipping away. How can she stay loyal when she doesn’t remember? (Plus, the instalove is fucking ridiculous anyways. Have I mentioned that? Lol)

But the other dude is a pushing, abusive fuckface. Double greaaaaaaat. His defense is “I’ve never felt this way before” and “All I think about is you!” Yes, he’s a victim of The Community, obviously not taught any morals and can’t deal with these new feelings. But there’s no doubt, he’d get Zoe to himself by any means necessary and force her. He’s a victim who became a predator.

The only moment he did something right was walking away at the end. At least, if he stays away and doesn’t continue to scheme to get her back. (Not holding my breath.) And Zoe screams his name the whole time she’s being carried to the Outside, leaving him behind! Calls him family. How disturbing.

And Zoe just rolls along. There’s no push back, no self-defense, and not even internal dialogue that what he’s doing is wrong. It’s hard reading, it rings true as a representation of a young woman’s internal slut-shaming and victimization.

It honestly wouldn’t be that bad without the romance mucking it up. The inconsistencies could be overlooked but no one’s getting past this.
On the fake cussing:
Meh. It was obvious and fake. How do those words become cuss words in the world? But I didn’t really care. With Zoe being so naïve, the plot escalating over the top, and the romance…well, it was hardly noticeable.
There are some books that do the evolved fictional language and cussing well (Catspaw by Joan D. Vinage springs to mind immediately) but Glitch doesn’t cut it.
The Series: At this point, I’ll continue just to get it off my shelf but I’m not sure how Override will fare.