Glitch by Heather Anastasiu is a mashup of the Matrix, The Blue Lagoon and 1984. It doesn’t have quite the maturity that most YA dystopian books lean towards these days crossing over between YA and adult fans, but it’s still a decent read. An underground civilization is full of people who are linked literally by the Link, an implanted chip that also dulls all emotions and independent thought. The society works somewhat like a beehive with the adult work drones all assigned work tasks that keep the environment running. The Chancellor who rules this society is rather like a queen bee surrounded by Uppers and Regulators, the former are a combination of police and spy, trained to look for anomalies. You see, some young people experience ‘glitches’ despite their implanted chips and can experience emotions, color and thoughts of their own.
Zoe, the main character, thinks she is the only one experiencing these glitches are has been so trained by her society that she almost turns herself in, an event that could cause her ‘deactivation’, until she starts regularly running into a strange boy with aquamarine eyes whom she suspects may be a little anomalous too.
Zoe has been taught that in the old world emotions were dangerous and led to terrible nuclear wars and it does make me speculate about the many negative emotions that seem to grip society today. Wars fueled by hate, jealousy or fear. Of course the flip side is all the positive emotions human beings experience such as joy and love. It’s a fine line though when statistics show that people are more likely to be murdered by someone they are close to. So what’s better, living in a society where people are at the mercy of all kinds of negative emotions or living in an environment where negative emotions don’t exist, but positive emotions are so dulled?