A dystopian romance that feels like the love child of M.T. Anderson’s Feed and Lauren Oliver’s Pandemonium fails to distinguish itself.
Seventeen-year-old Zoe is part of a “superior” race of humans that exist in an underground dystopian world, safe from the toxic ruin on the Surface. Like all members of the Community, Zoe was implanted with a computer chip to prevent her from experiencing the caustic influences of emotion and desire, the very things that led to the destruction of the Old World. The only problem is, Zoe’s chip isn’t working. Anastasiu’s debut novel follows Zoe as she learns to trust her own thoughts and emotions and to call into question the only way of life she’s ever known. It’s an interesting premise, and Zoe is a likable-enough narrator, but in the end, the story never quite lives up to its potential. Action dominates, crowding out opportunities for character development. With little interaction between Zoe and fellow glitchers Max and Adrien to explain the sudden intensity of their feelings for one another, the emotions ring untrue. Additionally, Max is never allowed room to convince readers he is more than a raging ball of hormones, making it difficult to root for him in the fight for Zoe.
Read the originals. (Dystopian romance. 14 & up)