Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review: Feed by M. T. Anderson

genre: ya dystopian
book 1 of 2 for the YA Dystopian Reading Challenge

Imagine a world where everything we see now on the Internet is fed directly into our heads. All the pop-up ads, instant messaging, it's all wi-fi spoon-fed right into our brain.

This is Feed.

The story is just a smallish snippet of time, we don't see more than a year and we don't learn too much about how the earth got to the state its in. I don't think that's the point, though. Through the eyes of the teen-aged Titus, we see a world consumed by consumerism. People speak a dumbed down language, as though we instant messaged ourselves into a state of vague exclamations, mediocre descriptions, colloquial expressions and swear words. Lots of swear words, but it's as though those words are no longer "swear words," they have just become a part of the common vernacular, the same as "like" and "ohmygosh."

The shining star in this book is Violet. As someone removed from the mainstream culture, she rips open assumptions and makes us think hard about what it is to live and be human.

This book scared the pants off me. It made me want to try and remember my life before the constant presence of the internet. Like all good dystopian literature, it was sometimes depressing, and sometimes confusing as I had to work through what I'm supposed to already know. Sometimes, it left me wanted to have things spelled out for me a little bit more, but maybe that's part of his point too. In a world of text messages and headline blips, we rarely get the whole picture.

Feed is for readers who can handle the language and are interested in "what if" kinds of stories that hit maybe too close to home for comfort.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

This sounds so good - I think my whole family might enjoy it.

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