Friday, July 12, 2013

Feed by M.T. Anderson

Feed by M.T. Anderson
2004, Candlewick Press

Synopsis: Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires.

The Good: 10 years ago, Feed probably felt a lot more futuristic than it does today. With cell phones getting smaller and the promise of Google glasses, a permanent brain feed seems like the next logical step. The premise is possible, even somewhat likely, creating a tension in the book that will immediately speak to readers.

The Bad: The satire had a bite, but it definitely felt heavy-handed. Especially since the dystopian aspects of the novel were being pointed out by Violet, a girl whose feed wasn't exactly implanted under optimal conditions, making her downfall seem more her father's fault then that of the corporations or feed itself. Titus seems to float around with whatever the easiest way of thinking is and his change in thinking doesn't seem as if it would be all that long-lasting. None of the characters are likeable and the world itself is confusing for the first half of the book or so. Never mind that the realism drastically decreases as Feed's vision of hovercars and interplanetary travel as recreation comes into play.

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