❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fiction
Published By: Candlewick Press in 2002.
Format: Paperback (308 pages)
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. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.
I simply cannot express how much I love this book. These are the reasons why:
1.) It’s a dystopian novel. I have a weak spot for dystopian novels.
2.) The characters feel real to me. Not an adult trying to write a teenager. I never doubt Titus as a character, never second-guess his motives. Perfectly crafted.
3.) The language. This is a pitfall for many people, but for me, it just ropes me in closer to the story.
4.) The questions it asks about technology and our dependence on it. And on instant gratification.
I can see where this novel would be immediately flagged “Evil! STAY AWAY!” for some people, mostly for the reasons I have listed that I love it. In that, it must be understood that not all books appeal to all people. This book has, in my experience, always sparked controversy among its teen readers (see my incredibly biased entry, The Book Bias, for more on exactly how this book has been flagged by real teens), and is therefore a perfect choice for reading in high school. If nothing else, the students will want to discuss how much they hated it… which is the starting point for a wonderful discussion.
But I didn’t hate this book. As I said, I loved it. I have read it multiple times, and my opinion of it hasn’t changed. I love being able to walk away from a book and ask questions about it. I love being so wrapped up in a fictional universe that I’m watching the clock at work not just because I’m excited to get out of there, but because I want to immerse myself in the literary world again. Feed did that for me, and does that every time I read it.
Feed explores not only the dangers of a reliance on technology and instant gratification (those happen to be my favorite topics) but also criticizes the way we are destroying the ecosystem, taking education for granted, the sheep-like nature of the populace to follow the lead of celebrities, the declining rate of general health, overspending, substance use, negligent parenting, and on and on I could go. If there’s a controversial topic you want to touch on, Feed probably has something to say about it. That, I would say, is probably Anderson’s greatest fault in the book – he tried to say a little bit about a lot of things. It makes the book a little overwhelming, if you are reading it closely.
Then again, maybe that’s the point.
Modern dystopia. Teenage romance. One of my favorite books. Period.
I definitely own a copy of this book.
I was first introduced to Feed in high school as part of required reading for my senior honors English class. I’ve been defending this book from haters and telling friends to read it ever since. Read it.
“We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.”
Some of My Favorite Quotes
“There’s an ancient saying in Japan, that life is like walking from one side of infinite darkness to another, on a bridge of dreams. They say that we’re all crossing the bridge of dreams together. That there’s nothing more than that. Just us, on the bridge of dreams.”
“I don’t know when they first had feeds. Like maybe, fifty or a hundred years ago. Before that, they had to use their hands and their eyes. Computers were all outside the body. They carried them around outside of them, in their hands, like if you carried your lungs in a briefcase and opened it to breathe.”
“My idea of life, it’s what happens when they’re rolling the credits.”
“It felt good, really good, just to scream finally. I felt like I was singing a hit single. But in Hell.”