Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
“‘I don’t know. The whole brain is tied in to the feed. The whole brain, like the memory and the part that makes you move and the part for your emotions.’
‘The limbic system.’
‘I don’t know.’
‘I just looked it up.'” (222)
This book has won many prizes including the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award and the National Book Finalist Award. It has also been declared an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. I was recommended this book by a college professor at a conference for dystopian novels, so I finally got around to checking it out.
Feed, by M. T. Anderson, is a young adult dystopian novel in a world where people make frequent trips to the moon, corporations own everything (including School™,) and people all get feeds at a certain age. People can look things up on the internet instantly with the feed in their brain, and the use of traditional language has mostly been lost, making the futuristic culture of the world seem very dumb, as it were. There are little to no plants on the planet anymore, and everything is made by machine, even air and Clouds™.
For Titus and his friends, the feed is everything: it gives them the latest TV show and fashion updates, allows people to search for anything they wish at any given moment on the net, and the corporations are able to slam advertisements at feed users based on the users’ interest in a particular product. When passing some kind of building or landmark, the feed automatically spews information into the persons mind about said structure.
But not everyone has a feed, and some who do have feeds couldn’t afford it until they were older, such as Violet, a girl Titus meets on the moon. She didn’t get her feed implanted into her brain until she was seven, which is risky in that world because it could cause malfunction to the body from not developing along with the person.
It took me a while to get into this book because it is rather vague and hard to follow. Anderson makes it so the reader really has to imagine what the world must be like for these characters, and not everything is straight forward. The language is hard to get through. Like I said earlier, traditional language is nearly extinct. The lingo is very laid back, simple, and is reminiscent of how a great number of high school kids may talk today. With the internet inside your head, who needs education?
But the question is, should you read it? When I began the book, I was rather discouraged by the vagueness and the mystery of the world itself, and the language was really throwing me off. BUT this book does, in fact, deserve a try. Once you get used to the language and immerse yourself in the world of the feed, it is a rather interesting and unique novel, so YES, you should read it (or at least chance the first 40-50 pages and see where that leads you).