Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Library Reads: M.T. Anderson's Feed

Feed is a rather depressing book told from the perspective of Titus. Some might like the character, and some might not because of the choices he make that seem very harsh, and easily teen like. What Anderson maintains though is an unique style of writing with the story line putting you something of mind of George Orwell, or Kurt Vonnegut except a novel geared more toward teenagers.

Titus is a teen growing up in a world where everyone has a feed. These feeds provide the opportunity for people to instant message one another through them, but they also are fed advertisements through these same feeds in their heads. Titus seems like a normal teen otherwise who is partying with his friend, and just trying to get through school despite the crumbling use of language since kids aren't dependent on it anymore. Then Titus meets Violet, who is a little different from everyone else because her feed wasn't installed when she was born, but instead a few years after. This has caused her some issues, and one night after being hacked at a club her body begins deteriorating. Titus is faced with a new reality that he hasn't had to witness, and has been ignoring happening in his friends. The feeds are not only making the world less intelligent, but they also could be ruining the human race's bodies.

Feed sounds like a highly intriguing dystopian novel, but once you begin reading you have a hard time getting past the writing. It reflects how their culture has lost their way with words, but it makes a reader have some problems getting through. At times the writing seems reminiscent of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, except unlike Charlie, Titus doesn't grow in his ability to talk. By the time you get to the ending of the novel though you wish you could have absorbed it better, because the author seems to really shine a little too late.

Violet is really the only likable character in Feed. She didn't grow up like the rest of the kids knowing what it was only like on a feed, so she seems to have more heart left, and a passion for life that the others have lost. Then again the rest of them seem like normal teens, Titus included. They party, and don't really think about death. Violet's reality has dealt her something a tad different probably causing her to have considered things the others haven't.

Titus just isn't likable, and it's because you wish he would have seen sooner what he finally does at the end. He seems really cold toward Violet. Even cutting her off in her darkest moments, and most people would wonder how anyone could react in such a way. Has any imperfections in life become so ignored that when confronted with them the kids can't handle them? The book doesn't start off dark, but it doesn't take long for it to take a really dark turn. This novel also shows the dangers of these feeds, and without knowing it this novel does leave you walking away feeling a little something.

Feed doesn't start off reading as something that will be good, and it takes a little getting yourself through it to get to the parts that begin to stir you, and maybe even upset you.  Whatever the world has become in this book is cold, and quite mean, but maybe with what Titus has learned by the end of it he can embark on changing in his future.

Rating 3 of 5.


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