Author: M. T. Anderson
Genre: Science Fiction
Quotation: “We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.”
Would recommend to: anyone who is weary of the development of technology.
Feed‘s book jacket describes it as a science fiction tale of two teenagers who fall in love and choose to fight the “feed”, basically the internet in your head, together.
I was expecting a story relatively similar to Divergent or The Hunger Games, both stories that include strong protagonists that challenge the current way of life to find something better. That is not what Feed is.
Feed is the story of Titus and Violet and their struggle to overcome socio-economic prejudices they didn’t even know existed and figure out what life would be like without the feed.
Basically, people, rich people, are fitted with feeds, kind of like having an internet directly connected to your brain. These feeds have messaging capabilities, shopping selections and Google at the tips of everyone’s thoughts.
When Titus and his friends go to the moon because they are bored, they meet Violet, a girl their age who has been planning a trip to the moon for a while since she’s much poorer than the other teenagers. While on the moon, their feeds are hacked and they live without them for a few days, seeing for the first time what it’s like to create your own entertainment and not be in-the-know 24/7.
When they get their feeds back and return to Earth, readers see the disturbing world these kids live in. Pants are $400 dollars and they get cars for going through tough times. They think air farms can replace trees and they visit beaches in space suits because of all the pollution.
M.T. Anderson’s novel is really a deep commentary on what can happen to our world if we let technology take over our thought process, if we let corporations become our brains. The in-depth analysis of the effect technology can have on our senses comes way before its time (Anderson wrote Feed in 2002) and speaks for itself. It is deep, introspective, and truly a warning for anyone that relies too heavily on what technology can do for them (such as having Google at the tips of our fingers).
And while his commentary is deep, his characters are flat. Besides Violet, they all rely on popular trends to tell them what to do and have very little understanding of compassion. This is Anderson’s way of convincing readers not to let this happen — to read, to reflect on life, to enjoy the trees, to take in everything they can around them and to not let technology cloud out our humanity.
Anderson is known for writing comprehensive pieces for young adults and encouraging his readers to think about the words on the page. Other books he’s written include the “Octavian Nothing” series, Thirsty, and Burger Wuss.