Monday, April 12, 2010
by M.T. Anderson
I picked this book up as part of my "Take Another Chance Challenge". For #3 it was choose a book from a booklist. I thought this book was on the "2009 list of best YA novels"..yeah, it wasn't.
My bad. Either way, I have wanted to read this for awhile because I've heard some good things about it.
Summary (from goodreads): In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.
What a great summary, eh? The computer implants in their head is called the "Feed" and are constantly bombarded with advertisement.
I don’t exactly know what to think of this book. On one hand, I thought Titus was interesting and could be somewhat original. I thought he would be the boy who might change everything, who might fight for the girl he claims to love. On the other hand, he was a douchebag.
A douchebag made by technology, maybe. He’s self-proclaimed “stupid” and he is (to me) another product of the feed. When Violet really needed him, he bailed. Which made him pretty uncool on my cool-o-meter. I thought he was a jerk, was selfish, and stupid.
I will connect the writing bit to the characters, because while I disliked Titus’ character, I thought he was written averagely as well. The slangs in the book were too much, too often, and I still don’t understand what is with “Unit”, was that a swear word? Anybody who knows, leave a comment below.
I never really connected much with Titus, but I could understand him. Do you know what I mean by that? I could understand why he did all the stupid things he did, I get that he didn’t want to change and never really cared for much of the world. That didn’t mean I liked it though. It’s this type of stuff that makes me confused.
I did really like Violet though. She’s an admirable heroine but with her own faults. For example, while she wants to fight the feed, there are times where she gives in to it and “lives”. Can’t have the cake and eat it too. The thing/problem with Violet (I’m trying not to be a spoiler) was really well fleshed out, especially the last couple scenes. I liked her more because of how different she was, and how conflicted but real she seemed.
She isn’t rich like Titus’ friends, but she is much better spoken, and to the reader living in the 21st century, much more “right”. Then again, if you put yourself in Titus’ shoes, you might think she is weird. Oh god, I don’t want to go into a whole philosophical discussion.
I think Feed is characterized as “futuristic-satire” and don’t get me wrong, it is both. It’s an extended metaphor of today’s society that is so involved with internet and technology. It’s funny in a dark way, funny like “the world is dying and nobody cares, har har” type of funny, but not as dramatic or distressing. The feed tries to “understand” you, what you like so it can advertise better, so eventually everything becomes dumber and dumber. This doesn’t really makes sense as I’m writing this review, but if you read the book you’d understand.
I enjoyed the plot, while it isn’t the most original thing out there, it is still fascinating. I loved reading about adventures to the moon, or to Jupiter, or whatever ridiculous things the Feed would tell Titus. I thought that the way it was narrated (First person POV from Titus) limited the reader for gaining information about the world because let’s face it: apart from brief moments, Titus doesn’t really care for his deteriorating world. From small segments, you learn that the world has been falling apart, on the brink of a war, and basically ‘going down’.
For example (don’t worry, I’m gonna end this review soon), the lesions people get on their skin, people are manipulated into thinking they are the next “big thing”, not a serious concern. They learn to “accessorize their legions!”
7.5/10 – because I couldn’t connect with the characters or the writing. I understood Titus’ motives, but disliked him in general. Violet and her role was a bright side to a somewhat-depressing novel. I have already proved I can adapt to different writing styles (anyone who read The Knife of Never Letting Go? Wayy different) yet this book just didn’t do it for me. The “slang” way of prose wasn’t working for me. The plot was redeemable, and again, made me sad because, “what if this is what we end up being? Products of Feed, or of technology?”
I would recommend it to people who would like a somewhat-thoughtful book about a futuristic society controlled by technology. Sorry for being so specific :P
Also, this novel has that silver sticker for “National Book Award” so I guess it must be good. I can appreciate that it’s a good novel, just maybe not as enjoyable for me.
Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? And do you like dystopic/futuristic novels in general?