Publisher: Candlewick Press (2004)
Format: Paperback | 320 pages
Format: Paperback | 320 pages
Genre(s): Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Description (Goodreads): "Brave New World takes a romantic teen twist in this disarming, engrossing novel set in a hyper-computerized future.
Spending time partying on the moon and riding around in his "upcar," Titus is an average teen of the future, complete with a computer chip implant -- the "Feed" -- that lets corporate marketers and government agencies broadcast directly into his brain. Then Titus meets Violet, and an anti-Feed hacker shuts down their Feeds for a short time; but when Violet's Feed is seriously damaged, she begins spouting some radical ideas.
M. T. Anderson has predicted the future, and it's startling indeed. Although Titus is a good, well-meaning kid, his blissful ignorance of the control over him leaves readers thinking twice about the destiny of earth's citizens. Beneath the book's techno-veneer, however, lies a romantic tale between a boy who gives into the system and a girl who sees beyond it. All told, Feed is a "meg" remarkable work of science fiction, and once readers begin, they'll be caught up in its powerful grip. Matt Warner"
WARNING: Contains Spoilers
I really don't know what to say about this book, except that I loved it's concept and was "chilled" by it at the same time.
A few days ago, a friend of mine saw this book in my pile of new acquisitions and asked me if this was that book about zombies that she'd heard about (I think she was talking about "Feed" by Mira Grant). She commented on the cover being different from what she remembered. I told her no, this isn't a zombie book.
Well, it turns out I was partially wrong. No, this book isn't a supernatural dystopia, but it doesn't mean it doesn't have zombies. Because the very definition of a zombie is a creature with little to no intellect that is fixated in one thing only. This describes the characters in this book pretty well, I think. They even have rotten flesh (ew).
Imagine a future where some unknown piece of technology is planted into your brain at a very young age. It's like a combo of television, radio and computer, wired into your brain and it allows you access to some version of the internet; but an internet completely dominated by big corporations that insist that you buy, buy, buy. While your "feed" (the name of the implant) allows you to watch shows, download music, chat directly with your friends and family and have whatever you want (as long as you have credit) it also bombards you with publicity pretty much all the time.
This is the world where Titus (one of the main characters) and his friends live. There is no longer any need for education because with a thought you can download any information you want. School(TM) is meant only to help you learn to use the feed. And everyone has one.
What I loved (although it scared me too, lol) about this book is that while this seems to be very far into the future, the society portrayed is essentially an extreme version of ours. The rampant consumerism, the elimination of individuality, the culture of indifference. Humankind focused on itself, consuming anything and everything until there is nothing left. People are actually distantly aware of the world's problems, they just don't care. It did make me shiver.
While I loved the concept and the story I wasn't too fond of the characters. They seemed too much like the Pretties from Scott Westerfeld's books. But I understood why they were that way, because their whole world was to shop and nobody can have that many voices in their heads and remain completely sane. My favorite character was, of course, Violet. Titus wasn't really anything special right until the end, but I'm pretty sure the author intended it that way. Also, I kind of understood Titus in a weird way. He was human in his decisions and choices, not some kind of hero. That made the book all the more realistic to me.
So... what else to say about this? It was scary, it was confusing (people with wetware in their brains tend to be, apparently) and that meant I could only read a few chapters at a time... even if the characters were indifferent to pretty much everything, reading this book was still... intense.
Overall, a good book, a cautionary tale of sorts with a clear message for future generations about the evils of our consumer-based society. It's worth a read for fans of dystopian/ apocalyptical fiction and for trend-following teenagers everywhere, lol.