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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Book review: Feed

Can an old sci fi cliché be new again? In the skillful hands of M.T. Anderson, the answer is yes. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for any YA literature with a sci-fi bent, because I know that teens are a discriminating bunch, and its my belief that a sci-fi book has to be really really good to appeal to teens.

So imagine with me all of the technology of the internet, TV, and cell phones, and project it 100-200 years into the future. Now almost everyone has a “feed” directly implanted into their brain, allowing them to instantly access the internet, chat with anyone else who has a feed, watch “feedcasts” and instantly access the latest fashion trends. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? And *wink *wink surprise surprise, it is.

What I think really stood out about this book is that the author did a fabulous job of creating lingo. He claims to have listened in to many a cell phone conversation in the mall for inspiration, and he has a good ear for how teenagers talk. Titus, the main character opens the story by stating “We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.” Titus describes the scene as they are flying to moon:

As we flew across the surface of the moon, I couldn’t sleep. Link was playing with the seat… He was moving it forward and backward. Marty had dropped his bird, these fakes birds that were the big spit and lots of people had them, and Marty’s bird was floating off, because there was hardly any gravity, and whenever he leaned out to get his bird, Link would slam his seat back meg hard and it would go bam on Marty’s face and they would start laughing. Marty would be all, “Unit! Just wait one-" and Link would be, “Go for it. Try! Try it!” and Marty would be like, “Unit, you are so-!” And then they would be all big laughing and I felt like a complete bonesprocket for trying to sleep when there was fun.

M. T. Anderson creates very believable teenage characters. The friendships between them wax and wane throughout the course of the book, and each character stays true. The author could have easily given the book an ending where everyone ended up happy, but he allows the characters to develop which I believe makes the book even stronger.

I really thought the description on the back of the book was very ho-hum and I almost didn’t pick the book up. However, I’m so glad I did as it was a great read that kept me hooked up until the end.


Carl V. said...

M.T. Anderson is an author who I've picked up buzz about through various challenges and blog reviews. This sounds like a very interesting read and one I'll be on the lookout for. Great job with the review.

Bold Blue Adventure said...

Carl-Yup this is a good book to read. Thanks for the encouragement!