The next book I’d like to look at is FEED by M.T. Anderson.  Mr. Anderson has written a variety of kids books, including but not limited to the young adult series THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF OCTAVIAN NOTHING, the teen book BURGER WUSS, and a middle grade book WHALES ON STILTS.  Seriously–I know how to pick ’em.  FEED has gotten an obscene number of awards and recognitions, including the New York Times Book review notable book of the year, Publisher’s weekly Best Children’s book of the year, and the American Library Association best book for young adults.

M.T. Anderson has a very cool (and droll) website with little extras like wallpaper (under the subheading “more gimmicks”–I think I LOVE this guy).  You should go and check it out, if only to see the gorgeous website layout.  Also, I’m going to direct you to his page about FEED because he includes a brief essay about his inspiration for the story and a note for writers about revisions.

Feed is a dytopic fantasy about what would happen if corporations could put a wireless internet-style feed directly in everyone’s head.  Characters in this world can do everything through their feed: play games, go to school, watch shows, IM chat, and most importantly buy things.  Everyone who’s anyone has a feed.  And our main character, a teenaged boy named Titus can’t imagine life without his.  That is, until he meet a brainy girl named Violet on a weekend excursion to the moon.  She didn’t get the feed until she was seven, so she can remember a time without it.  When she and Titus fall in love, she challenges all he knows about being connected to the feed.

FEED really focuses on the two main characters, Titus and Violet.  Titus has a circle of over-privileged friends–two guys named Mary and Link and three girls named Loga , Calista, and Quendy.   But really, they can almost be grouped as one character, “the friends”.   And I think that’s on purpose.  Also, Titus has an annoying younger brother who is only referred to as “Smell Factor” and two parents that are reminiscent of middle upper-class suburbanites.  Violet’s father is introduced late in the book–an intellectual with only a rudimentary feed and a bitterness towards the technology.

On Monday, I’m going to tackle the characters in this story.  Despite the strangeness of the setting, the people are very familiar.  They really anchor you into the story. Until then….