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Feed by M.T. Anderson
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F_50x66
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Aug 20, 10

bookshelves: ya

Titus and his friends live in a dystopian future. Most middle-class people have a brain implant, the feed, that runs a constant stream of ads, information, entertainment directly into their minds. Their world is not-so-secretly run by corporations and giant conglomerates, and people keep developing lesions on their skin, yet no one notices or ares (until stars of a popular show get them, at which point fake lesions become all the rage). While on a school break they meet up with Violet, a home-schooled girl who is a bit of a rebel (one project - she messes with the system by pretending to be interested in products and then not buying them, which eventually turns very dangerous). They all go to a night club and are hacked - disrupting their feeds.

Anderson does a wonderful job of immersing you in the universe he's created with it being too confusing. He gets a bit didactic, particularly at the end when one of the characters is dying, and the "corporations are evil and consumerism is killing the world" takes over from the story. It was especially poignant at the end where Titus rebels against Violet's fantasy: she is telling him that she had it all planned, she'd meet a "normal" boy, and they'd fall in love, and there 's would be an epic tale of love in a time of death. I mean she's just painted the classic epic teen romance, and he's all "no, I'm just a guy, and we've only been dating for a few months, and I really didn't ask to be part of this grand epic." *So* much there to contrast with that big teen epic that they all read and want to be their life. But life is almost never actually like that, and how rare is it to see a character come right out and admit "hey this is unrealistic?"

Shades of Neal Stephenson, William Gibson -- Snow Crash would definitely be on the "What to Read Next," as would Clockwork Orange and Brave New World.
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