Wendy Darling's Reviews > Feed

Feed by Mira Grant
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This book has zombies in it, but to call it a zombie or horror novel does it a disservice. There are some awesome action sequences, but no gratuitous feeding scenes, screaming teenagers, or B-horror movie cliches or gore. It's more of a novel about journalism, the right to information and free speech, and the personal and political ramifications of a wide-spreading disease. With occasional zombie action.

This is also not necessarily a young adult novel. Not because it's inappropriate in any way, but because the themes it addresses are hard and sometimes the narrative is pretty dry. In the year 2039, Georgia and Shaun Mason, along with their friend Buffy (recognize any zombie-related names there?), are invited to cover Senator Ryman's presidential campaign in a world in which the Kellis-Amberlee virus has decimated the country's population and resources. Traditional news organizations have given way to the rise of internet journalism, and the trio of young bloggers must uncover a terrible conspiracy and disseminate information to their readers, all while risking their very lives.

The strengths in this novel include incredibly well thought-out world-building, strong characters, snappy dialogue, unexpected plot twists, and excellent action sequences. Mira Grant's attention to detail in Feed regarding precautionary measures, sterilization procedures, and waiting for heart-pounding test results all rang very true. (Richard Preston's The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story scared the bejesus out of me when it was first published in 1999, and for awhile I was fascinated by the CDC and read a lot of books about various outbreaks and plagues.) Georgia, who is the primary narrator, is a butt-kicking heroine with a huge amount of integrity, and I loved her adopted brother Shaun, who sports both a cheerfully bantering demeanor and a crossbow. I have a healthy amount of respect for their efforts to survive and for their pursuit of truth, which often came at great cost to themselves and to those they hold dear.

This is not to say that this is a perfect novel. There are overly long info-dumping passages (they are intelligently written and provide necessary back story, but they are info-dumps all the same) that would have been better served with more dialogue; a surprisingly uncomplicated, easy-to-spot villain; and some aspects of Georgia and Shaun's relationship that were teased but perhaps a bit unexplored. I wish there was also better build up of tension, a few more zombie encounters, less politics (a personal preference, though, since I find politics a big snoozefest), a less prolonged ending following a major game-changing event, and a little more emotion throughout the book. Overall, I think the spareness of prose and Georgia's all-business approach worked within the context of the story, but because I'm always looking for emotional connection, I would liked to have seen it spread out in more than just a couple of places.

However...the scenes with emotional impact pack a gigantic wallop. It's hard to surprise me these days with unexpected story twists, but this one managed to do it not once, but twice--and the outcomes of both those revelations ratchet up the stakes in a way that nothing else could have. I had early, anxious worries about the ending, but things didn't unfold the way I expected--and it still didn't prepare me for the tears that flowed freely and the awful ache in my throat, both of which still come and go as I think about the book. That characters would still, in such extreme and tragic circumstances, behave with such integrity and nobility and selflessness and love, just wrenches my heart.

To be honest, this would probably normally be a 4 star review because of points I mentioned. But because of its heartrending and unforgettable ending, it gets 4.5 stars from me. I think as readers, most of us go through dozens and dozens of books hoping to find that one book that shatters our expectations and leaves us speechless with unexpected feeling. For me, Feed is one that definitely does that.


Here is my spoiler-free review of the sequel (which is okay to read even if you haven't read FEED). Reminder: DO NOT READ the synopsis for the second book in the trilogy, however, as it spoils major plot points for this first book.
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Quotes Wendy Darling Liked

Mira Grant
“The difference between the truth and a lie is that both of them can hurt, but only one will take the time to heal you afterward.”
Mira Grant, Feed

Reading Progress

05/08/2011 page 46
05/09/2011 page 114
20.0% 11 comments
05/22/2011 page 194
34.0% "I kind of love that in a post-apocalyptic world, we still have Starbucks." 9 comments
05/23/2011 page 274
48.0% "Holy crap. It's a testament to how good this book is that I am constantly braced for trouble and even predict certain things, but I'm still affected by what's happening." 3 comments
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 65) (65 new)

message 1: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley How is this so far? It sounds interesting.

Wendy Darling So far it's really, really good. I want to whisper the magical words (view spoiler) but I don't want to jinx it!

message 3: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley omg are you serious?!!! That makes me want to read it like now! I seriously read 4 books since Hunger Games and hated all of them!! Graceling is the first thing that has got my attention since!

Wendy Darling I'll let you know when I'm done...but the thought has occurred to me a few times and I'm only a quarter of the way through the book. Not sure if you Kindle, but it's only $2.99 on Amazon right now... http://www.amazon.com/Feed-ebook/dp/B...

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

but I don't like zombies

Wendy Darling From what I understand, they're not in the book that much. (And I'm not a zombie enthusiast or anything.) Since I'm still in the early stages of the book, I'm going to refer you guys to a review by the brilliant Maja--it was what convinced me to read it. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

message 7: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley I havent read a zombie book, but I am def trying this one!

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

You didn't give up on this one did you?

message 9: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley I just started The Forest of Hands and Teeth which so far is pretty excellent. I am 80 pages in right now. its a quick read! It has zombies, but so far they are only talked about and not the msin characters or anything. Kate I think you would really like it.

Wendy Darling No! I've just been distracted lately because I've had a houseguest, so just taking a little break.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I was worried because I saw you started Wither

Wendy Darling Hah, I guess for me, forced polygamous marriages are lighter reading than political zombie novels. I think Feed deserves a little more attention than I have right at the moment.

Cindy This book has been begging me to be read... I have a thing for zombie novels, although I can't stomach too much gore. Contradiction, I know ._.

Wendy Darling I don't *think* there's that much gore in this one, Cinnamon. I have a few more zombie books in my TBR pile, I really hope none of them are too gross. Not really my thing either.

message 15: by Jena (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jena I loved this book! Can't wait for book 2

Wendy Darling I keep hearing how great it is, Jena! I should have enough brainpower to keep going with it soon.

Chrissy The end made me so sad :(

Wendy Darling I expected something...but not like that. God.

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

5! Oh I'm so glad to hear this. Look forward to your review

message 20: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley ok so you apparently finished it and gave it 5 stars. SPILL IT!!!

Wendy Darling It's coming, it's coming...and this will be somewhere between a 4 or a 5 for me. The gut punch of emotion tips it much higher, though I'm still sorting out my feelings. Hard with my tendency to tear up when I think about it, though.

message 22: by Lucy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lucy Aww, you should leave the review like this. You're making want to re-star the book up one.

message 23: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley if a book gives me actual emotion it def bumps it up in the stars!

Ginny I am so glad you liked the book! I was so upset that I was yelling at my father about the book! lol And yes, I agree with Lucy, your review as it is is wonderful and accurate :D

Wendy Darling Well, "Tears still flowing. Cannot write. :( " will do at 2:45 am, but I have more to say about this book than that! Although it's somewhat appropriate, considering...you know. Argh, and here come the tears again.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Oh, Wendy, now you're making ME cry again.

Luckily, Deadline's coming out in a few days. Maybe that will make things better.

message 27: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley Ok wendy...or anyone else...compare to another books or series quality...

Wendy Darling Ashley, this is a spectacularly well-written book. I just posted more details in my review, but it's hard to compare this with another series because it's such an original concept and approach. I'd recommend picking it up to see if the writing and the story engage you...it certainly did me!

Wendy Darling Moorchild, I think someone we know (Catie?) is listening to it on audiobook. I think you'd like this one--it's dense, bleak, and contains no romance whatsoever.

message 30: by Nomes (new) - added it

Nomes way to write a brilliant review. it's so thorough in what to expect. i am so tempted to buy this right now (even though i am meant to be on a book budget until i make a bigger dent in my TBR)

anyways ~ you've knocked it on to my top-priority wishlist :D

Wendy Darling Oh, Nomes--I would love to hear what you think of this one! I can't wait for you to read it.

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "It's coming, it's coming...and this will be somewhere between a 4 or a 5 for me. The gut punch of emotion tips it much higher, though I'm still sorting out my feelings. Hard with my tendency to tea..."

I read this book in May of 2010, and everytime I think of the ending, even a year later, I cry! After I cry, I laugh because I think of myself crying over what is technically a "zombie book".

message 33: by Wendy Darling (last edited May 23, 2011 05:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling "I read this book in May of 2010, and everytime I think of the ending, even a year later, I cry! After I cry, I laugh because I think of myself crying over what is technically a "zombie book."

Jeez Michelle, that doesn't bode well for me!

Moorchild wrote: "I love how when people want to recommend books to me they tell me it's bleak and anti-romantic. But they're so very right! :D ."

Hee! Getting to know your taste bit by bit. :)

Flannery I tried to read this once and got bored around the halfway point because of the politics. But the fact that the ending made you cry clinched me to buy in for my Kindle. Hell, it might sit on there for months but I WILL read anything that people say made them cry.

message 35: by Wendy Darling (last edited May 23, 2011 08:01PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wendy Darling Politics make my eyes roll up in my head--I think you can actually pinpoint when it all starts and stops in this book based on my stalled status updates. Once you get past that hump to the Senator's ranch, though, things start moving really fast. I read the rest pretty much in one sitting! And yeah--I knew from Maja's review to expect some heavy emotions. But it still really got to me.

message 36: by Nomes (new) - added it

Nomes LOL Flann.

I love books that make me cry too.

Catie Yes, I am listening to the audiobook! It's pretty good. It has two narrators - one for Buffy/Georgia and one for Sean (audiobook = I don't know how to spell their names).

I am so tempted to read this review but I want to finish it first! I'll be back!

P.S. I love the political stuff!

HєllyBєlly brilliant review as always - this is just what the doc ordered to cure withdrawal symptoms after finishing Divergent a few days ago. *scuttling over to Amazon for a bargain*

Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Catie wrote: "Yes, I am listening to the audiobook! It's pretty good. It has two narrators - one for Buffy/Georgia and one for Sean (audiobook = I don't know how to spell their names).

I am so tempted to ..."

the audiobook of Feed is really good!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Wendy Darling wrote: "Since I'm still in the early stages of the book, I'm going to refer you guys to a review by the brilliant Maja --it was what convinced me to read it. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/155...

I JUST saw this! You are so sweet! :)

Wendy Darling I look forward to hearing what you think of the book, Catie and HellyBelly! I'm glad to hear the audiobook is good, Michelle, it always sucks when the narrators ruin it.

Maja Maja Maja...I want to give you a big hug. (I could use one after this book, too.) I don't remember how we came across each other here in the GoodReads universe, but I'm glad it happened!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) If I remember correctly, it was because of the Feed review. I, too, am very glad.

I'm reading a book about a guy with Parkinson's disease. I could definitely use a hug. :)

Wendy Darling Ahh, zombies bringing people together everywhere. :)

message 44: by Sue (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sue Tint OK Wendy,, I am terrified of zombies, I mean I have an irrational and illogical fear of them,,, yeah, that's a phobia. So, I would normally just quickly pass this book by. However, your review really makes me want to read it. What do you think? Will my phobia get in the way of enjoying this read?

Wendy Darling If you dislike zombies, I don't think there's anything in this book that would really bother you. A phobia, though...I don't know, that's pretty tough. How serious is it? I will say that you mostly see the aftermath of what happens after an encounter with the undead rather than an actual attack. And again, there's nothing graphic or gory in it.

But with your fear, it may be something to check out at the library rather than buying anyway. And maybe have a friend on speed dial.

message 46: by Sue (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sue Tint Thanks Wendy,,, I can usually take zombies *light* and this book got such awesome reviews I think I'll get it anyway (and only $2.99 on kindle,, can't beat that!)

Wendy Darling I think you'll be okay. :) Can't wait to hear what you think!

message 48: by Milly (new)

Milly What a great review Wendy! You once again convinced me to read another book I was iffy about picking up! And thanks for sharing the parts you didn't appreciate as much in the book. At least I'm already warned about the info dumping and the lack of emotional connection between the siblings and won't be surprised when I finally get a chance to read this.

Wendy Darling Oh! Well, Georgia and Shaun are actually really close and have lots of witty banter back and forth. Sorry to have been a little confusing there. Let's just say that there are, however, some aspects of their relationship that could have been developed a little more. I do hope you'll read it, though! I hope everyone reads it.

message 50: by Nic (new) - added it

Nic Awesome review. I think I need this book ~runs off to amazon~

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