Feed is set in a future world where television and computers are connected directly into people's brains when they are babies. The result is a consumer society where empty-headed kids are driven by fashion and shopping, and the pursuit of silly entertainment, like trips to Mars and the Moon while the feed is constantly murmuring in their brains, buy, buy, buy. Teens in this book are almost completely inarticulate, relying heavily on words like “Oh, Wow, Thing”, which not surprisingly is the name of their favorite show. The Feed allows for internal “chatting” so there is no need to speak and reading has become obsolete.
As the story begins, Titus and his pals travel to the moon for spring break. There he meets home-schooled Violet, who thinks for herself, searches out news and asserts that the Feed is bad because it is changing their personalities so that they are easier to sell to. On the Moon, they are victims of a hacker, who temporarily tampers with their Feed. Titus and his friends are adjusted, but Violet, who has an older model, Feed, which was installed much later in life finds that her Feed is slowly shutting down and she with it.
I thought Feed was extremely clever and well written. With the huge advances in technology taking place today, the concept of an all-knowing consumer generated feed implanted into the brain seems chillingly realistic. The “teen speak” in this book was spot on and often hilarious, although sometimes difficult to understand. Anderson deftly combines elements of today's teen scene, including parties and shopping malls, with imaginative and disturbing fantasy twists. The opening sentence of the book - “We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck” – completely grabbed me, and was the perfect set up for this teen sci-fi novel. This book would be best for older teens and contains profanity and sexual situations.