This book… Hmm… well… How to start… I don’t think I would have read this book on my own, but it’s part of my reading list for the fall so I had to. I’m not a huge fan of dystopian fiction to begin with, and I know had I any choice I would have dropped this book after the first page because of the slang. Because I didn’t much care for this book, and I read it a long time ago I am not going to write a lengthy review for it.
This book describes everything I hope the future is not, but horrifyingly enough I feel this is the direction our future is headed in. Everyone is so ignorant of the events of the world, consumerism is the only thing that matters, nature has all but been destroyed (they can’t even go near the ocean without wearing masks), animal body parts are grown rather than farming livestock, children are taught how to be a good shopper rather than critical thinking, or you know, math or proper English.
The slang, as I mentioned already, was one of the deterring factors for me. I just couldn’t understand what they were saying. Even the adults spoke like the teenagers. It was hard to decode what the characters were saying and I found it did not get easier as the book went on. I recognize that the way the characters spoke was intentional, symbolizing the decline of our language, but it still really bothered me.
Another thing I didn’t like about the book was how screwed over Violet was because of her shopping habits. Basically it was “oh, you don’t conform so we’re not to going help you.” What kind of message is that sending to teenagers? I get that this book is supposed to be tragic and dystopian but impressionable teens reading this book are going to read that as “I have to be like everyone else in order to survive.” Violet was the only character willing to be unique and she died because of it. Not the kind of message I would want my kids or students to read.
One thing I really liked about Feed, though was Titus’s reaction to Violet’s terminal illness. It was the only thing that seemed real in this book. He found out she was sick and withdrew from her and tried to detach himself from her. I know that is cold and people want to believe they are good enough to stick with the person they love once they get sick, but though I’m not proud to admit it, I can tell you from personal experience that being a teenager and seeing someone slowly die in front of you is not the kind of thing you want to go through. It’s scary and uncomfortable and the only thing you want to do is get away from it.
Regardless of all the things I didn’t like about the book, I think Anderson did a great job of getting his message (warning would be more accurate) across. This book made me feel disturbed and i think that is what the author wanted to do. Scare people into realizing where we could end up if we continue on the path we are on. So, kudos, M. T. Anderson for scaring me poopless.