By Campbell Turner, Correspondent
“Feed” by M. T. Anderson follows Titus, a selfish teenager who’s lived his whole life with the Feed, a device implanted into his brain that advertises to him constantly. When we first meet Titus, he is on his way to the moon for a trip with his friends. While there, they meet a girl named Violet who quickly catches Titus’ attention. After a hack leaves them all Feedless and frees them from the constant barrage of ads, the two grow closer. The book explores the relationship between the Feed-obsessed Titus and the more conscious Violet and how they change—or fail to change—each other.
While “Feed” is technically a dystopian love story, it’s also a somber prediction of where we’ll be if we continue to let our consumption consume us. The book’s critiques of the dangers of giving too much trust in our corporations, our obsession with the internet, and the perils of complacency are well-woven into the story and never feel preachy.
Another thing I like about “Feed” is that it doesn’t just point out problems but also gives solutions, often through the character Violet. For example, she gives an easy way to avoid being controlled by consumption. Violet mentions that if she sees something she wants, she waits two weeks to buy it. This kind of thought is treated as odd by Titus but it’s a good way to avoid falling victim to consumption. Corporations profit when their market is thoughtless as their consumers never stop to think that the item might be something they don’t have room for, something they don’t really like, or something they don’t really need.
To sum things up, “Feed” is a smart novel that trusts the reader to consider their place in a corporation-ridden world and avoid becoming lost in the Feed. I’d give the book an enthusiastic 10 out of 10.