Feed

( 231 )

Overview

Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their ...

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Overview

Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.

In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Finalist for the 2002 National Book Award, Young People's Literature
Honor book for the 2003 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award (Fiction category)

The Barnes & Noble Review
Brave New World takes a romantic teen twist in this disarming, engrossing novel set in a hyper-computerized future.

Spending time partying on the moon and riding around in his "upcar," Titus is an average teen of the future, complete with a computer chip implant -- the "Feed" -- that lets corporate marketers and government agencies broadcast directly into his brain. Then Titus meets Violet, and an anti-Feed hacker shuts down their Feeds for a short time; but when Violet's Feed is seriously damaged, she begins spouting some radical ideas.

M. T. Anderson has predicted the future, and it's startling indeed. Although Titus is a good, well-meaning kid, his blissful ignorance of the control over him leaves readers thinking twice about the destiny of earth's citizens. Beneath the book's techno-veneer, however, lies a romantic tale between a boy who gives into the system and a girl who sees beyond it. All told, Feed is a "meg" remarkable work of science fiction, and once readers begin, they'll be caught up in its powerful grip. Matt Warner

From the Publisher
This satire offers a thought-provoking and scathing indictment that may prod readers to examine the more sinister possibilities of corporate-and media-dominated culture.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

What really puts the teeth in the bite...is Anderson's brillinat satiric vision in the semaless creation of this imagined but believable world. The writing is relentlessly funny, clever in its observations and characters....
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

The crystalline realization of this wildly dystopic future carries in it obvious and enormous implications for today's readers — satire at its finest.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

M.T. Anderson has created the perfect device for an ingenious satire of corporate America and our present-day value system...Like those in a funhouse mirror, the reflections the novel shows us may be ugly and distorted, bu they are undeniably ourselves.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

Publishers Weekly
In this chilling novel, Anderson imagines a society dominated by the feed-a next-generation Internet/television hybrid that is directly hardwired into the brain. In a starred review, PW called this a "thought-provoking and scathing indictment of corporate-and media-dominated culture." Ages 14-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
To quote from the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, November 2002: It's spring break, and Titus and his teenage friends are partying on the moon when he spots a beautiful girl. He and Violet are just getting to know each other when a hacker causes their feeds to malfunction—the chips in their brains that barrage them with ads and direct their thoughts and dreams. Titus recovers, but Violet's feed is damaged; she hasn't always had a feed, and she openly questions the poisoning of the planet, why everyone is developing lesions, and the way in which the feed insidiously feeds off them. This is a new way of looking at the world for Titus, who has never before questioned his technologically enhanced way of life, hanging out with his shallow, trendy friends. Violet and Titus enter into a relationship, each trying to understand the other, even as Violet starts to decline and die as her feed stops working. This provocative SF take on the excesses of our consumer society has echoes of A Clockwork Orange, as Anderson (author of the YA novels Thirsty and Burger Wuss) creates his own vocabulary ("It was brag," for example, meaning "great"; there are some old-fashioned expletives here as well). The invented words are not hard to understand, though, and the flashes of humor as well as the cleverly imagined grim future world should quickly draw readers into this look at teenage love and loss, and at consumerism carried to its logical extreme. (An ALA Best Book for YAs.) KLIATT Codes: S*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students. 2002, Candlewick Press, 299p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Taking a nap on the way to the moon for spring break might be boring, so Titus does his best to stay alert and have fun with his friends. The "feed" in his brain is continuously spewing advertisements, music, game shows, hairstyle alerts and many other necessary bits of information. Hundreds of years ago, people actually had to use their eyes and fingers to get information by computer, but now, in M.T. Anderson's future world (Candlewick, 2002), the computer chips are built right in, and bombard everyone with exactly what the corporate world wants them to know. In the midst of this overwhelming flow of information, Titus becomes friends with Violet, a girl who cares about what's happening in the world, is not afraid to question things, and is opposed to the "feed." What will happen when their feeds are damaged and they decide to go against the feed? Anderson's book is written to be read aloud. Titus's stream of words and the rhythm of the "teenspeak" are read to perfection by actor David Baker. The intermittent feed commercials give listeners a taste of this society and help them understand the media attack the teens here are forced to endure. Baker's presentation will make this satiric cautionary tale very real for listeners.-Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"I don't know when they first had feeds. Like maybe, fifty or a hundred years ago. Before than, they had to use their hands and their eyes. Computers were all outside the body. They carried them around outside of them, in their hands, like if you carried your lungs in a briefcase and opened it to breathe." Titus and his friends have grown up on the feed-connected on a 24-hour basis through brain implants to a vast computer network, they have become their medium. "The braggest thing about the feed . . . is that it knows everything you want and hope for, sometimes before you even know what those things are." Titus is a master at navigating this world where to consume is to live, but when he meets Violet, a distinctly unusual girl whose philology-professor father has chosen to homeschool her instead of sending her to School(tm), he begins, very tentatively and imperfectly, to question this equation. Thrown together when their feeds are hacked at a party and they are temporarily disconnected, their very hesitant romance is played out against the backdrop of an utterly hedonistic world of trend and acquisition, a world only momentarily disturbed by the news reports of environmental waste and a global alliance of have-not nations against the obliviously consuming US. Anderson (Handel, Who Knew What He Liked, 2001, etc.) has crafted a wickedly clever narrative in which Titus's voice takes on perfectly the speech patterns of today's more vapid teens (" 'Oh, unit,' I was like, 'is this malfunction?' "). When Violet's feed begins to fail, and with it all her life functions, she decides to rebel against all that the feed stands for-the degradation of language, the self-absorption, the leaching ofall culture and independent thought from the world-and Titus must make his choice. The crystalline realization of this wildly dystopic future carries in it obvious and enormous implications for today's readers-satire at its finest. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763662622
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 7/17/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 29,111
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

M. T. Anderson is on the faculty of Vermont College’s MFA Program in Writing for Children. He is the author of the novels THIRSTY and BURGER WUSS and the picture-book biography HANDEL, WHO KNEW WHAT HE LIKED. He says of FEED, "To write this novel, I read a huge number of magazines like SEVENTEEN, MAXIM, and STUFF. I eavesdropped on conversations in malls, especially when people were shouting into cell phones. Where else could you get lines like, ‘Dude, I think the truffle is totally undervalued’?"

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Read an Excerpt

It was maybe, okay, maybe it was like two days after the party with the "never pukes when he chugalugs" that Violet chatted me first thing in the morning and said she was working on a brand-new project. I asked her what was the old project, and she was like, did I want to see the new one? I said, Okay, should I come over to su casa? I’ve never been there, and she was like, No, not yet. Let’s meet at the mall.

I was like, Okay, sure, fine, whatever swings your string, and she was all, Babycakes, you swing my string, which is a nice thing for someone to say to you, especially before you use mouthwash.

So I flew over to the mall near her house through the rain, which was coming down outside in this really hard way. Everyone had on all their lights until they got above the clouds. Up there it was sunny, and people were flying very businesslike.

The mall was really busy, there were a lot of crowds there. They were buying all this stuff, like the inflatable houses for their kids, and the dog massagers, and the tooth extensions that people were wearing, the white ones which you slid over your real teeth and they made your mouth just like one big single tooth going all the way across.

Violet was standing near the fountain and she had a real low shirt on, to show off her lesion, because the stars of the Oh? Wow! Thing! had started to get lesions, so now people were thinking better about lesions, and lesions even looked kind of cool. Violet looked great in her low shirt, and besides that she was smiling, and really excited for her idea.

For a second we said hello and just laughed about all of the stupid things people were buying and then Violet, she pointed out that, regarding legs to stand on, I didn’t have very much of one, because I was wheeling around a wheelbarrow full of a giant hot cross bun from Bun in a Barrow.

I said, "Yum, yum, yum."

She was like, "You ready?"

I asked her what the idea was.

She said, "Look around you." I did. It was the mall. She said, "Listen to me." I listened. She said, "I was sitting at the feed doctor’s a few days ago, and I started to think about things. Okay. All right. Everything we do gets thrown into a big calculation. Like they’re watching us right now. They can tell where you’re looking. They want to know what you want."

"It’s a mall," I said.

"They’re also waiting to make you want things. Everything we’ve grown up with - the stories on the feed, the games, all of that - it’s all streamlining our personalities so we’re easier to sell to. I mean, they do these demographic studies that divide everyone up into a few personality types, and then you get ads based on what you’re supposedly like. They try to figure out who you are, and to make you conform to one of their types for easy marketing. It’s like a spiral: They keep making everything more basic so it will appeal to everyone. And gradually, everyone gets used to everything being basic, so we get less and less varied as people, more simple. So the corps make everything even simpler. And it goes on and on."

This was the kind of thing people talked about a lot, like, parents were going on about how toys were stupid now, when they used to be good, and how everything on the feed had its price, and okay, it might be true, but it’s also boring, so I was like, "Yeah. Okay. That’s the feed. So what?"

"This is my project."

"Is . . .?"

She smiled and put her finger inside the collar of my shirt. "Listen," she said. "What I’m doing, what I’ve been doing over the feed for the last two days, is trying to create a customer profile that’s so screwed, no one can market to it. I’m not going to let them catalog me. I’m going to become invisible."

I stared at her for a minute. She ran her finger along the edge of my collar, so her nail touched the skin of my throat. I waited for an explanation. She didn’t tell me any more, but she said to come with her, and she grabbed one of the nodules on my shirt - it was one of those nodule shirts - and she led me toward Bebrekker & Karl.

We went into the store, and immediately our feeds were all completely Bebrekker & Karl. We were bannered with all this crazy high-tech fun stuff they sold there. Then a guy walked up to us and said could he help us. I said I didn’t know. But Violet was like, "Sure. Do you have those big searchlights? I mean, the really strong ones?"

"Yeah," he said. "We have . . . yeah. We have those." He went over to some rack, and he took these big searchlights off the rack. He showed us some different models. The feeds had specs. They showed us the specs while he talked.

When he went into the back to get another, cheaper searchlight, I said to Violet, "What next?"

She whispered, "Complicating. Resisting."

Bebrekker & Karl were bannering us big. It was, We’ve streamlined the Tesla coil for personal use - you can even wear it in your hair! With these new, da da da, and Relax, yawn, and slump! While our greased cybermassage beads travel up and down your back! Guaranteed to make you etc., like that.

I was like, "Okay, huh?" but the guy came back and he had another searchlight.

He told us, "You can see shit real good with this one? I have one of these on my upcar. It’s sometimes like - whoa, really - whoa. There was this one time? And I was flying along at night and I shined the light down at the ground, to look at the tops of all the suburb pods? And all over the top of them, it looked like it was moving, like there was a black goo? So I turned up the brightness, and I went down, and I shined it more bright, and it turned out the black moving goo was all these hordes of cockroaches. There were miles of them, running all over the tops of the domes. . . .

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Moon 1
Part 2 Eden 41
Part 3 Utopia 73
Part 4 Slumberland 205
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 231 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(77)

4 Star

(50)

3 Star

(36)

2 Star

(20)

1 Star

(48)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 231 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 23, 2011

    Don't bother, rated R for "strong language throughout," and dull to boot

    I was Impressed with the reviews and got this for my seventh grader. My son would read a bit of Feed then move to another book and only pick Feed up again when I bugged him about it. He finally brought it to me and pointed out his problem with the book: every other word was fu**! It was enough to offend a teenager. He also said the story line just wasn't engaging. It sure would have been helpful if the editorials could have mentioned this was a dull "R-rated" book.

    25 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2011

    ... deserves 0 stars

    Dont read it. What more can I say?

    19 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    Sucks!

    This author has no idea how teenagers/young adults talk. Dont by this book or you have just wasted your money like i did.

    17 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2009

    Symbolic, Realistic

    This book surpasses most in its realism of our future society. The kids in this book are dangerously close to those I teach in my high school - numbed by everything. I actually see film over their eyes and, while reading this book, visualized the pop-ups abounding through the heads of my current students, as they are already 'permanently plugged into' their Internets, whether or not they're actually online! This concept is not a far stretch from what our future actually holds for us. Scary, really...

    17 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2011

    Boring

    The idea is brillant but the book fails to deliver. I was dissapointed.

    16 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2008

    hard to understand

    I tried reading this book multiple times. I still don't understand it. I don't know what the people are talking about, ever. I never wanted to pick up this book and read it. This was a disappointment. And come on, an award winner? Maybe I just 'missed out on something good'?

    11 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2011

    you will feel dumber

    this book was a complete was of time. idiotic language is used and nothing happens in the story line. i realize this book was supposed to show the eventual ultimate decline of our society, so i put up with the ridiculous valley girl/instant messaging type language in hopes that something worthwhile would happen in the story-line. but i was severely wrong and disappointed. so unless you want to feel as though your IQ has dropped at least ten points, don't waste your time on this one.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    A far cry from The Matrix

    Feed may not seem relevant to younger high school students and the book¿s difficulty level is challenging. The story, while excellently written and very inventive, would not be believable by students who may still be reading only for the plot. Feed is almost as hard to read as Shakespeare. Both the dialogue and the actual writing are written in code, similar to the way people IM each other. ¿Link Arwaker was all, `I¿m so null,¿ and Marty was all, `I¿m null, too, unit,¿ but I mean we were all pretty null¿¿ Below grade-level readers will have a very difficult time deciphering the various slang terms used by the characters in the book. In addition, parts of the writing are written in the way that teenagers speak, such as using `like¿ every other word instead of using words that would help the readers figure out what is going on. Language and relevance are another problem in Feed. There is an overwhelming use of the f-word, which, while used by high-school students sometimes, seems to be more like the way that today¿s middle school students use the word - as a filler to make up for lack of vocabulary. The characters in Feed use technology that seems far-fetched, even to a tech-crazy world like ours. Most of the people in this book, both children and adults, are implanted with a ¿feed¿ which is a computer chip that networks into a central source that directs thought. This controls not only what products people buy but also what current news events characters receive and how they should feel about those events. The Horn Book (back cover of Feed) calls this book ¿ugly and distorted¿ and I agree. Even Ray Bradbury would have a hard time convincing teenagers that open sores are cool: ¿We had the lesions that people were getting and ours right then were kind of red and wet-looking.¿ At one point in the book, the feeds convince teens that lesions are cool, and girls begin to have doctors purposely cut them and implant even the weeping droplets that show that these things ooze. This adds to my thesis that Feed would not be believable by kids, who freak if they get even a little zit. I understand that the lesions are a metaphor for the illness of Feed¿s world, but would young teens get it? Would kids understand that this book is a warning or, as Publisher Weekly says, would the ¿chilling...sinister possibilities¿ of this book simply be seen as a creepy story? One of the lead characters, Violet, tries to protest the feed. She is mocked for this by her ¿friends¿ and when her feed ¿malfunctions,¿ the company known as Feedtech ¿would not consider her a reliable investment.¿ This book, while powerful and thought-provoking, is for older teens who have the reading skills, the emotional capacity and the ability to read metaphorically. Anyone who reads Feed simply for a sci-fi adventure is in for a rude awakening.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2006

    technology . . . the knack of so arranging the world we need not experience it - Max Frisch, Swiss writer

    The Swiss writer Max Frisch once wrote, ¿Technology . . . the knack of so arranging the world that we need not experience it.¿ This is vividly illustrated in the book Feed by M.T. Anderson in which a young man finds the fatal flaw in his society. Feed is a novel about a future where almost no one can read or write, but everyone has a microcomputer called a feed. Feeds tell you the newest fashions, show you where the biggest sales are and receive messages from your friends. With the feed there is no need to even think for oneself. This is the cause of a general downward spiral in culture and intellect. Titus, the main character, is quite happy with the world until he meets someone who is trying to resist the feed, Violet. Violet¿s insights about the feed and the society that depends on it shake the foundations of Titus¿ world. Feed has deeply affected me by causing me to think about our world and how we are destroying the earth for our use. On page thirty-eight, when all the main characters are at a club on the moon, someone hacks into their feeds and broadcasts the message: ¿We enter a time of calamity.¿ This sets the tone for the book of how they have ruined the planet beyond repair and are beginning to face the consequences. This novel also made me think about how ignorant our society is becoming. The first sentence of the book is ¿We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.¿ On page thirty-seven Titus says to Violet ¿Yeah, I¿ve been to Mars. It was dumb.¿ This shows how little they appreciate the world around them. Like the characters of Feed, people today have become jaded. They don¿t realize the beauty of our creation or care to think for themselves. They just slide along in their easy lives, making as few decisions as possible. We need to be careful of how we let technology take control of our lives.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    I did not get far in the book because I was so put off by the way everyone talked!! I just can't enjoy a book where the people talk so weirdly, I'm sorry. I may have missed out on an amazing story or something but I woudn't recommend this book to anyone.

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2007

    Awful

    This book was not very good, and I didn't enjoy reading it at all. The plot was not good, and I was ashamed to have it on the high school summer reading list. I would think twice before buying this book.

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2006

    Made no sense

    The entire time I was reading this book all I could think was 'Why am I doing this to myself?' It was extremely awkward, and most of the information seemed completely pointless and irrelevant. Although those aren't really the words I'm looking for, it was generally bad.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Feed by M. T. Anderson Review by Gary F

    If you have ever been curious about the impact of technology in the future, author M. T. Anderson unveils a detailed fantasy world in his 2002 romantic thriller FEED. Centered around the main character TITUS, the story begins with a spring break vacation to, of all places, the moon! The reader quickly begins to understand the extent to which technology has integrated into people's lives as the "Feed" has replaced life's most basic functions, even making conversation obsolete.

    Before divulging too much information this novel utilizes some interesting language. A mixture of current and futuristic terms such as "unit" and "brag" add to the cultural experience of the text. However, many of the phrases and scenarios described in the reading are NOT for easily offended church goers.

    The author centers his story on a variety of themes that are not always explicitly stated or narrated. The environment, for one, is often a topic of discussion as lesions and other factors intrude into characters' lives and dialog. Romantic encounters are commonly used to keep the readers interest while tragedy adds dramatic effect.

    This book doesn't clearly fit in one genre or the other; it incorporates aspects of fantasy, romance, and tragedy. The creativity required to develop a futuristic world is combined with puppy dog romance and family struggles. The book in general is directed towards teens and a youthful age group. In other words, for those who can understand the humor and withstand the language.

    The novel is far from horrendous and far from a must-read. It creates an interesting atmosphere that incorporates humor and various twists. Despite the thorough attempt by the author to maintain excitement the book tends to drag on and the reader is left somewhat wanting from the ending. Although the Anderson uses a fresh and youthful tone he tends to express a social apathy through his characters that may not appeal to an older generation or members of the "Green Party".

    M. T. Anderson has a record of successful teen and children's books such as "Handel Who Knew What He Liked" and his most recent work "The Suburb Beyond the Stars". "Feed" places as one of his great achievements, however, it appeals to a narrow group of people which may or may not include you. Regardless, Anderson's successful career as an author is has produced several works appealing to a wide variety of America's youth.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2006

    Weak Plot

    This book was not the most exciting book I've read. First of all, this book lacked a plot. There was no action. It just went on and on about how Violet was really sick and Titus was dissatisfied with her behavior. The book just explained things and that's it.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2004

    this book is the WORST

    When I started reading this book, I thought it was pretty cool, pretty funny, etc. however, when i got to page thirty, all of the jokes, the launguage got old. THe idea of the book is pretty cool, but as I said before, the book get's old. I wouldn't recomend this book to anyone!!!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Horriblebook

    Horrible book. Don't read. It is a waste of time and money. I'm 13 and this book was insulting to all teenagers and it really sucked.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    WARNING- DO NOT BUY NO MATTER WHAT THE CONSEQUENCE!!!

    This book is yet another attempt by a sad author to seem younger by using profanity!! Shame on Barnes and Nobles for doing this to us!!!!!

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    To give this book even one star would be a compliment.

    I had to stop after the first chapter. I would not recommend this book to anybody. EVER. Not even if it was the last book on this earth. That's how bad it was.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2009

    No.

    Not an original idea or plot line. No character development at all. Really a superficial book in its entirety. There is a warning label on the book for Ages 14+ only, which is due to the heavy swearing and references to sexual and drug activity. Otherwise, the book is suitable for one with a 8 year old reading ability. Has the potential to be like the Matrix in potential, but falls far short of that depth:

    A superficial teenager lives in a society where every person has a computer embedded in their brain. They do not need to speak or think, their "feeds" provide them with all information. Then the main character meets a girl who is different. Because he is able to think more than the others, the fall in love. She leaves and changes the way he thinks forever.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2003

    Not What I Hoped For

    I was considering buying this book, but when I found it at the library I decided to just get it then, test it out. I read it in one day, and I must say I was rather dissapointed. It's hard to read with the narrator saying 'like' all the time and it gets confusing. I also didn't really like the way Titus treated Violet, 'Oh, she's mal, so I'll go out with another girl while she's dying and thinking of me.' And the feed really bothered me, wouldn't that be annoying to have something always going on in your head? And the world was soooo depressing! This is the first book i've read where i've not liked it and given it under four stars. I'm sorry, but it was so ... sad.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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