We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.
Feed by MT Anderson was first published over ten years ago,won a slew of awards and was an NBA Young People’s Literature Finalist (criminal that it didn’t win a Printz in my opinion). As testament to its classic status it has now been reprinted by Walker books in the UK and is available in a Kindle edition.
This book should be required reading in schools and homes all over the world. Anderson has created that rare thing, a future world in a book, where language (a part made-up, impoverished idiolect eerily familiar to anyone who has eavesdropped on a bunch of teens), the world (a dying planet sustained by technology) and the characters (null, privileged teens who have grown up with the Feed, a sort of Internet implant as part of their brain) drive the book to its inescapably bleak conclusion. Like George Saunders for teens, only better.
Unlike the recent spate of fairly interchangeableYA dystopias (see Mallory Ortberg’s seminal Toast piece here Anderson’s book is an incisive, satirical and tragic indictment of the numbing effects of living in a consumerist, hardship-cushioned society. Titus is a good-looking jerk. Violet, the girl he falls in love with doesn’t manage to open his eyes to the nightmare he (and we ) live in until it’s too late.
Nobody gets to defeat the Man. The President himself is a Bush-parodying malapropism mumbling idiot, entirely under the giant thumb of the Corporations, who run not only the world but also School ™ (Academies, anyone?). The book also manages in parts to be extremely funny.