Thursday, June 27, 2013


by M.T. Anderson
published: Candlewick Press, 2004
pages: 308

Everything begins when Titus and his friends take to the moon for spring break.  They meet Violet, a smart and beautiful girl with an affinity for quietly defying the feed. Shortly after meeting Violet, a crazy hacker causes all their feeds to malfunction, beginning a spiral of events that might just decide Titus and Violet's fates.

It's strange to me that most of the characters can be so vapid and yet they are complex in a world that is continually striving for simplicity. There's a moment in this novel where Titus explains that one of the feed's jobs is to know him better than he knows himself.  He inexplicably trusts this bodiless voice to make all his decisions for him.  I find this fascinating and also horrifying.  I get chills thinking about a society where people, for the most part, don't think for themselves.  That's why Violet's character is such an interesting contrast to Titus and his friends.  She has the ability and the determination to question the feed and it's importance.

To be perfectly honest I would have like this book much more if it were written differently.  I get that this is a satire of today's society and culture, but I almost couldn't get past the language in this book.  Using shortened words like "meg", the nonfunctional "like", and casual slang like "brag" every ten words got to be quite annoying.  It is lazy and obnoxious, which might have been the point.  (It reminds me of text-speak that we use today, which scares me.)  I might not have finished this book had I not known that the language was part of the purpose of it.

So if M.T. Anderson's desire with this book is to strike fear and determination for the prevention of this kind of society, he has succeeded, at least he has with me.  Anderson has definitely given me quite a bit to think about.

Stars:  3/5


"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

"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 ugle and distorted, but they are undeniably ourselves.
     --The Horn Book, starred review

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