Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book 16 - Feed

So.  I just realized I am supposed to read 26 books in 11 weeks. Survey says?  Not possible.  As far as resolutions go this year - I did not do so well.  Typical.

Anyway - I am still reading books and New Yorkers, but mostly watching television.  And now?  Having nightmares.

Books very rarely affect me outside of when I am reading them.  Exceptions?  The Historian and The Kiss - which made me so fully depressed in every moment of my life that I literally had to stop everything and finish reading it so I could be put out of my misery. 

Anyway, Feed is yet another book that messed with me outside of book-reading time.

image (via)

First things, first. I got this book from one of the parents at my program. The glee this brings me is nearly indescribable. I love book recommendations and I really love when they come from places and people you wouldn't expect. This particular parent is lovely, but I don't know how much she knows about what I read.  Truth be told - I will probably read a book recommended by an acquaintance before a friend.  If only because they are so much more rare, that I am more curious about what their recommendation says about me/them/our relationship.  Double bonus points for when you actually let me borrow your copy of the book (how do you know I am going to give it back?  That's trust).

Anyway. In theory - Feed is kind of brilliant. It combines two incredibly trendy topics (blogs and zombies) and explores them in a really thought-provoking-about-the-future kind of way.

The flaws?  Well, the language is colloquial at best.  And here's the thing - I love informal writing. In case you have just been clicking on this page and not actually reading anything, colloquialisms are my bread and butter.  However, in book form, it doesn't really work for me.  Its hard to read sarcasm without kind of rolling my eyes.  I think it, more than subject matter, is what makes a book for teenagers rather than spanning all age groups.  And Feed drops the F-bomb like its trying to impress its older brothers.  I found it somewhat tedious.

And, I love my brother like, a fair amount.  We are pretty cool. However, there was something really creepy about the relationship between the siblings in this book.  Maybe it was the chasing zombies bit.  There is no way my brother and I would chase zombies together.  We would be on the couch crossing our fingers that those zombies might be in the kitchen making us a sandwich.

The other thing is I really, really Hated the way the book ended.  Without dropping a major spoiler fart on this blog - I really feel like she made the wrong choice - especially in terms of making it a trilogy.  I am not going to say this guarantees that I am not going to read the next one, because that kind of hyperbole always kicks me in the ass (see - leggings) but I feel like I lost a fair amount of interest.  Feel free to get a spoiler-iffic discussion going in the comments regarding this if you'd like.

All that being said, this was an entertaining read. As I discovered while reading this book, I am way more interested in medically-created zombies over religious/extraterrestrial/unexplained zombies.  Also, as a card-carrying, check-cashing (back in the day) member of the print press and a hopeless romantic about the future of blogging I really love how these things got tied together.  Also, I loved the character of Buffy - and the idea of a "fictional."  How nice to give people who fill the internet with fan fiction, deviantart, Emo-y Live Journal poetry a place to call home and a sense of ownership and ranking-system value (and I am not saying what they do now isn't valuable, it is just hard sometimes to wade through the painful stuff and find the things that are good). 

But its truly the isolationist themes that got to me.  As I went to a football game, and traveled on public transit and spent hours and hours at a company retreat trying to figure out how I can get more kids into classes that are already at 20 or 30 people.  I tried to imagine a world where you didn't do all these things - where, in fact, you avoided them.

I am not going to lie - it freaked me out.  As a person who craves big city anonymity over the suburbs (which, according to this book, is what the universal norm will be after the zombies come) this is more terrifying than the actual zombies.  In every minute where I was surrounded by complete strangers, I felt my breath catching - what happens when there is a panic?  What will I do?  Fun fact - the only thing I could ever think to do was, "find an exit strategy." I would be the worst real-person-turned-hero Ever.

The whole, "Whoops, how did we get zombies?" plot actually made sense, and felt so stomach-wrenching plausible.   And as we wrangle with the media leaving out pieces of the story, and flat-out not covering things (the #occupywallstreet movement comes to mind).  I got all panicky.  It reminded me of the story my Mom told me about the first time she read, The Handmaid's Tale, and then she went to the bank and her ATM card didn't work.  An awful sense of foreboding terror.

Is there anything but an awful sense of foreboding terror?  Like is there a whimsical sense of your impending doom?  Perhaps to one of those emo poets?

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