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Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Titus and his friends take a trip to the moon around the year 2102. They have little need to think because they have had an advanced computer device called “the feed” installed in their brains. The feed is a means of allowing unrestricted internet access. Users are sent information by corporations — even through their dreams.

The teenagers hunger for entertainment in the form of drinking and sex. They meet a girl named Violet who seems different in a way they can't explain. She accompanies the friends to a nightclub where an old man uses a device to temporarily disconnect a group of young people from the network. Titus finds out later that the old man was then beaten to death by police officers.

Titus and Violet develop a friendship that turns romantic. Violet had the feed installed in her head much later than Titus or anyone else he knows. She seems to try and resist the feed and consumerism that everyone else accepts without question.

Titus and Violet spend time together in what's left of the natural world. The oceans and forests are destroyed or polluted to the point where they can no longer sustain natural life without assistance from humans. The ranching industry has been given over to cloning specific parts of the cow. Titus, Violet and all the other characters have unexplainable lesions; sections of their flesh falls off without warning. The world governments are on the verge of collapsing. Riots abound.

Violet reveals to Titus that the protestor damaged her physical feed. As a result, parts of her body have started shutting down. As Violet's health deteriorates, she temporarily loses the ability to move parts of her body. After a seizure, she loses a year of memories. Titus begins to distance himself from her, even as Violet struggles to hold onto him. She declares her love for him and wants to have sex before her body completely shuts down. Titus refuses.

No one can or will fix Violet's feed, partially because she buys so little. Her father is poor. The novel ends with her in a vegetative state, unable to communicate or move. Titus visits her to give her news. The implication is that the social and natural world is on the verge of total collapse and nothing will survive.

Christian Beliefs

None

Other Belief Systems

None

Authority Roles

Corporations have taken over schools. Teachers are often virtual and always used as marketing tools. The president of the United States is portrayed as idiotic and corrupt. Police officers beat a man to death unjustly. Violet's father doesn't have the feed in his brain and is intelligent, but he is not particularly moral in his actions.

Profanity/Violence

Variations of the words s--- and the f-word appear frequently in the novel. The term Omigod is slang for Oh my God and used frequently.

The lifestyle of most people is so unhealthy that people have lesions on their skin. The health of the population continues to decline until the flesh is literally falling off their bodies by the end of the novel.

An old man, protesting the feed, disconnects teenagers’ feed. The protester isn't violent, but police officers beat him to death. The description is not graphic.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

The main characters kiss a few times. Teenage sex is frequently referenced as an accepted part of the culture. It is implied that the main character's father is having an affair.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Consumerism: Consumerism is forced upon the characters in this world. They have advertising literally fed into their brains from a young age.

Cloning: Human and animal cloning is an accepted part of the culture.

Vices: Teenage drinking, drug use and sex are accepted by the culture.

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

14 to 18

Author

M. T. Anderson

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Candlewick Press

Released

On Video

Year Published

2002

Awards

National Book Award Finalist, 2002; Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner, 2002; Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, 2002; and others.

Reviewer

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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