by Mira Grant
YO, THERE'S SOME MUTHAFUCKIN' SPOILERS UP IN THIS BITCH, FOR REAL
★ 1 Shut The Hell Up Star for the most grindingly obvious villain that i've had the displeasure of experiencing in years. he's a militaristic, right-wing, fundamentalist old man with the ruthless urge to dominate and no respect for youth, the media, liberals, etc. i know these people exist, obviously. but can't targets be picked with a bit more subtlety and finesse? this guy was out of central casting and only needed a moustache to twirl to be more obvious. geez louise, Captain Obvious: The Author... not only is the target predictable, but his every villainous move is telegraphed with thudding, insulting He Is Bad Man-ness. how trite. obvious, obvious, obvious. SNORE!
★★ 2 Eye-Rolling Stars for some pretty shoddy writing at times. many times. no, i don't need to hear snarky comments made every other paragraph - because that's the way young adults on tv talk, not real young adults. at least not 100% of the time. and no, i don't need to read incensed reactions to hyper-vigilant security protocols every single time that a security protocol happens. good grief, enough is enough! repetition does not make this heart grow fonder. the second time this happened, i grimaced. the third time it happened, i began to hold a grudge. by the time it happened for the umpteenth time, yo, i was cursing up a muthafucking storm, for real. also, characterization for supporting characters: WEAK. i find out that Buffy was "the funniest person" that Shaun ever knew - and yet the reader has been given no evidence of this. in fact the reader has been given no evidence whatsoever that Buffy even has a personality beyond an OCD desire to be technologically on top of things. and at the end i find out that the nonentity known as "Rick" is now a vice-presidential candidate? uh, whatever. words can't convey my feelings of derision at that announcement.
★★★ 3 OK I Liked It Stars for Overall Enjoyment. i, as the stars say, "Liked It". would i recommend it? no, probably not, except maybe to a teenager (although, duh, that's the target audience, mark, get a grip!). so despite the above complaints, and see below, overall this wasn't a disagreeable experience for me. the zombie attacks were sparse, and despite being a zombie lover, i appreciated their sparseness - it rather lifted this book above straight-up horror. and this is, i suppose, a bonafide YA novel... so i also really, really, really appreciated the lack of Corny Eyerolling Romance Lite. thank you, author! 3 Stars should be automatic for any novel that has intelligent goals behind its design, that seeks to entertain but also seeks to provoke and to make the reader both think and feel. 3 Stars for getting that right.
★★★★ 4 Good Job On This Stars for Edjumakation for the Youth. i am probably going to sound like an old man here (what's new), but the lessons in this novel actually are pretty important. and i think it is really important that The Young People, whoever they are, listen up. for real. the whole novel is an obvious parallel for what has been happening in the States RIGHT NOW. or i guess what could be happening in the forseeable near-future. the U.S. is at a very dangerous crossroads, with religious fundamentalists and sociopathic assholes in political power (and often in collaboration with parts of the mainstream media), and hoping to turn this country into Taliban Lite in terms of both domestic and foreign policy. yes, that's an exaggeration, but a purposeful one. now i love my conservative friends, so no offense to you all, but elements of the right-wing have degraded debate to a point where "debate" is simply a game of chicken. who can go the farthest? who can block the most policies? who can call who a communist or anti-american or [enter pathetic cliche here]. i think all the viciousness of the extreme right-wing quasi-fundamentalists is simply the viciousness of a group of close-minded, money-grubbin bullies who smell that the wind is blowing against them. but they are still in power! and they want to remain in power! and they have the resources to accomplish their disgusting dreams. so yeah, i appreciate all the points laid out so energetically in Feed. kids, teens, young adults, whatever... people should know what exactly is happening, and they should be pissed off and angry. the time for old men like myself is fading fast. and i'm not even that old - but me and my friends' main concerns these days seem to be more about day-to-day things involving work and family. and vacations. it was different when i was younger - i was angry! and broke, with very little in the way of tangible responsibilities. nowadays i just want to make sure i do the right thing on a daily basis - if i can say i've accomplished that, i've had a good day. so i really hope all the folks who are younger than me, all the folks who are inheriting this country and the earth... i hope that they are pissed off, angry, and that they want change. and for that, Feed is a 4 Star Call-to-Arms. well, not "arms" as in guns. you know what i mean. anyway, i really admire Feed's passion and its anger. i truly appreciate it.
★★★★★ 5 Golden Stars for that one chapter, and the one before it, and the one after. you know the ones i mean. She Dies. my God, that was moving. it was tough to read. i may have a ton of complaints about the writing overall, but in those three chapters, no complaints whatsoever. perfectly accomplished. i felt sick, i felt sad, i felt moved, i felt so much. beautiful job on that. incredible, really. i wouldn't change a word of Chapters 25, 26, and 27 because they all flirt with a kind of minor-note brilliance. just the kind that i like. wow! wow. so thank you for that, Mira Grant. a sad kind of thanks.