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review 2017-06-04 17:14
Clock Zero: I'm not my social feed
Clock Zero: I'm not my social feed - Nawar Alsaadi

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

Quite an interesting story, with likeable characters—possibly a like goofy, too, but I was in the mood for that, and also, taking jabs at helpdesks/customer service? Count me in, I’ve been in that kind of jobs that for some time now, and we all need to find our fun somewhere, otherwise we’d just get bonkers.

Anyway. That was for the fun parts, enhanced with the way the narrator swipes at social media, the amount of time we spend checking Facebook and Twitter, and how it’s so easy to get lost in it. Not that I don’t like my little FB time, but I know what it feels like to turn your computer on at the end of the day and realise you’ve spent the past two hours going through clickbait crap when you could’ve been doing something else. (Like reading, and reviewing, and therefore catching up on your backlog of NetGalley books, so that you can then post your reviews on your blog and FB page and... Wait a second.)

There are less fun parts, too, closer to actual terrorism, with a plot meant to destroy cell towers, satellites, etc., through a virus uploaded on everybody’s smartphones. A revolution of sorts, to force people to look up from their phones and enjoy life again. Kind of extreme (I’m trying not to spend too much time on social media, but let’s be honest, if internet and networks in general are gone, I’m out of a job). One will like this idea or not. It’s probably a case of ‘doing the wrong things for the right reasons’. In the light of recent years and the growing amount of terrorist attacks, this commentary is not, well, enjoyable, yet one can also (unfortunately) relate to it while reading about it (my main Tube hub is closed today because of that, now let me tell you that’s one instance I was glad to hang on FB instead of being out socialising!).

Style: the writing is OK, some typos now and then (it was an ARC so hopefullyl those were corrected in the final version), and at first the narrator alluding to hashtags and emojis was a little confusing. Nothing too bad, though.

I’m torn about the twist in the end—can’t decide whether I like it, or would have preferred the story to end one chapter earlier. Still unsure as well if the book was meant to be totally satirical, and if I should get angry at it (I preferred to treat is as satire and fun, because I’m too lazy and it’s too hot outside to waste energy into such feelings).

Conclusion: Maybe not the best read you can find when it comes to taking jabs at social, yet enjoyable nonetheless.

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review 2017-06-04 08:30
#40 - Feed by Mira Grant
Feed - Mira Grant

Feed is the story of Georgia and Shaun Mason, two bloggers living in a post apocalyptic world full of zombies. They are working on the biggest story of their lives; that could also end it.

 

Feed is not your typical zombie story. It is actually really different from the post apocalyptic stories I’ve read. The people on earth managed to rebuild a society, really different from the one we live in, but it still is a functioning one. Gatherings of many people are not common and for young people, born after The Rising, this is something they are not familiar with. They live in fear, but still, they live.

 

Shaun and Georgia are great characters. They are both funny and sassy and they will do anything for the truth. I did not really connect with any of them, but I still like them. I also really enjoyed Rick and Steve, even if they are not that present in the book, they were great side characters.

 

I sometimes struggled with reading; some parts were a bit too long where nothing was really happening and I found myself not wanting to read. Nonetheless, it was a great story and the ending was fabulous. I could not believe what was happening.

 

Some events were actually really tragic and sad, but it never made me cry. Reading a book set in a post apocalyptic world where zombies are part of the scenery; you know it will not end well for everybody. You expect it. So, not really cry worthy, but still really tragic.

 

I definitely recommend this book if you enjoy post apocalyptic stories but are not there for the survival aspect of it. If you like scandals, politics and geeky stuff, with a lot of humor, this is for you.

 

I read this book for New Orleans Square 19 and I earned 5$ for it (571 pages).

Bank: 64$

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review 2017-05-10 18:19
"The Human is Late to Feed the Cat" by Beth Cato

A very short apocalyptic story from the perspective of a cat. Bad things are happening, and by the end of the story bad things are still happening with no indication that things will get better. But the woman does the best she can to make sure her cat will be okay.

 

I came across this today while looking for other things. It made me think of my own cat (who would probably be doomed because she doesn't have any experience killing anything larger and more nutritious than a cricket) and the stray cat I and at least five other people take care of.

 

The sliver of hope for the cat was nice, but I generally like stories and books to have more hope to them than this one. Especially these days. I'm to the point where I'm considering going through my book collection and offloading anything apocalyptic, grimdark, etc. because I just can't.

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text 2017-05-09 01:50
Frontierland
Feed (The Newsflesh Trilogy) - Mira Grant

 

Rolled 10 (double 5's).

My TBR seems to be void of Westerns at the moment, so I opted for a title starting with F.

 

Be careful what you wish for comes to mind while reading this book.

 

A cure for cancer and a not fully tested cure for the common cold combine to make a zombie virus.

 

The ending was emotionally intense, both good and bad.

 

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review 2017-04-20 20:16
Book 19/100: Feed by M.T. Anderson
Feed - M.T. Anderson

This seminal teen dystopia has been on my TBR forever (maybe since it was published?) and thanks to my book club I finally got it checked off!

I always find it a little refreshing to read "old school" teen dystopias, before the formula of singular teen who realizes the evil of "the system" and vows to overthrow it in three books came along. The best dystopias are always about social commentary, not movie franchising rights, and this one has a lot relevant to say in the realm of social commentary.

This was published in the early 2000s, after the Internet had become ubiquitous and right on the edge of web 2.0 when everyone became content creators. The way that technology has totally infiltrated everyone's life and the way that advertisers "feed" into everything people do is, of course, quite prescient, although perhaps what is missing is the ability for humans to interact back and create content in a way that goes beyond their purchasing power. Still, I can't help but think of this book when I noticed that every third post on my Facebook feed these days is an ad ... usually one that is disturbingly on-target.

Titus is not a very likeable character, and he is so enmeshed in the system that he doesn't see its pitfalls. His love interest, Violet, is somewhat outside the system and so calls it into question a bit more, but she fortunately stops just short of being a manic pixie dream girl. Although Titus's behavior, especially his inability to connect with her on a real, meaningful level when she needs him to, is incredibly frustrating, I also found it to be totally spot-on believable for someone who had grown up in this culture with these values.

I really wanted to know more about the larger society in which Titus lived, but because he was so wrapped up in his own pursuit of entertainment, distraction, and consumerism, we only got glimpses of these things as they stayed on the periphery of his consciousness. Still, a chilling and powerful cautionary tale that is made stronger by not having a single character beat us over the head with how "wrong" the society is. Thanks, M.T. Anderson, for delivering a dystopia that invites the reader to think for herself.

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