Saturday, January 5, 2013

Review of Feed (Newsflesh #1) by Mira Grant

Feed (Newsflesh, #1)

Title: Feed
Author: Mira Grant
Pages: 571
Publication Date: May 1st, 2010
Publisher: Orbit
Source: Purchased myself

Back Cover

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

NOW, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives-the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them


First Lines

"Everyone has someone on the Wall."


In a Sentence

I haven't read a book this good in awhile.


My Thoughts

I have to admit...I'm on a bit of a zombie novel kick at the moment. Feed is actually my fourth zombie book in a row, though I decided to put my review of it second in line (ahead of Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry and Plague Town by Dana Fredsti, which I will be reviewing in the near future). I'd heard a TON of great things about the book before finally deciding to cave and buy the NookBook a few months ago (special thanks to Maja and Felicia, who heavily tipped the scale in Feed's favor). I actually lucked out and snagged the book awhile ago when it was on sale, so I only paid $2 or $3 for it. You guys, I got a great deal with that bargain, but this is a book that is definitely worth its full list price. In fact, even though I had book one in e-book format, I immediately ordered the whole trilogy in paperback because this is just one of those series that I want a hard copy of (especially because the e-book isn't lendable and I WILL be passing these around). It's THAT good.

In Feed, the narrator is Georgia Mason, a tough, intelligent, kick-ass-and-take-names kind of gal with a thirst for the truth and a heart full of fierce affection and protectiveness for her danger-loving brother, Shaun. Georgia (or "George," as she's called by her friends) has a narrative voice that is almost compulsively readable. I had no trouble latching onto her story and hanging on for the ride. Speaking of which, Feed definitely doesn't have a slow start. Within the first few pages of the book, the characters are thrown into a heart-pounding, nail-biting situation. Personally, I felt that this beginning was a well-executed writing move in a strategic sense, as it allows for the reader to be catapulted into the story right off the bat, but then it takes the audience a step back to appreciate the finer details that are necessary for successful world-building. 

I was also incredibly impressed with the characters in Feed--both primary and secondary. The relationship between George and her brother Shaun seemed so realistic that I felt as if they could both jump right off the page. The supporting cast members were equally well-crafted...with Senator Ryman's wife Emily and the security guard Steve being two of my favorites (among others). I actually have to go into a little more detail on Emily, because even though her role in the story is a minor one, she represents a lot of the reasons why I enjoyed Feed as much as I did.   I'm afraid I can't say a whole lot about her without spoiling the book for someone, but she was such a strong, fierce, and brave character that I thought she deserved more than just a brief mention. In all honesty, I'm interested enough in Emily's character that I would LOVE to see a story (or dare I say series?) written from her point of view, especially if it showcased her life as she was growing up in the new, scary, zombie-infested world. 

I could also tell that Mira Grant (or Seanan McGuire, if you prefer) had put a ton of work into the research for Feed. Using zombies in any work of fiction takes enough work, but to use them in the way she did, while providing detailed but clear explanations of how the infection came about and how it was passed on...that had to have taken a lot of time and effort. So kudos to Grant for that! 

Because I've always been a sucker for good quotes, I had to include a few of of my favorite ones from Feed in this review. Don't worry...the ones I've picked are spoiler-free! 

"Our story opens where countless stories have ended in the last twenty-six years: with an idiot--in this case, my brother, Shaun--deciding it would be a good idea to go out and poke a zombie with a stick and see what happens." **

"Every life has a watershed moment, an instant when you realize you're about to make a choice that will define everything else you ever do, and that if you choose wrong, there may not be that many things left to choose. Sometimes the wrong choice is the only one that lets you face the end with dignity, grace, and the awareness that you're doing the right thing. I'm not sure we can recognize those moments until they've passed us." **


"No one gets to ask us for anything more. Not now, not ever. When history looks our way--stupid, blind history, that judges everything and never gives a shit what we paid to get it--it better remember that no one had a right to ask us for this. No one."**  


Don't make the mistake of assuming that Feed is just another zombie book, because you'd be missing out. This book is about love and hate, fear and courage, and most of all, it's about humanity--about making our stories heard, no matter how insignificant they might seem at first. It's about shining the light on the skeletons in our closets and learning to deal with imperfection; and finally, it's about realizing that sometimes, in the most horrible of horrible moments, you have to stand by and watch a tragedy unfold before your eyes without being able to do a thing about it. But as Shaun Mason says, "It is what it is. Isn't that how these things always go? They are what they are. We just get to cope."** And as humans, in a world where terrible things happen to wonderful people everyday, learning how to cope is something we all have to deal with.

Anyways, not to end on a grim note there, but if you haven't gotten the hint by now, you should really consider reading this book. I don't give out five-star ratings on a regular basis, because I tend to be pretty darn critical when it comes to rating books (I blame my pending Masters in Literature. I can't seem to turn the inner lit critic off!) In fact, I'm not entirely sure when I gave my last five star review. The last one I remember went to Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken in the summer of 2010, and that was two and a half years ago!!!  See what I mean? The majority of the books that I read wind up in the three to four-star range, and after I spend enough time away from them, they frequently seem a little less great in my memory. But the fact that I not only considered giving Feed a five, but actually stuck with it? BIG DEAL. So read the book and tell me what you think! :)

**I was absentminded enough to write down quotes from the e-book on a pad of paper without recording the page numbers, but all quotes included in this review were pulled from the e-book of Feed. 


Links

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Rating
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Absolutely loved it!


38 comments:

  1. You know I have YET to read a zombie book!?! LOL, I know, I'm terrible!!! But this one sounds amazing! I love the quotes you picked out and that cover is pretty cool. I love how you say it's more about humanity and coping than about the zombies, reminds me of The Walking Dead, lol. I like that. WIll def have to give it a try. Glad to see you back blogging!!!

    Vivian
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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    1. I'm glad to be back! And yes! If you like The Walking Dead, you have to give this book a shot! I think the writer has a very similar attitude towards her characters!

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  2. WOOT! WOOT!

    I am so glad you loved it. Can't wait to see what you think of Plague Town. I am book 4 of the Rot & Ruin series by JM. It is on my series to pick back up this year :) :) :)

    (((((( HUGS))))))))))))))

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    1. I definitely enjoyed Plague Town! I just haven't had the motivation to catch up on my reviews yet! Lol. And the Rot and Ruin series is DEFINITELY on my list. I liked Patient Zero a lot, so I'm willing to read more by Maberry!

      Hugs back! :)

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  3. Wasn't it AWESOME?!? I love that the disease didn't just appear magically with no explanation. And yay for a FIVE STAR review from you!

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    1. I know! I love zombies, so I'm usually willing to be a little bit forgiving on the whole this-plague-came-out-of-nowhere-for-no-reason thing, but it was really nice to have it all explained logically and scientifically!

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  4. Oh, Feed was utterly fantastic. I loved the whole way Kelis-Amberly played out and I know I am probably spelling that wrong. I read it via audiobook and was so pleased with that choice.

    Also, I love that you are on a zombie kick. <3

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    1. Yep. 4 and counting! My zombie to read list on Goodreads has been growing exponentially, and I've had this random urge to go and watch a ton of B horror movies featuring the undead. Nice and festive for the holidays, right? lol.

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  5. First, welcome back! Second, welcome back with a FIVE STAR REVIEW?! What?? Has your time away from blogging made you soft? :P

    I didn't need to read your review (I did, in case you were wondering) to know I have to pick up a copy of Feed - if it gets five stars from you, it's got to be damn good!

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    1. Lol! I know! My first review of 2013 is a 5 star? How are the rest of the books going to possibly live up to that kind of start? But seriously...I'd love to compare notes on it with you when you get around to reading it! I'm anxiously awaiting my Barnes and Noble shipment so I can read the rest of the trilogy!

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  6. Please excuse me while I do a crazy happy dance here! I am SO SO happy that you loved it. If you get a chance, and if you like them at all (which I honestly can't remember), try finding Deadline on audio, it's excellent. But reading works too, whatever you choose, you can't go wrong. Wonderful review!
    And now I HAVE to read Brightly Woven, you've left me no choice after mentioning it like that.

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    1. I do like audiobooks! I frequently listen to them while I'm walking around on campus or cleaning my apartment! They help me to get a little extra "reading" done!

      I have to thank you so much for featuring this book on your blog! Like I said in my review, I'd heard a lot of good things about Feed, but you and Felicia are the two that finally convinced me to go out and buy a copy and read it. And I'm so grateful! I haven't enjoyed a book that much in awhile!

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  7. I loved Feed, especially the commentary on the evolution of media. Like you said, it's not just about zombies. Considering the change in narrator, I didn't love Deadline quite so much but will still be reading Black Out at some point, just not rushing to get to it.

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    1. I know what you mean. I think it's going to be an adjustment, for sure! But I'm still excited to dive back into the world! If only Barnes and Noble would ship my books faster! Lol.

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  8. Hey you :) Nice to see you! *hug*
    This sounds SO good.
    Like impossible to put down.

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    1. It is! It was so good! I've heard it's good on audio as well...since I know you listen to a lot of audiobooks. :D

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  9. Oh perfect timing. I was just talking the other day about how my son refuses to read anything else except Jonathan Maberry book, mostly the Joe Ledger series. He even got an ARC of Extinction Machine and is already rereading them. So it was suggested that I get him to try Feed. Now I'm even more determined!

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    1. You should DEFINITELY try to get him to read Feed! I think he'd enjoy it! Also, I may have went on a shopping spree and bought a ton of Maberry books. :D

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  10. I enjoyed this book as well! I haven't gotten the second book yet, but I will someday. Also, I really didn't like Georgia. She was an absolutely annoying character, I thought. Haha. Maybe that's just me.

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    1. I did like Georgia, but to each their own, right? :) Glad to hear you enjoyed it anyways though!

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  11. Maja was the one who got me interested in this book, too! But I am still yet to read it, although now you have me interested again! This really does sound good and the quote about Shaun going to poke a zombie with a stick made me crack up!

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    1. I'm glad you liked the quote! That's one of the things I loved about Feed so much. Even though the book deals with a lot of serious issues, there's a lot of humor in there to break it up as well!

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  12. Wow, five stars is such a big deal, and especially coming from you! I've been wanting to read this series for such a long time now. I really need to get on it! I love zombies and this one sounds so fabulous and unique. I'm glad to hear she really explains the infection too. Books that don't are fine by me, but i know it's a complaint of many people, so it's cool to see she really did her research and came up with a well-rounded story! Love that the characters are memorable too. I'm such a character person, so that's a plus for me. Sounds like a book that would make a FAB film!

    -Lauren

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    1. I would LOVE to see this made into a film! If only the powers that be would option the rights! Lol.

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  13. Love, love, love this book and the entire series! IMO, it only gets better and it just so happens to be one of my favorite series ever!! :)

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    1. I can't wait to read the rest of the series! I had to order them all once I finished the first book!

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  14. Wow! I'm glad you enjoyed this! I've been hearing great things about it, but haven't made a decision if I'll actually read it or not. GREAT review!

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    1. I hope you do decide to read it, Lily! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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  15. You had me sold at "a tough, intelligent, kick-ass-and-take-names kind of gal with a thirst for the truth and a heart full of fierce affection and protectiveness for her danger-loving brother" (sounds like my type of MC). Glad that this is more than just your typical zombie book, and that the characters are well-crafted. I just put myself on my library's hold list :)

    Fabulous review, Natalie!

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    1. Yay! I hope you like it, Lea! I can't wait to hear what you think! :)

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  16. Wow! I'm not normally one for zombie books, but you have got me convinced that this is one I should check out! Great review!

    P.S. I'm your 2014th follower, and I felt kind of bad for ruining the 2013 in 2013 thing. But the alternative was not to follow you, and I couldn't have that!

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    1. Thanks so much for following, Taylor! I'm always excited to meet new people! And I hope you do decide to try Feed. I can be a pretty critical reviewer, given that I'm getting my MA in Literature, but this one really, really impressed me!

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  17. Dang it, just when I said a couple comments back that I don't care for zombie books, you have to go and write this review. I think you could get me to try just about any book you loved, Natalie, including, but not limited too, zombie books. Your reviews are so convincing and passionate. Ever thought about entering politics? ;) I will pick this up at some point and see what I think. :)

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    1. I'm glad I can be so convincing! :D But just so you know, I'm in just as much danger when I visit your blog. We tend to have such a high compatibility rate when it comes to books (I think it's somewhere in the 80s, the last time I checked Goodreads), that I'm willing to try just about anything you like. And I will always be grateful for you for giving me that final push to try a Zoe Marriott book! I plan to read more of her in the future. She's such a great writer!

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  18. GOSH I've wanted to read this for so long! But I've never before read a review on it. I just looked up that trilogy box-set and I'm considering it...you make it sound so good!

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    1. My trilogy box-set just came in the mail today! It's pretty and shiny and I can't wait to read it! You should just bite the bullet and buy yourself one already. :) Lol!

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  19. I've wanted to read this forever. Seriously, this is a book I have to read this year! I am so glad you loved it :) Great review!

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