Feed by Mira Grant. I read this book specifically in preparation for this discussion on women in horror. Since it came out, I’d actually been avoiding it. I was intrigued by the cover, LOVING the play on the RSS feed symbol, but I have to admit, zombies just aren’t my thing. Not the virus-gone-wrong sort, at least. The kind in this book. Though, I do enjoy a reanimated corpse gone wrong. 😉 But the book had been getting so many accolades from readers that I decided to at least give it a try. I was sucked in immediately.
First thing I will say about this book, is that it’s not really a zombie book. In fact, I think I can count on one hand how many times we actually see the zombies. This may be why I ended up liking it, but it’s also why some horror readers do not/will not. It’s important, I think, for you to know that going into it. Nothing like not having your expectations as a reader met, right?
The zombie threat is somewhat of a tool or trope almost. Honesty, I found this to be more like a young adult political thriller, than book about zombies. *shrug* Which was nice for me, because I’m usually bored to tears by “adult” political thrillers.
Where this book shines…
What is really great about Feed, is the attention to detail and world-building. Set in the not so far-off future, I was totally engrossed in all the technology. Every page delighted me with its descriptions of the way the world worked.
The plot can be seen as somewhat cardboard, but that’s what gives it its easy familiarity, I think. I didn’t have to try super hard to understand what was happening, I could just enjoy watching it happen.
The dialogue tries just a little too hard sometimes, in my opinion, but I didn’t find it that distracting. And that’s become sort of a hallmark of YA fiction—that snarky wit—so it is sort of to be expected. Overall, I found the story fast-paced, fun and interesting. Again, I’m not going to recap the plot for you, you can find that at Goodreads or Amazon.
Why Feed may inspire more girls to write horror…
The best part of this book, and what supports the premise I started out with this month, is that the main characters are writers themselves! Bloggers, to be more specific. One of them is even a fiction writer. That’s right—in Mira Grant’s future, writing is one of the most sought-after careers. I love that!
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little tired of the whole “starving artist” image. There are a lot of books that portray writers as drunks, or struggling along trying to make sense of life…blah, blah, blah (especially in horror). Which, okay, I get that, it may be a true reflection of many writers in the real world, but sheesh! Do ALL of them have to be that way? I wonder sometimes if it perpetuates this romantic concept of the writer as addict. I think Feed puts forth a positive addiction—puts positive writing role models in front of its readers. Let’s get our youth excited about writing before we show them the deep, dark pits of despair it can bring, is what I’m really saying. LOL
Anyway, looking back at the message I started out this month with—encourage more girls to write horror by putting fiction in front of them with as many common denominators as possible—I think this book hits it hard. Not only is it written by a woman, but the MC is a strong female character, and she is a WRITER, too!
Go. Now. Download a sample from Amazon or wherever you get your samples, try it and see what you think. If you like it, tell someone. Tell a girl. You may inspire her. Feed is a part of a trilogy. But it can be read as a stand alone, too.