This book gave me a panic attack.
I say this as a testament to its power. The vision of this dystopian novel is both beautiful and horrifying. A few generations from now, technology will exponentially expand possibilities for travel - fly to the moon for a vacation, zip across the country in your upcar - but as that technology developed and humanity became so dependent upon them, corporations became king. The government is their pawn.
As the accumulation of this corruption and the technological advancement, people have something called the FEED, a microchip, implanted into their brains. They can communicate with their friends and co-workers instantaneously, enabling telepathy at all times, and Facebook forever frames their vision. Everyone has constant access to the Internet, so School(TM) is a sham of its former self.
Sounds okay so far, right? Well, the FEED also replaces basic body functions, so it's impossible to disable once it's been implanted. Carriers of the Feed are doomed to forever be barraged with ADVERTISEMENTS for anything they look at and happen to like - from a pair of pants to a news article - as the Feed tries to catch onto their habits and tastes and know how to market to them.
Constant advertisements full of flattery, cliche language, and impossible promise in conjunction with abounding instant gratification turns people into a society of UNEDUCATED BRATS, who take boundless luxury for granted and are unable to deal with sickness, death, and the realities of the universe.
This book was difficult for me to read, and THAT FACT is the most terrifying of all. I didn't want to deal with it, the way the characters don't want to deal with any reality beyond the cocoon of their boundlessly giving Feed.
It was fascinating to read alongside The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson, not to mention Rand's Atlas Shrugged.
Five stars for horror, vision, and accuracy.