After reading just a few pages of Feed, one thought really stuck in my mind: the BIG difference between the text/language in this work compared to what we have seen in other books this semester. Feed would absolutely be considered a book written for young adults, rather than one written for children. As we approach the end of semester, and focus on books geared toward a different age group, it is quite interesting to take notice of the differences between the two. As stated by Kimberly Reynolds, “Incorporating writing for teenagers challenged many long-held assumptions about children’s literature; as a consequence, there are now many stylistically complex children’s books that include sex, swearing, and random violence, and which end bleakly.” (Reynolds 27)
It is quite clear that books written for a young adult reader offer its audiences new complexities that would not necessarily arise in a children’s book. Just as we have seen in Becoming Naomi Leon and Speak, issues are raised that challenge the plot lines of elementary children’s books. Feed presents a great deal to its readers, as the appropriate audience age is fourteen and up. The text in this work is quite different from much that we have seen this semester. The characters in the book use inappropriate language, as well as reference topics beyond the typical scope of a children’s book.
Feed offers its readers many new complexities that range from sex to consuming alcohol to death. For a fourteen year old, this plot line could be completely new to them. The characters reference past flings they have had, go to parties when underage drinking is tolerable, and are conflicted by Violet’s sudden illness. The author is able to throw many curve balls to the reader, and constantly add new complications as the book progresses.
Thinking more about this work, I realized that many young readers could easily relate to Violet, in terms of her naive upbringing. Yes, she is aware of the hardships facing the world, but she really doesn’t know anything about subjects approached in this work. She is home schooled so she knows nothing of how a normal teenager carries out his or her life. When meeting Titus and his group of friends on the moon, she is exposed to many new things. Feed reaches out and captivates its readers with its griping storyline. The work is able to not only introduce new complexities to its young readers, but also position itself as a book more relatable to its audience. Feed is a direct representation of the “new” type of children’s book Reynolds is describing.