Mark Reads ‘Feed’: Chapter 16

In the sixteenth chapter of Feed, the After the End Times team clashes with the Ryman campaign, and they get an unlikely ally in the process. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Feed.

Chapter Sixteen

Every Reason This Book Rules Found In Chapter 16

  • Georgia’s staff is not full of yes men. They question her. This happens with Mahir and later with Buffy. While they respect her, Grant gives these characters room to disagree, sometimes completely, with their boss. It’s refreshing, it’s realistic, and it is damn entertaining.
  • Georgia’s disability is openly talked about and addressed, but it doesn’t overwhelm the story. Having retinal KA is just a part of her life these days.
  • Steve. Seriously, I want to be friends with Steve and his deadpan sarcasm.
  • During the Rising, there was an outbreak at Comic-Con in San Diego. Everything is goddamn beautiful. I believe there’s a novella about this, yes?
  • It is not at all boring to read Mira Grant narrating work. When Georgia finds out that After the End Times is the #1 news site on the entire planet, Grant immediately jumps into a long section that narrates how Rick, Shaun, and Georgia deal with this information. She’s able to give a sense of urgency to writing emails. Bless.
  • Going into Ryman’s “secure locations” is unendingly eerie, and that’s credit to Grant, too. It’s just one thing after another that feels completely wrong, and it set me on edge. I expected the worst inside that place, and I was still incorrect about what actually happened inside of it.
  • Because of Grant’s worldbuilding, I knew how unorthodox and frightening it was that the team was asked to leave all their equipment behind. Details matter in this book, and as a pedantic reader, that’s very rewarding to me. I feel like the author respects her readers. (Though it should be said that despite that I’m a pedantic reader, doing Mark Does Stuff has made my brain especially full, so I’m more prone to forgetting small details than I used to be.)
  • The sterile, serene nature of that house was smothering. I was so nervous. It felt AWFUL being in there.
  • In terms of suspenseful dialogue, the scene in that room between the blogger team and Ryman, Emily, and Tate is one of the best things I’ve read all year, without a doubt. It is not easy to write dialogue. I know this. To write dialogue that understands characters and is deeply entertaining and thrilling is a feat. This scene has set up multiple conflicts and the direction of the narrative to come, and it’s definitely one of the most important parts of the book.
  • We get to see Shaun come fully and completely unhinged from his normal patience and joy, and I understand why Georgia has referenced it so many times. He is an unstoppable force of anger.
  • Georgia’s fight with Governor Tate really typifies the Governor’s political style and Georgia’s sense of honesty. I think Georgia was right to state that Tate thrives on mistrusting everyone around him to make himself look better. For Georgia, her life has been ruled by the facts of the world around her, and it’s why she butts heads so fiercely with Tate. Despite that the team have more than demonstrated their reasonable nature and their capacity to cooperate with the Ryman camp, Tate immediately assumes that they are in this for themselves. It is such a patent misunderstanding of Georgia’s whole purpose that it sets her off. That’s what I’ve noticed about Georgia: she rarely, if ever, frames what she is doing as something for her own benefit. She’s always talking about her audience, her readers, sharing the truth of a situation for the benefit of the world, etc. That’s why Tate angers her. It’s true that ratings matter and that the team enjoys the extra attention, but I suspect that Tate’s words felt too close to her experience with her parents. Basically, Georgia doesn’t want to turn into her mother and father.
  • Yeah, that sort of nuance and emotional depth is in one chapter. I LOVE THIS BOOK.
  • It’s not spelled out, but Tate’s hatred of Georgia is also based on misogyny. Look how he constantly reduces her to her womanhood at times, call her “missy” or “young lady,” or saying she uses “pretty words.” As much as he despises that Georgia wrote a scathing piece against him, he hates her for being a woman, too.
  • Emily. Ryman. In this chapter, her fury and brilliance overshadows her husband’s, and I’m suddenly aware that she might have far more control over her husband’s appearance and platform than she has previously let us think she had. It’s absolutely brilliant, and in the span of a single chapter, I think Emily Ryman is now the most fascinating character in the whole book.
  • Shaun calling out Tate for that “Now, I realize this may seem as if I’m questioning your journalistic integrity” line is gorgeous.
  • After all that happened, I was 100% surprised when Senator Ryman asked if it was best whether the team should go home or not. It is not something I expected at all. Grant seriously knows how to hide plot twists like this. This is the second time in the book that I’ve been flabbergasted by the story because a twist was so unexpected. Bravo.
  • Rick’s support of the team, after having only been on it for a few weeks, is really touching to me. He cares about being a Newsie, and he cares about these people. Like I said in Wednesday’s review, it’s just refreshing that Rick is so loyal to these people.
  • Having Buffy disagree with her own co-workers was a bold and smart move on Grant’s part. It’s also entirely within character for Buffy. She writes fiction, and now this situation has gotten far to real for her. Like she says, she views everything as a story, not a truth, because that’s what she writes. Even if I disagreed with Buffy, I completely understood her concern.
  • In hindsight, Emily’s attack on Tate is totally foreshadowed. She’s “let on the couch” by her husband, then she quietly tells Tate to be quiet, and he ignores her so he can go after Georgia’s comment about the importance of stories being heard. The slap is not simply a moment to shock us. It is a calculated moment of character growth for Emily Ryman, and it is by far my favorite single moment in all of Feed.

Oh my god, I am so in love with this book.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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1 Response to Mark Reads ‘Feed’: Chapter 16

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