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In “moon,” the first of the four parts of feed, an American teenager named Titus travels to the lunar surface with his high-school friends for spring break, hoping to escape the boredom they feel on Earth. No specific date is revealed, though it’s sometime in a dystopic future, where the moon is fully commercialized and people suffer from red sores called lesions. As Titus and his fellow upper-class friends Link, Marty, Calista, Loga, and Quendy arrive on the moon, readers also get their first glimpse of “the feed.” Although Titus doesn’t initially reveal exact details about the feed or how it works, he says it sends the friends ads and images for where to stay and shop.
After failing to get into college-age parties, the group visits the Ricochet Lounge, where Titus becomes infatuated with a girl named Violet. She is beautiful and, he soon finds, visiting the moon by herself and is very unlike his friends: She doesn’t make pointless purchases at a mall they all soon visit and isn’t interested in malfunctioning, or falling into a drug-like stupor, via their connections to the feed. Later, when they all visit a dance club called the Rumble Spot, an old man from a dissenter group called the Coalition of Pity hacks into people’s individual feeds, causing them to broadcast the signal, “we enter a time of calamity” over the feed’s network. Police beat the man and “shut off” those hacked, including Titus and Violet, who hold hands as they collapse.
Part 2, “eden,” occurs in a lunar hospital where Violet, Titus, and his friends remain disconnected from the feed until their systems can be scanned for viruses. There, Titus provides additional details about what the feed is and how it works. Feeds are implanted inside the body and connect to a global network that provides news, entertainment, and a means to purchase every kind of product, he says while singing its praises. The feed even anticipates and creates users’ wants from individual profiles based on purchasing decisions, thoughts, and feelings. Titus and Violet grow closer during the stay. Violet, who’s home-schooled and smarter than Titus and his friends, says she hoped to enjoy herself like normal kids but now has a problem, though she remains vague about what this problem is. When doctors finally restore the friends’ feeds, they rejoice. Promotions begin to flow through their minds again, though there’s also ominous news concerning protests over America’s annexation of the moon and resulting anger from a group called the Global Alliance. Still, Titus says, the friends exalt in the return of their feeds.
In Part 3, “Utopia,” Titus and his friends return to Earth and life returns to normal for them: “upcars” travel in tubes past vertically stacked suburbs, the friends party, and U.S. President Trumbull scoffs at reports that claim toxic industries cause lesions. In defiance of rampant consumerism and a loss of individuality, Violet determines to resist the feed by creating a completely random customer profile and asks Titus to join her. Violet, who didn’t receive her feed until she was seven, voices deep concern about the decline of the world and destruction of Earth, and laments how those who’ve had the feed their entire lives are ignorant and self-centered. Titus soon has nightmares that are more likely hacks from the Coalition of Pity. In them, he sees disturbing images of eco destruction and human suffering around the world, but after Violet chats him, saying she has seen the images too, he only wants to go back to sleep.
Before long, Violet’s problem becomes clear: Her body begins to fail and she’s told by doctors that the damage to her feedware can be fatal. The prognosis makes Violet realize how much she wants to do. She starts by going to the seashore with Titus, though they need to dress in protective suits due to its toxicity. Meanwhile, feed chatter reveals that all of Earth’s forests have fallen and there is a growing rift between the U.S. and the Global Alliance. At a party where Quendy shows off her artificial lesions, Violet becomes outraged and her body falters. She chastises Titus and his friends for living in ignorance as the world dies, then collapses and is brought to the hospital.
Violet’s condition declines further in Part 4, “slumberland,” whose chapter titles track her feed efficiency from a high of 87.3 percent to a low of 4.6 percent, 98 percent being optimal. Aware that she doesn’t have much time, Violet messages Titus a list of twenty-two things she wants to do in life, though he grows increasingly distant, and doesn’t message back. When they do reconnect, Violet sends Titus a recent memory where she falls down a staircase and receives a response from the corporation FeedTech, denying her petition to pay for her system repairs because she wasn’t deemed to be worthy due to her random customer profile. Violet later sends Titus childhood memories to preserve her history, though he deletes them. And when Violet convinces him to visit the mountains with her, one of her life goals, Titus breaks up with her, saying he was only interested in a short relationship while she wanted something eternal.
Time passes and Titus eventually hears from Violet’s father. At Violet’s home, Titus sees her lying on a floating bed, completely pale, fully incapacitated, and covered in discs. Her father details her final, painful days and how her body failed. He then berates Titus for how badly he treated Violet and for willfully living in ignorance. Titus later visits Violet’s home a second time. Although she appears dead, her feed efficiency is at 4.6 percent and a screen shows that her heart is beating slightly. Nevertheless, Titus tells Violet a story he plans to keep telling her, he says, so she will remember herself. The story is about Violet, the end of America, and their relationship, where they learn something important about love and how to resist the feed. The book ends with a promotion on the feed for Blue-Jean Warehouse’s Final Sales Event and a recurring, fading message that “Everything must go.”