Good Morrow, Bookworms!
Raise your hand if you use your smart phone more than you’re proud of. My hand is high in the air, y’all. (I blame Trivia Crack.) I remember hearing a whole bunch of folks talking about the awesomeness that is The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon so when it popped up as available from my library’s digital services, I had to download it. Because I’m controlled by machines. They’re becoming sentient. OooOOOOOooooO.
Enter the world of The Word Exchange. It’s a few years in the future and a smart-phone-like device known as a Meme has become ubiquitous. The Meme ain’t your average iPhone though. This thing pretty much predicts your thoughts and behaviors. It’s more than a little creepy. It kind of makes me wonder why everyone is all kinds of surprised when things go terribly, terribly wrong. (Of course, the characters in the novel didn’t have the advantage of reading about the whole thing at a distance. Omniscience is a gift. Gosh, I love fiction!)
Anana Johnson works for one of the world’s last remaining dictionaries. When her father goes missing, she stumbles upon a conspiracy, a secret society, and contracts a potentially deadly plague. Makes your Friday night seem uneventful, doesn’t it? A “word flu” has begun spreading that’s causing people to speak gibberish along with a nasty case of physical flu-like symptoms. I’ll give you three guesses as to what creeptastic device is behind the spread of the plague, but you’ll only need one! Anana teams up with her colleague (and secret admirer) Bart in order to track down her father and try to save the day.
The Word Exchange is a fun, weird, ride. It’s not an especially lengthy novel, but I found myself taking longer than usual to get through it. I typically get most of my reading in at night before I go to sleep, and I found my brain rebelling when I hit passages where infected folks were speaking gibberish. And by “brain rebelling,” I mean I fell asleep. I wasn’t bored, I’m just really spoiled by standardized spelling. If you’re in the mood for a fast paced, semi-dystopian mystery with a side of word nerd (and who isn’t?) The Word Exchange is your book!
Sound off, Bookworms! Do you think that we as a society have become too reliant on our smart phones? Will it bring about the end of days? (I might be watching Doomsday Preppers. I can’t be held responsible for my alarmist tone.)
*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*
The pull of the Internet is strong, and smartphones give you 24/7 access, basically anywhere. So yeah. I think so. I don’t have a smartphone, but I’m glad I don’t because I know I would be playing around on it non-stop. I’m already on the computer waaayyyy too much. Like right now. When I should be packing. And cleaning. And other stuff.
Sarah's Book Shelves
I’ve read a bunch of reviews about this one and I know it’s gotten great feedback, but your review is the first one that’ actually made me want to read the book! I think it’s the whole secret society, conspiracy thing…I’m a sucker for those!
I still wanna try this one even though I forgot about it for a bit. Sounds weird but fun!
Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf
I read this one too close to all the hype and liked it, but felt underwhelmed. The premise is so cool!
I think we haven’t found balance with the smartphones and such yet, but it’ll be OK. Optimist. 😉
Leah @ Books Speak Volumes
I thought this was such a fun book! And I loved that the author used some really unusual words to MAKE readers reach for their smartphones to look them up. So clever.
I’ve never heard of this, but it sounds delightful!
Allison @ The Book Wheel
Okay. I’ve been undecided on this book for a while now and your review has tipped the scales. I’m reading it!
Katie @ Doing Dewey
I loved this book! The fun format, the wordplay, the well-researched science. It was my type of read! It definitely took me longer than my usual read too though because of all the time I spent looking up words… on my phone. I don’t think using my phone is reducing my current vocabulary and in this case, it might have helped me expand it, so while I loved the book, I don’t think we’ve reached the point where technology is systematically making people dumber. It all depends on how you use it.
Words For Worms
LOL, I love it! Looking up words on your phone is one of the perks of the phone. The good news is that your phone isn’t hacking into your brain… Yet. 😉