Landscape with Invisible Hand

Book Information
Rating: Outstanding
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: M.T. Anderson
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year: 2017
ISBN: 9780763687892
Pages: 160

After the vuvv came to Earth, people were excited. The vuvv offered technology, advanced medicines, better lifestyles—but at a cost. Vuvv tech has replaced almost all jobs that were once occupied by humans. When Adam and his new girlfriend Chloe are offered a job as the stars of their own romance, it seems their lives are about to turn around. However, Adam and Chloe can’t even stand each other. But they need the money that comes with the job. Challenges come crashing together when Adam’s art is exhibited in a vuvv-sponsored exhibit and then soundly rejected. This rejection spurs Adam and his family to leave their pitiful existence and start over fresh and new.

M.T. Anderson has created a stellar look at this future where romance and love are streamed online, art and music aren’t good unless they fit a specific bill, and people can’t afford anything because everything is too expensive and their jobs have been outsourced by superior technology. Delivered in short, pictorial-like chapters, this book brings up questions of sacrifice, value, art, employment, technology, and more—a feat given that the book is only 150 pages long. Anderson’s writing is simultaneously approachable and humorous, yet genuine and thought-provoking. Readers will have to dig in to the satirical writing in order to reach what Anderson is critiquing. Discerning readers will find great pleasure in discovering the parallels between the horrifying future and the issues of the present. Anderson’s clever writing and ideas whittle this witty yet terrifying story into a sharp critique of today’s society and the issues that plague us now.

*Contains moderate language and mild sexual content.