Okay. I loved this one. Again, granted that I really have a thing about the anti-consumerism books, but this one was great--and the narrator manages to tell the story without using any brand-names. (Well, almost none).
According to the book, there is a pyramid of cool. Here it is, top to bottom:
Innovators: "When you meet them, most Innovators don't look that cool, not in the sense of fashionable, anyway. There's always something off about them. Like they're uncomfortable with the world. Most Innovators are actually Logo Exiles, trying to get by with the twelve pieces of clothing that are never in or out of style.
Except, like Jen's laces, there's always one thing that stands out on an Innovator. Something new."
Trendsetters: "The Trendsetter's goal is to be the second person in the world to catch the greatest disease. They watch carefully for Innovators, always ready to jump on board. But more importantly, other people watch them. Unlike the Innovators, they are cool, so when they pick up an innovation, it becomes cool. A Trendsetter's most important job is gatekeeper, the filter that separates out real Innovators from those crazy people wearing garbage bags." Early Adopters: "Adopters always have the latest phone, the latest music player plugged into their ear, and they're the guys who download the trailer a year before the movie comes out. (As they grow older, Early Adopters' closets fill up with dinosaur media: Betamax videos, laser discs, eight-track tapes.) They test and tweak the trend, softening the edges. And one vital difference from Trendsetters: Early Adopters saw their stuff in a magazine first, not on the street." Consumers: "The people who have to see a product on TV, placed in two movies, fifteen magazine ads, and on a giant rack in the mall before saying, "Hey, that's pretty cool."
At which point it's not."
Laggards: "Proud in their mullets and feathered-back hair, they resist all change, or at least change since they got out of high school. And once every ten years they suffer the uncomfortable realization that their brown leather jackets with big lapels have become, briefly, cool.
But they bravely tuck in their Kiss T-shirts and soldier on."
Not only is there all of the above wonderful-ness, there is a kidnapping, a huge conspiracy, lots of action, a romance, and some really interesting and informative digressions, including the answer to this question: What actually was the deal with that Pokemon episode that gave people seizures?
Unfortunately, I only know two other people who have read (or attempted to read) this one. One liked it until the end, which she said was "too crazy", and the other couldn't finish it. So am I crazy for loving this book as much as I do? C'mon. Help me out.