The Word Exchange
Anana and her father Doug work for the Dictionary working on the NADEL (North American Dictionary of the English Language) and are preparing the 3rd edition for print. Doug is totally anti-MEME (a device used for everything from movies to banking) and has caused the deterioration of language because of its invasive nature into the minds of the public. Things seem to be going well though Anana is heartbroken over her breakup with Max, her boyfriend of 4 years and the mastermind behind a game which invites people to make up words, which he sells to Synchronics. This company is trying to corner the market on words and their meanings.
When people start to show signs of aphasia and illness it becomes a race to find out who or what is causing it and to find a cure before the world becomes infected.
This is an entertaining story but it is about more than words, it seems almost to be a cautionary tale about how technology can take away more than we are willing to lose if we are not careful. The romance is very low-key, mostly pining about lost love or not having the guts to say you love someone. The mystery elements are nicely done though you have an idea who is behind it but you need the why. I also have to say that Anana annoyed me a great deal of the time, she seemed to want to get killed to me because she did not really think much for someone who came off as smart and capable, but was acting like a five-year old who just had to be rebellious. Other than her I enjoyed the other characters and the action. This gave me something to think about and I like that.