The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

Author: Rae Mariz
Pages: 304
Genre: YA/ Teen Dystopian
Kid knows her school’s corporate sponsors not-so-secretly monitor her friendships and activities for market research. It’s all a part of the Game; the alternative education system designed to use the addictive kick from video games to encourage academic learning. Everyday, a captive audience of students ages 13-17 enter the nationwide chain store-like Game locations to play.

When a group calling themselves The Unidentified simulates a suicide to protest the power structure of their school, Kid’s investigation into their pranks attracts unwanted attention from the sponsors. As Kid finds out she doesn't have rights to her ideas, her privacy, or identity, she and her friends look for a way to revolt in a place where all acts of rebellion are just spun into the next new ad campaign. [via GoodReads]
I truly loved this book.  I found it to be very unique.  Ms. Mariz creates a not-too-distant future that seems very credible.  I loved how the kids had their own way of talking and awesome gadgetry.  Although at first glance it appeared to be a story full of high school drama set within a futuristic setting, it instead ended up being a story with a much more deeper meaning. 

Imagine a world where standing out only leads to creating a trend.  Sponsors entice the students to create cliques.  If you're unique or trendy, this only means that some corporation will sponsor you (you'll be "branded") and therefore market you and your style out so that other kids can replicate it.  You're cool if you're branded and if you can't afford to make your own fashion statement, you're a nobody.  Kid is a nobody.  She hangs out with her friends, gets good grades and does what she must to avoid game over (expulsion).  But when a prank in school by a group calling themselves "The Unidentified" catches her attention, she finds that her investigative skills are put to the test.

This book is the extreme of what would happen if we let consumerism and materialism rule our lives.  It also makes you think back on how much we rely on social networks, the internet, computers and even our  phones.  I love how Ms. Mariz expertly blended typical YA topics (BFF's, cute boys, and even self-discovery) with technology and dystopian elements.  This really made for interesting reading.  Kid's voice drew me in from the start.  She had this loner aspect to her that I really looked up to - especially since she lives in a world where being a loner is not a good thing.

The Unidentified was unputdownable.  I loved the dystopian-ness of it and the unique storyline.  For fans of futuristic YA, dystopian goodness and a stay up late because you-can't-stop-until-you-finish-it read - this is one you'll want to pick up.

My Rating:


Veens said...

I have never read any dystopian fiction, but this one sounds so good!

Adding to my wish list!

Tales of Whimsy said...

Great review. I love that it was unputtdownable :)

Unknown said...

This sounds like a really unique story. I love how the author uses commercialism & materialistic tendecies to create a frighteing kind of world. Many of the social themes that exist in HS are still found among groups of friends when we become adults & I like that the author uses these themes to in a really iterestig way in her world view.

This is a great review! Thank you! I am putting this book on my TBR list!
~ Amy

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

*squee bounce*

I signed up for this tour! After your review, I can't wait to read it!

Anonymous said...

Great review! I've read just a couple of dystopian novels and I'm hooked. I'm adding this one to my TBR list :)

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