Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

The Unidentified 
Author: Rae Mariz
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (an imprint of HarperCollins)
Published: 10/5/10
Edition: Hardcover
*Received for review from HarperTeen/GoodReads First Reads Program--thank you!

Summary from GoodReads: 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. 

My Thoughts:
To be honest, before diving into 'The Unidentified', I thought this was going to be something along the lines of 'Surrogates' meets 'Hunger Games.' I was wrong. I can, however, say that my inner gamer was pleasantly surprised by 'The Unidentified.' 

Katey Dade--who is known by other Gamers as Kid--isn't exactly normal by Game standards. She has only eleven friends and recently, she's edited her own profile and it's been deemed unsatisfactory by the Administrators. More importantly, she's really not that into video/virtual games and prefers a hands on approach. When she witnesses the mannequin get pushed off of the fifth floor, she takes interest in the Unidentified--whom arranged the stunt. From there, she sets out to learn more about the Unidentified and stumbles upon a different side of the Game, one that students/Gamers generally remain blissfully unaware of. 

The Unidentified takes you into Kid's world and it's certainly a ride with its various inventions and unique lingo--I mean, personally, I am highly amused that Google is used in such a manner as, "Oh my Google!" If your inner gamer demands feeding at the same time as your inner bookworm, I'd suggest taking a peek at 'The Unidentified.' However, if you want something that's fast paced, this probably isn't for you. There are definitely some slow moments and the Unidentified aren't constantly making an appearance throughout. Instead, you get a better glimpse of Kid's world. 

Admittedly, I didn't exactly find the ending to be that satisfying. It seemed like things just sort of trailed off and a lot of loose ends were lose. In short, it left me with a lot of questions.

A random sidenote: If you remove the dustcover, you'll find a face like this: ._. on your cover. It's the symbol of the Unidentified and they claim it shows their disinterest in the Game. 

Overall Rating: ★★★

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