The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

Monday, January 10, 2011

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.

I really majorly loved this book.

And I could stop the review there, and just say 'Hey, what are you still doing sitting at your computer? Go out and get it!' but perhaps I should tell you what's so great about it (I'm not particularly fantastic at persuasive language, however, so maybe just go out and get it is the best thing for me to say).

The world within which Kid lives isn't very far from our own - which is kind of scary - modern technology taken to an extreme. I could easily imagine kids I know acting like Kid's friend Ari, hungry for fame and attention. While reading I was reminded a bit of the world in Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.

It's well-written and though it isn't massive on action plot-wise (it's pretty brilliant in it's minimalism - there doesn't need to be big action and explosions for it to be a great story), it was engaging and I devoured it in an afternoon. I loved Kid as a character, and I'm unsure whether the novel will date quickly (everything in Kid's world is very reminiscent of our technology, which is bound to change), but I can imagine it'll really appeal to teenagers.

The concepts are awesome, it's immensely difficult not to read it all in one go, and it's very, very cool. It's the sort of book I wish I'd written, and I strongly encourage you to pick it up.
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground