Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

The Unidentified: Book Review by Allison T.

Release Date: October 5th, 2010

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 336 (hardcover)

Rating: 3/5 stars

Source: County Library

Series: Stand-alone (I think)

Back of the Book Summary:

Fifteen-year-old Katey (aka Kid) goes to school in the Game- a mall converted into a "school" run by corporate sponsors. As the students play their way through the levels, they are also creating products and being used for market research by the sponsors, who are watching them 24/7 on video cameras.

Kid has a vague sense of unease but doesn't question this existence until one day she witnesses a shocking anticorporate prank. She follows the clues to uncover the identities of the people behind it and discovers an anonymous group that calls itself the Unidentified. Intrigued by their counterculture ideas and enigmatic leader, Kid is drawn into the group. But when the Unidentified's pranks and even Kid's own identity are co-opted by the sponsors, Kid decides to do something bigger- something that could change the game forever.

I have had this book on my to-be-read pile ever since my school librarian talked about it during school. She gave it a very high rating, so right off the bat, I had very high expectations for The Unidentified. Because of this, I was let down when I finished this novel.

The one thing that i liked about this book was Kid. She was very true to herself and did not act fake just to be popular. She is not obsessed over getting Branded and doesn't own the latest fashions. The only thing that she loves is her music, which she makes with her two best friends, Mikey and Ari.
I thought that this story could have been more edgy, or it could have explored the negative effects of consumerism. I was very interested after I heard the summary, but I kind of knew that I would be disappointed, especially after I saw the reviews on GoodReads and Amazon.

In addition, there is not very much action in the book. Kid finds out who the Unidentified are very easily and does not do anything clever with her knowledge. Also, the rest of the book is not very interesting.

Next, even though the Unidentfied were supposed to be a really big part of the novel, they only did a couple things over the course of the story. The thing (no spoilers here) they did at the end was pretty blah as well.

Also, I expected the ending to involve more fights with the government or maybe have Kid realize something important about the society that she lives in. When I reflected on what happened over the course of the book, I realized that it was basically nothing.

In conclusion, even though I thought that this book was just OK, other people will like it, and others will hate it. I suggest you to try it out, but check it out at your library first to make sure that you like it.

-Allison T.

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