Monday, November 8, 2010

THE UNIDENTIFIED by Rae Mariz

A society in which Generation AAA's schools are now in abandoned refurbished malls, run by corporate sponsors, and all of the main communication is done through social networking - how far into the future is this in reality? THE UNIDENTIFIED takes place in a near future in which teens go to school each day in "The Game" where their every move is monitored by the corporations who sponsor their schools and the more popular they are, the more they can get branded and have nicer things. The majority of their interaction is done through facebook and twitter-like status updates on ipod touch-like handheld devices with GPS tracking. The goal is to set fashion trends, score points at the games (classes), and become popular to be "branded" and hang out in the VIP area while becoming a spokesperson for your corporate brand. Kid is not very popular, and she likes it that way, she can just produce her music and stay out of trouble. It's all fine until the day the body falls into the food court in front of her from the 5th floor railing. The body was a dummy, but the note attached was not - it's from "The Unidentified" - those who are rebelling against the corporate sponsors running their everyday school lives - and refusing to be identified by the material things they own. Once Kid starts to look into it more, she actually becomes more interesting to the corporations and as she gets more involved, she finds out more about how the Game really runs. Can she help out her family without losing herself to the corporate game and lose all of her friends? 


Overall I liked this book and the issues it brought up and the movement of the plot; although, I did have a little trouble totally getting engaged with the characters in the beginning, but was intrigued by the mystery. The book moves along with the mystery to be solved - who are "The Unidentified" and what do they really want and why? It also has quite a bit of action with different scenes wondering what will happen to Kid and her friends and the people she knows within the Game. Ultimately this book is about the choices we make, why we make them, and who is watching. This book is about identity - finding your own, keeping it, and portraying it in the face of others who might be looking for something else. It's an interesting commentary on the social networking society we now live in and the choices we make because we know people are watching - are we really our true selves or are we the self we want to portray to everyone who's reading? 


Reminds me of/Other anti-corporate books like this: Teen, Inc - So Yesterday - The Gospel According to Larry 


4 STARS for THE UNIDENTIFIED

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