Review Blog

Oct 11 2011

The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

cover image

Text, 2011. ISBN 9781921656934.
(Age: 12+) Recommended. In the near future, high school is a game. In fact, The Game. Kids are given points according to how they dress, what friends they have, how much they get involved with school work or play games, what they say, and basically everything that could possibly be judged about them. Get enough points and you'll get branded, which involves getting sponsored by companies. If you're branded, it means you're popular, which everyone wants. Except for Kid. She doesn't want any of that.
One day she and a group of other kids see an unofficial stunt, in which two kids push a dummy off a balcony. It falls and splatters nastily, and across the dummy's head is a sign: Choose Your Suicide. Kid starts to research and finds out about a group called The Unidentified, which are a secret, rebel group made up of kids playing The Game who don't want to follow the rules.
The Unidentified is one of the few books I've read that closely mirrors today's society without going overboard. The constant comparisons with culture in normal high school and The Game are amusing and surprisingly close to the truth. All the 'players' in The Game get an online profile they can view on their notebook or their intouch (both things were given to them in the game. The intouch is basically a smartphone.) These profiles are pretty much a cool combination of Facebook and Twitter.
This book is interesting for the most part, but towards the end I felt it starting to lose direction and then out of nowhere it ended, without much sense of conclusion and without some of the complications resolved.
The Unidentified is an interesting and refreshing novel, perfectly ideal for reluctant teenage readers.
I recommend this book.
Rebecca Adams

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