The Unidentified
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The Unidentified

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  3,114 ratings  ·  453 reviews
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 pla...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Balzer + Bray
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YA Dystopia Novels
160th out of 672 books — 7,695 voters
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2010 Debut Authors (Young Adult & Middle Grade Literature)
142nd out of 323 books — 2,013 voters


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Community Reviews

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Missie
http://www.theunreadreader.com/2010/1...

Not good. Not awful. Just boring.

I'm not really sure what else to say about The Unidentified except that I had to force myself to finish it, and the ending left me feeling disappointed that I had even bothered.

The slow beginning was torturous, and the story never really picked up. At first I thought the idea of a school sponsored by corporations sounded different and kind on interesting. But as I read, the whole thing fell apart. I couldn't support the con...more
Halli Lilburn
The Unidentified by Rae Mariz: Urban YA Speculative Fiction of the Year
I know it’s only March, but I have chosen my UYASF Book of the Year and it comes as no surprise. With friends like Hannah Moskowitz and Cory Doctorow endorsing her novel, Rae Mariz has her foot, leg and body in the best-seller door with her debut novel. She creates a dystopian society by turning high school into “the Game” where lectures are video games, projects get you points and your popularity gets you branded by major co...more
Cristy
Not awful.. not fantastic.. kinda ho-hum and a little boring.
I really wanted to like this book more then I did.. unfortunately the intriguing premise of UNIDENTIFIED didn't quite rise to it's potential and ultimately I was disappointed. This dystopian tale set in our immediate future, where schools are located in refurbished malls and run by sponsors; as the kids compete for popularity status and "branding" all while their education is fed to them in "Game" form. Sounds good, edgy even right?.....more
Mary Catherine
In another dystopian society, the government can no longer pay for schooling. Instead, children are sent to Game Centers to market themselves and new creations for a points and to be branded by a company. It’s eerily plausible and equally scary, especially when the “players” are given cell phones with GPS tracking and are fully required to update the higher-ups with status changes on online communities reminiscent of Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace.

Katey Did – aka Kid – is the 15-year-old heroine...more
Navi
You know, when the inside cover of your book explains more than the actual story does, you know you're doing it wrong.

My friend told me to 'avoid this one at all costs' because it was confusing and boring. Me, being a rebel, decided to borrow it from her. When I saw that one of my favorite authors had approved this book as being awesome, I decided that it couldn't be too bad.

And at first, the idea wasn't bad. It was like a willing 1984. I was intrigued by what everything was, why their 'school'...more
Danielle
Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews

Katey "Kid" Dade is a 15 year old girl in The Game. No, not the rapper or Triple H, Kid lives in a not too distant future where the education system has been sold to sponsors who provide schooling in return for market research. "Players" attend classes and take art, music, and gym electives, while fighting for social rankings to join cliques that will get them branded by sponsors and increase their personal social media scores.

Wait, did...more
Steph Su
It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that has impressed me, and so when I picked up and got instantly sucked into THE UNIDENTIFIED’s riveting and eerily familiar world, I was beside myself with happiness. THE UNIDENTIFIED is smart, well-written, and suspenseful, the perfect example of what dystopian literature should be: a fully realized and recognizable world without forgoing characterization and plot.

Rae Mariz impressively introduces us to a shocking and complex futuristic world, one in wh...more
Krystle
Okay, let’s be honest here. From an objective perspective, this is definitely not a book that inspires a lot of excitement. The cover is pretty bland and not indicative of what takes place inside its pages and the current rating on Goodreads stands at a woeful 3.41. Not something that gives you much confidence. However, the one positive that this book has is the premise. It’s quite intriguing, especially on incorporating not only a dystopian flair but futuristic themes which make use of gaming,...more
Lindsay
Do you ever get creeped out at how much access Google has to information on you? Forget it, because it Unidentified, that’s just a fact of life. In fact, ‘Google’ is so accepted as an all-knowing entity that it has replaced ‘God’ in common phrases, i.e. “For the love of God,” is now, “For the love of Google.”

This is the world that Katey, aka ‘Kid’, is growing up in. It takes place at an undefined point in the future U.S. She is educated by corporate companies who monitor and analyze her decision...more
Arena
Kid is a really great character. She is just kind of there in the Game -- she's not obsessed with branding. She doesn't wear the latest clothes. All she cares about is making her music, the one thing that defines her.

And, really, that's kind of a good way to describe this book. There was *so* much that could have been done with this story. But instead, it's just kind of there.

I wanted The Unidentified to be an edgy, gritty look at consumerism. I was expecting something amazing and stellar and to...more
Jenn
This was an interesting read.

You can never be to sure of who your friends are, who trust, and who is watching you.

The teenagers in this book go to school that's all centered around The Game. You do things in the Game to to help you get to certain levels and higher scores. There are sponsors out there watching what you do and if they like what they see, or your a trend setter, you get branded by the label. This seems to be, mostly, what everyone in the Game wants. If you get branded, you get to...more
Jacqueline
The Unidentified starts off with a great concept (not only for a novel, but I think maybe in real life too.) Schools resemble shopping malls, and students play them like a video game. They rack up points for things like screen time and workshops, and they pass through levels in various subjects dictated by their wants and needs.

The problem is that like with most large organizations, rules start taking over, there is a control issue, and the fact that the whole thing is financed in the name of ma...more
Thea Liwanag
Never have I ever been so disappointed with a book that had such a captivating cover.

First of, I love dystopian books. Second, I enjoy a good mystery. Third, I hold a great respect to female characters with strong will and personality. All three were promised(or should I say, implied) in the synopsis of the book but, alas, only one of them met my expectations and I didn't even enjoy it. It was very dystopian, emphasis on the very. The setting was too futuristic that it screwed my mind up a bit....more
Tony Bertauski
Honestly, I don't believe this is really a 3-star book. It just wasn't for me.

Mariz has created an exaggerative world for the Y-generation where school is a game that is tech driven by advertising sponsors where every action is evaluated, every decision watched, every movement monitored, every desire motivated by product placement. She's created a whole new language of slang that's fresh and authentic, rivaling YA tech author Cory Doctorow.

Problem is, the book dwells on the details of the world...more
Kirsti
I'm leaving this book kind of blank, wondering why I even invested my time. I'm trying to work out why exactly I should hate and defy the game, why I should wonder what happens with Katey aka Kid with her multiple dilemmas, and still not over how much the girl on the front cover looks like the actress who played a young Lily Potter. It's kind of like that sour steak taste you get when you sleep deeply during the middle of a hot day and wake up even more tired.

First, I am completely and utterly c...more
Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
I thought this was going to be a good book based on the plot. But everything from the sentence structure to the poor character development screamed AMATEUR. I hated this book. A waste of my time.
Kristen
Well, I'm disappointed. The premise of this book sounded so good that I actually started reading it instead of the other books in my MASSIVE to-read stack; but life is too short to read crappy books, so I was forced to abandon this novel without finishing it.
This book wasn't BAD, it was just terribly dull and confusing. I felt no connection to the main character and her best friend was REALLY annoying. The lack of world building and explanations for the characters reality didn't help this, and...more
El Templo de las Mil Puertas
El Juego es complicado. Se supone que solo tienes que conseguir una puntuación alta en las asignaturas, que se reducen a videojuegos didácticos. Sin embargo, todos saben que lo más importante es ser patrocinado por alguna marca. Eso te convierte instantáneamente en alguien popular y sube tu puntuación, un niño mimado del propio Juego. Pero para ello hay que tener algo de carisma, liderazgo o alguna cualidad que llame la atención.

Por eso Kid jamás será patrocinada. Ella es consciente de que no ti...more
Mallory
The Unidentified is about Katey, kid, who discovers a secret group that call themselves the Unidentified. As she investigates to find out who the individuals are in this mysterious group Kid gets the spotlight in the school (game).
I'm going to leave my summarization of the novel there. I'll leave the rest to you to decide. The premise of the book sounded new, clever, and unique. Only The Unidentified fell flat to me. A lot of people have raved and loved this book. I guess I'm the minority.
The be...more
Kristina Lareau
Following along my dystopian kick, I picked this one up after hearing someone discuss it at the ICFA in Orlando. I thought the concept was spot on and it had a combination feel of Monica Hughes' Invitation to the Game, MT Anderson's Feed and So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld.

Rampant consumerism, consumerized education, branded styles, trendsetters and cool hunters, popularity and technology all surround apathetic Kid who is more concerned with making music and just getting by than trying to get...more
Lucy
This dystopian book tackles privacy, social networking and consumerism. It has a fast pace and is set in a recognizable world in the future where corporate sponsors run school in abandoned shopping malls. The students rack up points and friends with the goal of becoming “branded” by a sponsor. This is a smart dystopian book with punchy dialogue written with original slang that is a relevant commentary on privacy and consumer issues faced today. With so many vacancies in shopping malls and budget...more
Donna
You know, THE UNIDENTIFIED had a good premise but the overall execution ended up being rather ho hum for me. At the end of the day it was about the social outcast coming to grips with the social strata in her school with the end result being the nonconformists conforming to the nonconformists' conformity. I was actually kind of disappointed. I'm not really sure what I was expecting but I know it was definitely something a little more than a higher tech Heathers (which is an awesome movie, THE UN...more
Anagha
Nov 24, 2011 Anagha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of sci-fi/dystopians; Ages 9-14
Shelves: posted
Book Review of The Unidentified

An unnerving sci-fi mystery. In the not-so-distant future, government schools have failed and corporate sponsors have taken over high school education. At age 13, teenagers are signed up to go to a school where they are used for market research. They play specially crafted video games where points are earned and levels completed by answering questions correctly or beating the opponent. Popularity is calculated by the number of ‘friends’ following one’s Twitter-like...more
Katie
Recap-
Kid has reached level 15, but for her the Game has really just begun. All across America, teenagers are attending high school at "the Game," which in Kid's case is held in a converted mall. Rather than being led by teachers, the Game is run by corporate sponsors who trademark every aspect of their lives, right down to their notebooks.

While popularity has long been an ultimate goal for many high-schoolers, the Game has taken popularity to a whole new level: the more friends you have on yo...more
Mona
I won this book in a FirstReads Giveaway.

I chose this book because the premise intrigued me.

At first glance, the plot and setting seemed futuristic and sci-fi.

But in today’s technological environment where many educational options are available, it didn’t seem so far-fetched. With the advent of DVR's and TiVo, consumers are now
able to skip ads while watching their favorite TV shows so corporations and the parties they contract to market and promote their products have to come up with ingenious...more
Susan

This is your typical futuristic sci fi fare with real life implications. The educational system is broken. The government is bankrupt and can no longer support it. Big business has taken over control of the schools and corporations use students as marketing research guinea pigs. School buildings are abandoned malls (Game Centers) and instruction is all virtual in nature and supported by sponsors selling anything and everything. Administrators and corporate sponsor monitor every move in order to...more
Misty
I first heard about this book on Presenting Lenore where it caught my attention for two reasons: 1) it's a ya dystopia about consumerism (win!) and 2) the cover (for the ARC, at least) reminded me of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, which meant they needed to be in a Face Off. (The cover has since changed to the one you see up there ^, but the ARC cover -- which is what I have -- can be found below.) I had a feeling this was something I needed to read, so I requested a copy from Balzer and Bray...more
Jessica Strider
Pros: good writing, fast paced, nifty concept, true to life high school atmosphere

Cons: takes a while to understand the school/game setting, plot twists were often obvious

For Parents: there's a little swearing, minor violence, no sex

In a future where corporate sponsors run school as a game, a group of kids wants to reclaim their privacy as the Unidentified.

Katey Dade (@kidzero) is in the pit when the Unidentified pull off their first publicity stunt. Her interest in the act propels her into the...more
Jocelyne
June 2013: 3 stars
Reasons why, in a nutshell: the beginning was excellent. I couldn't put the book down, the plot was engaging, the characters interesting.
About halfway through, things got... confusing. I lost track of the thread of the book, the point of the plot. I couldn't figure out where the author was going, and therefore, I'd say two fifths of the book were lost on me.
Good points? The characters were a lot of fun to have in my head. I especially like Mikey and Tesla :3
The world building w...more
Irvington Public Library Teens
Have you ever wanted to have all the latest technology in your hands? The newest ipad that came out yesterday? Wanted to play video games all day and it be considered learning? You probably wish you played the Game. Well, lucky for you, Kid does.

The government has left education funding to the sponsors. the result? market research schools like the Game where you advance up levels as you spend your day with friends.

But Game life isn't so simple. Who are the Unidentified, that group that rebels ag...more
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Crazy for Young A...: The Unidentified by Rae Mariz → Start Date: March 14th, 2014 21 30 Mar 21, 2014 09:40PM  
RE: Personal Profiles 1 15 Nov 28, 2011 07:42PM  
Points to Ponder 1 8 Nov 28, 2011 07:40PM  
the reflection to our life 2 7 Nov 28, 2011 07:33PM  
Ari---a Villain??? 3 14 May 14, 2011 09:01AM  
Symbolism 1 5 Apr 19, 2011 06:07PM  
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“I was like the runner-up to Miss Mediocrity and my prize was awkward silence.” 22 likes
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