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The Unidentified

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  4,179 ratings  ·  516 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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Nate Hi! This is probably a bit late, but the clues are little hints in the various activities that give the answer to a question on "The Network," a form …moreHi! This is probably a bit late, but the clues are little hints in the various activities that give the answer to a question on "The Network," a form of social media/education hybrid. We don't know much about War Game, but it's implied that it's a first-person shooter similar to the Call Of Duty games. Students become branded when a sponsor notices their influence and holds a meeting with said student. Becoming branded means that the kids get special perks, such as access to a V.I.P. Lounge, and the ability to attend certain events, such as After Hours.(less)

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Average rating 3.42  · 
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 ·  4,179 ratings  ·  516 reviews

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Oct 18, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya

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
Mary Catherine
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
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?..
Halli Lilburn
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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'
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, didn't
Steph Su
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, dystopian
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
The story is ok but has too much bad language for my taste. It's also a huge rip-off of the Scott Westerfeld Uglies series. Not a fav & definitely not appropriate for middle school. Good for negative consumerism views. ...more
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
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 17, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Thea Liwanag-Mabulay
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.
Jessica Strider
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
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
Apr 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, sci-fi
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
Nov 14, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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
Oct 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
Axel Brambila
Mar 11, 2020 rated it liked it
The Unidentified by Rae Mariz is a fictional novel that follows Katey through her detective mindset. The world is set in the future where technology has completely taken over. Katey spends her time at school that was previously an abandoned mall. In this school, kids play through levels of immersive videogames. The best players are sponsored; everybody wants to be sponsored because it means that you are famous. These kids are used by corporate sponsors to spread popularity in new products. The s ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is about a fifteen-year-old girl named Kid that goes to school in a mall converted into a "school" run by corporate sponsors. As 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.

The thing I enjoyed about this book is the little back story while trying to find out who is The Unidentified it comes with suspense for the most of the book. Although when the book starts
Trenton Arvesen
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rae Mariz's The Unidentified is a fantastic book about what it would be like if companies ran our education system. Our protagonist goes through worlds of problems and tries to figure out a mystery going on inside her school. Be prepared to go through many twists and turns throughout the novel, as it really catches ahold of you with an amazing grip. Now I can't spoil the book for you but I can tell you that there will be a lot of things going on and you just need to be patient and pay close atte ...more
Apr 25, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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 Bra ...more
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
Anagha Uppal
Oct 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Mona Garg
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Kristina Jean Lareau
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, sci-fi, middle-grade
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
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing

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
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