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The Unidentified Paperback – April 17, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray; Reprint edition (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061802093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061802096
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,392,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up–In a startlingly plausible dystopian society, the school system has failed to the point that the government gives over control of national education to corporations. These conglomerates have banded together to create what are known as Game Centers. Here students like Katey Dade, or Kid, go to “school” in refurbished shopping malls. They swipe cards to get in and out, they carry issued cell phones with GPS trackers, they post continuously to profile pages and status feeds (similar to Facebook and Twitter), while administrators and corporate officials monitor their every move. Students who achieve the highest scores in games, set the coolest fashion trends, and gain the utmost popularity are “Branded,” instantly assisting the corporations to plug their wares. Kid coasts, never looking to become Branded, but then she is taken up by not just one corporate sponsor, but two, as a “trendspotter.” As she tries to balance new expectations with betrayals by lifelong friends and new relationships, Kid also begins to question the societal structure around her. Drawn to the prank-pulling group calling themselves The Unidentified, she longs for her previous anonymity and blissful ignorance of the shady dealings all around her. Well written and featuring a cast that most readers will find some sort of connection with, this novel is an impressive debut. Teens will immediately be able to see the connections to today's technology-dependent society and imagine how the future could be eerily like the setting in The Unidentified. Kid takes readers through myriad emotions on her whirlwind tour as a “name” in the game, and readers will be fixated until the very end. Recommend this one to fans of Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games (Scholastic, 2008) and James Dashner's The Maze Runner (Delacorte, 2009).Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Teens in Generation AAA (after Gen X,Y, and Z) are schooled in the “Game,” a mall-like consumer environment where they are supremely connected to one another, and potential sponsors are likewise connected to them. Musically inclined Kid isn’t very engaged with racking up points, improving her profile, or getting branded, but witnessing a staged suicide stunt spurs her to action, seeking out the identity of the so-called Unidentified who masterminded the event. Ironically, the deeper she gets into her investigation, the more appealing she is to the sponsors. Risking her security, her music, and her relationships, Kid perseveres, awakened to a cause worth fighting for. This is a futuristic, underground, anticorporate mystery/call to action with a dash of romantic interest that will find a niche with readers of other outsider fiction and those who enjoy imagining the way we will interact in the not-so-distant future. Grades 7-11. --Heather Booth --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It was difficult for me to connect with the main character, and understand the whole point of the book, in general.
For fans of futuristic YA, dystopian goodness and a stay up late because you-can't-stop-until-you-finish-it read - this is one you'll want to pick up.
Nelaine Sanchez
I actually really didn't know why people were booing this book so much on GR until I got about 75% of the way through it.
Eli Madison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Linds on December 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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 decisions every time she swipes her student card at school, aka the 'Game'. The kids get `cliqued' into groups like the Fashion Fascists or the Crafters. Instead of grades, there are game levels. Almost every student at the Game hopes to be `branded' by one of the corporate sponsors who fund and run Kid's school. Being branded means being put on the fast track to success, complete with access to VIP lounges and oodles of freebies. Branded kids have `stream groupies' who follow them on the Game's network. All they had to do is sign away rights to their personal identities, their talents, and the fruits of those talents. All students are a part of one big marketing study that is always in progress. Everything is very carefully planned. Then, one day someone throws a dummy over the railing at the Game with a sign attached: "UNIDENTIFIED. CHOOSE YOUR SUICIDE."

Kid thinks it's the most authentic act she ever has seen in her carefully orchestrated world. She also doesn't get it - she initially thinks it's a failed publicity stunt since there is no clear message. Then she sinks into the mystery and doesn't let go.

First off, I like Kid, and I love her nickname - `Kid' as in she can be `any' kid. It felt that way to me, too. She wasn't a poseur.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donna C on May 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 UNIDENTIFIED, not so awesome of a book).

Kid is your standard I DON'T WANT TO FIT IN chick that purposely goes out of her way to not blend in with the crowd. Too bad for her that has the adverse effect and her nonconformist attitude gets picked up by the mall/school sponsors as the new uncool cool. Really, a bit on the lame side. The anti-popular popular. Kid then gets branded and her best friend totally hates her for it because BEST FRIEND has been trying soooooooooo hard to get branded (aka sponsorship and free stuff with access to a VIP lounge) whereas Kid obviously bucked the system. A boy gets involved that equally contributes to the screwing up of things because her other best friend, <s>Ducky</s> Mikey, totally digs her but, of course, doesn't say anything until it's too late and then holds it against her. Brilliant.

Kid makes an effort to seek out The Unidentified, whom I originally thought to be this epic paramilitary group that could exist in Red Dawn or something but it turns out they're just the school freaks with weird hair that buck the system even more than Kid. More disappointment. I saw The Unidentified "twist" coming almost as soon as it entered simply because it played out exactly as what it was. But whatever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CRISTY on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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?.. the possibility for greatness was so there. Sadly UNIDENTIFIED starts out really slow and takes like half the book before it starts to pick up; making it really hard to get into and ending just as it's starting to get good. Although I found protagonist, Katey "kidzero" to be a likable and well fleshed-out character, she wasn't enough to save the story for me. I guess I just wanted it to be.. more.

Rae Mariz's futuristic world is reminiscent of Scott Westerfeld's EXTRA (book 4 of the Uglies).. but lacking the the luxury of a strong series to give it the backbone it sorely needed. UNIDENTIFIED, for me, regrettably fell short.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debbie's World of Books on November 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book definitely crept up on me. I started off thinking it wasn't going to grab me and next thing you know I could not put it down. It's not an action packed story but it is so fitting in the society we live in today and honestly it would not really surprise me if at some point we live life like this. The teens in the Game are so hooked into social networking that it's used for schooling purposes, socializing and advertising. All the students who participate in the Game are given an intouch which is a device that is basically like being on Twitter all the time. The sponsors of the Game post about promotions, friends can text one another and parents can even use the built in GPS to keep an eye on where their teenagers are at all times.

For many of the teens they strive to become "branded" which means that some company chooses to sponsor them and provide a lot of perks in exchange for those kids advertising their product. Some being better than others like advertising the latest clothing style while others are advertising tampons. I could relate to Kid because she is not totally comfortable with the idea of being branded and the attention it brings to her. She much rather stay in the shadows. So when she finds out about the Unidentified she can relate to them but there is a twist that I did not see coming with the purpose behind the Unidentifieds leader's plans.

Like I said it's not an action packed book and I feel like I just cannot do justice to why I enjoyed this book so much but Kid just drew me into her world.

I will have to say though there are some holes and questions left unanswered but I don't think they really took much away from the story.
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