Title: The Unidentified
Author: Rae Mariz
Release Date: October 2010
Published By: Balzer and Bray
Goodreads Rating: 3.38 stars
Review: Kid knows her school monitors every aspect of her life, but she doesn't mind. After all, it's all a part of the Game, the alternate education system most of the country's high schoolers are enrolled in. But when a group called the Unidentified simulates a suicide to protest the power structure, Kid's investigation draws herself attention from the sponsors. Suddenly she finds herself trying to revolt in a world where every rebellion is spun into an ad campaign.
Does it even need to be said? THE UNIDENTIFIED has one awesome dystopian concept. The idea of a corporate-sponsored "game" where everyone is brainwashed with ideas and activities is one that would interest pretty much everyone, and so I was definitely looking forward to this one. Fortunately, I wasn't disappointed!
Kid narrates the novel with a very easy-to-read voice that made the story seamlessly flow from one plot point to the next so well that I would look up only to find that I've just gone through a giant chunk of the book. She's a natural and strong character whose voice shines straight through the pages, and anyone could easily relate to her. The only thing that bothered me was her name, but that was something that can be easily overlooked.
One part that was interesting to note was the slang Kid used. In some dystopian novels I've read, the slang feels very forced and unnatural, and I just spend the whole story wincing every time it comes up. Here, though, it blended in perfectly well and actually sounded quite realistic without being inaccessible or jarring. The only slang expression that bothered me was "oh my Google"; I get the humor behind it, but it did startle me a bit every time it came up.
All in all, THE UNIDENTIFIED is an exciting story with an intriguing premise and well-developed concept. From the very first page, Kid's distinctive voice pulls you right in and doesn't let go until the very last. Dystopian action and contemporary-esque drama combine in this fantastic, easy-to-read novel. All I can say is, I sure hope there's a sequel!