Katey Dade aka Kid is the main character in The Unidentified by Rae Mariz. In Katey’s world kids don’t go to school. They attend “ The Game” a renovated mall where life is more like a computer game then the world that we are used to. In Kateys world the government got to the point that it could no longer procure the funds for education. So, companies saw this as an opportunities to mold young minds (to their products) and took over. There are no grades like 11th or 12th there are only levels 13-17. Once a “gamer” hits level 17 they are considered graduated. Companies act much like big brother to kids within the game and keep track of them via their Intouch (tricked out cell/GPS) and their profiles which are like MySpace and Facebook rolled into one. A gamers most important goal is to become “branded” where a company sponsors you and whatever you create, whether it be music a product it becomes their property. What makes it worthwhile for the gamer though ? Well status among their peers for one thing, but also free stuff and extra privileges like admittance into the VIP room,
Katey’s not your average gamer however, the spoils of branding do not interest her. What matters to her most are her friends Ari and Mikey. Ari is status hungry and craves being branded while Mikey is an adrenaline junky whose main goal in life is to just live life to the fullest an to have a good time and sometimes push the envelope. Things are going pretty well for all of them until some other students stage a protest of sorts by throwing a dummy with a dye filled balloon head off a high balcony into a busy plaza area of the game. Causing a stir because not until it reaches the ground do others realize it’s a dummy. The entire display scares the crap out of Katey and starts her on a journey that no one could have predicting and changes everything.
I liked this novel. It honestly scared me because the whole idea that’s spelled out in these pages is something that could very well come to pass someday. With the economy the way it is and the government trying to find money just to keep congress in session this fantasy could very well become a reality if we are not careful. I think that is what makes this a good book. It makes you think and really question the state of all of our lives and the roll that companies and advertisers play in it.