Posted by: Natalie Hatch | January 12, 2011

The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

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 play.

When a group calling themselves The Unidentified simulates a suicide to protest the power structure of their school, Kid’s investigation into their pranks attracts unwanted attention from the sponsors. As Kid finds out she doesn’t have rights to her ideas, her privacy, or identity, she and her friends look for a way to revolt in a place where all acts of rebellion are just spun into the next new ad campaign.
Okay, where do I start? Rae has crafted a well told, minimalist story, that I could really see happen at some point in time. We’ve had such a revolution in personal space being invaded by reality tv, social media sites like twitter/facebook/bebo etc, and text messaging causing instant celebrities. Sponsored high school is just a step away. What would you do if to get ahead in the social circles at school you had to be sponsored by companies, those with more sponsors are the popular kids, the jocks, the socialites, the queen bees, and they rule the school.

The book really is for older teens as some of the ideas are very adultish (not that there’s any content other than a bit of strong language etc). We will be interviewing Rae later on this month, can’t wait to pick her brain.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Diane Curran. Diane Curran said: New @ We Love YA The Unidentified by Rae Mariz […]

  2. Looks one to add to my “get for oldest kid” list next time I hit the stores.

  3. yeah Andrew, it is a great read, but there’s a few heavier concepts in there that really need an older teens understanding. I think by older I mean 14+, I know there are a lot of 9-11yr olds that read YA. It does make you think about what’s happening with the social media/instant stardom fad that’s happening at the moment.

  4. The oldest is 15, and pretty well read. I might also have to have a squiz at it – purely in the interests of research of course 🙂

  5. I saw this one mentioned somewhere else and was instantly intrigued. I really enjoyed Feed so I’ll have to check it out.

  6. How wonderful to see a “real world” YA novel. Much prefeerable to the romantic lives of a girl, her vamp & his werewolf & with a stronger more immediate & real life lesson. Kudos.

  7. It’s a great read Elleanor, highly recommend it.

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