Monday, August 16, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway: The Unidentified by Rae Mariz


15 year old Kid lives in a dystopian future where corporations run schools, using kids for market research and taking ownership of all of their creations. And if you don’t play by the Game’s rules, it’s GAME OVER for you and your future. Kid’s never really thought about the implications of all this corporate power over her life until one day she witnesses a prank by an anticorporate group called The Unidentified. As her interest in the group grows, she attracts the attention of the corporations, who want to repackage Kid and The Unidentified to fit their own agenda.

This novel just feels really timely, what with our present addiction to social media. Kid’s friend Ari does everything she can to “get branded” since a sponsorship by a corporation means free stuff and education perks. Officially, education being taken over by the Game is a great opportunity for the student since each has an independent study tailored to their strengths – and learning becomes incredibly interactive and fun (the scene which best illustrates this is one in which Kid masters a difficult math concept on a roller coaster type ride). It’s also a great opportunity for parents, because the outside world has become very dangerous and violent, and the Game not only provides a safe learning environment, it also offers tools to keep track of your kids and set permissions for where they can go and where they can’t.

Of course, as we learn through the course of the novel, the apparent generosity of these corporations who run the game comes at a great price – and it doesn’t stop at lack of privacy either (though it’s nothing as sinister as what the Stark Corporation is up to in Meg Cabot’s Airhhead series).

Though the plot is minimal, the setting and world building shines with perceptive insights into the effects of social media and branding. I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the Game, and following Kid’s journey from introverted wallflower with low scores to empowered, conscientious consumer.

My rating: 4 Zombie Chickens - An Excellent Example of the Dystopian Genre
 
 
THE UNIDENTIFIED comes out on October 5th in hardcover. Find out more about it at the publisher's website.
 
Since that's a while to wait, I am thrilled to be able to offer a publisher-sponsored copy of the novel to my readers in the US.  To enter the giveaway, simply tell me in the comments what corporation might want to sponsor you if you were playing the Game - oh and don't forget your e-mail address so I can contact you.  Giveaway will remain open until August 31st at 11:59 pm CST.
 
See index of all dystopian reviews on Presenting Lenore

46 comments:

Zibilee said...

This does sound very good, and I also agree that it's timely. I bet this would be a book that my kids and I would love, so I'd love the chance to win this one. If I had to have a corporation sponsor me, I think I would want it to be Apple. Couldn't beat getting all those free gadgets!

Sandy Nawrot said...

That is the cool thing about dystopian novels - the fact that not all of it is so outlandish. It isn't a very big leap to imagine a world like this (and it scares the hell out of me). Hmmm...who would I sell my soul to? Definitely Apple, a bookstore (Barnes & Noble?) or just to make it fun, maybe Williams & Sonoma.

Kristen said...

Wow, this book sounds great! If I had a corporation sponsoring me... I'd probably have to go with a cell phone company probably - Verizon.

:) Thanks for the giveaway!

dragonzgoil at gmail dot com

bermudaonion said...

This does sound timely. It reminds me a little of the nonfiction book Branded. I think I'd like this book a lot.

Kaitlyn (Kaitlyn in Bookland) said...

This sounds really good, thanks for the review! I think some nerdy based store would sponsor me. I would like to think someone as grand as Apple, but I'm not sure.

kaitlynkline[at]gmail[dot]com

Shallee said...

I think I'd want Amazon to sponsor me. All the free books I could get! :)

Sounds like an interesting book. I love dystopian-- both reading it and writing it!

Meredith said...

Walmart, because I'm always shopping there!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Steph Su said...

Oh goodness. Which corporation would I LIKE to sponsor me, or which do I think has the greatest likelihood of becoming a sponsor like the one in this story? I'm not sure--I can't think of anything that fits perfectly right now, but I really like the idea of Trader Joe's, or something else that supports environmental conscientiousness, small companies, individual attention, etc. What is more LIKELY is that megacorporations with no concern for human rights who are just focused on money, such as Walmart, would become sponsors.

And it's even MORE timely because the US just recently passed a law that is allowing corporations to publicly sponsor, i.e. give money to, political candidates they support. Who in their right minds ever thought that this was a good idea? Do you know how much corruption this will allow now?

Argh....

I do still want to read this book though, lol. Haven't heard much about it at all, but I'm glad to see it got 4 stars from you. :)

stephxsu at gmail dot com

Autumn said...

Target! Anything you could possibly need, food, clothes, sporting gear, books, electronics, etc all in one place

~The Book Pixie said...

I'd definitely say Canon! I'm very passionate about photography and it is their equipment that I use.

Awesome contest!

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

Judylynn said...

I also think Target would be a good choice.

I would love to win this book! Thanks.

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Alyce said...

I think Dutch Bros. would probably want to sponsor me (it's a regional coffee cart). I've certainly said enough good things about them on Facebook when I'm needing some caffeine. :)

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

AHS said...

I'm excited about reading this one. What a great premise.

Thanks so much for the giveaway! I think Starbucks would probably sponsor me, and that would be a good choice. After all, I think I'm already partially owned by them, anyway - especially during pumpkin spice latte season. (Ha!)

ahsturgis [at] mindspring [dot] com

Charlotte said...

hmmm...I'm thinking along the lines of Steph Su...something smallish, environmentally friendly...maybe Toms of Maine? not that I really want toothpaste, but they seem harmless. Although I vaugly think they may have been taken over by Big Toothpaste.

vonze said...

The Coca Cola corporation! I'd need Poweraid and Dasani.

Unidentified sounds really interesting. I'll need something to read after Mockingjay. I'd love to win this book!

Anonymous said...

This book sounds very exciting, would really love to read it.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I'm always sporting coffee, so probably Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks. I'd even go for a lesser-known or more local coffee brand to try and make it more popular. I could branch out to coffee accessories, like mugs and such. It'd be awesome!

mrsderaps @ hotmail . com

debbie said...

I would want amazon, you can get anything there.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Emily a.k.a WilowRaven : ) said...

Great review!

I'm going to go with KitchenAid - I love kitchen gadgets!

WilowRaven[at]yahoo[dot]com

Thanks!

Jordyn said...

I know they're not a corporation, but I really feel like Twitter would want to sponsor me just because I'm SUCH an obsessive tweeter... twitterer... whatever.

tencentnotes@gmail.com

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

This sounds great! I'd need either something like Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Apple to sponser me - or maybe DROID since I now have a droid phone.

foltzsfantasticbooks at gmail.com

PeechieKeen said...

That would be such an odd way of life... but interesting!

If I were to be branded, hopefully it'd be by Border's for awesome books or delia*s, for nice clothes. =)


kittenlover03@sbcglobal.net

baddict17 said...

I love dystopian novels, it's probably my favorite genre. This book sounds great! I think Target would sponsor me! Or 7Eleven. I'm always there!

Jenna said...

SunnyD would sponsor me, no problem. My love affair with the Orange Juice That Is Mostly Sugar (that's what I call it) began many years ago in a galaxy far, far away (Oregon). I had one drink in the hot summer months of childhood and could not deny it's deliciousness. It must always be stocked in my refrigerator despite being only 3% Juice. My love knows no bounds, and they would be fools to sponsor anyone else.

Anyways, this book looks amazing, and I am so happy to see it got your seal of approval. I'm really looking forward to it, and would love to be entered to win a copy.

Thanks for the contest!

jennapomme[at]yahoo[dot]com

The Library Lurker said...

Probably Borders! I'm there ALL THE TIME! This book looks so great!

librarylurker@gmail.com

Thanks for the contest!

Green Orchid said...

That seems like an interesting read. I suppose wit the use of phones and social media these days and seeing how far that has all come in a mere 10 years, who knows what will happen in another 10 years, perhaps The Game is not so far fetched at all!

SanJ.E said...

I'd definitely want a book store to sponsor me. Maybe Borders, I love it there! Thanks for the giveaway

sanjm95@live.com

Jessy said...

I would probably have to say Borders. I would want as many free books as allowed though. That would save me TONS of money!

Elizabeth Briggs said...

This book looks so good. I would totally be sponsored by a bookstore like Borders or maybe Amazon.

Ladytink_534 said...

I don't know, maybe some publishing companies lol? Ace, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Orbit, etc.

Sounds like a great book!

Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

(Bookish)InABox said...

I hadn't heard of this but it sounds really good. I love dystopians. :-)

whatinabox at gmail dot com

(Bookish)InABox said...

Umm, whoops, sorry. I meant to add this in before I clicked send.

I would want to be sponsored by Microsoft. Limitless technological power...

whatinabox at gmail dot com

Tia said...

I'd probably be sponsored by NBC because I talk about The Office way too much...

tiasbook AT gmail DOT com

Knighton said...

I would pick either Eddie Bauer or Barnes and Noble. I just had my students read Feed as their summer reading to tie in with 1984, so this book sounds interesting.

kknighton@jones.k12.ga.us

Thanks!

Muffin said...

If a company sponsored me it would definitely be Google. I already say they might as well own me... I have a Google phone, I use the Google browser, I have several Google email addresses, a Google phone number, well, you get the point. the.muffintaor at gmail dot com

Jacqueline C. said...

RIM because I'm addicted to my Blackberry and Apple, specifically for their iPods because I'm a junkie for those too.

Ashley said...

I think I'd pick Amazon. I get most of my online books there, and you can find everything on that site!

basicallyamazingbooks [at] gmail [dot] com

vokalchick said...

This sounds very interesting! I love dystopian novels. I think Amazon would sponsor me. You can get whatever you want from there!

Thanks for the chance to win this book:-)

vokalchick@gmail.com

Michelle said...

I just added this to my wishlist! I read the Meg Cabot Airhead series so I'm sure I'll find this enjoyable as well.

Christina said...

Not being particularly sporty, I would probably not get one of the main sponsors, like Coca Cola or Walmart. I think the only places that might sponsor me would be something like Penguin Group, since I could do some awesome market research for them. And I could probably be talked into following the party line for free access to new books!

cynicalsapphire@gmail.com

allisonsbj3 said...

I'd love for Vera Bradley to sponsor me.

allisonsbj3(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

I'd probably be sponsored by 7/11 - I do love they are open 24/7... which should be their name.

adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Norma said...

Disney. It's one powerful mouse.

bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

Melissa said...

I would have to say Bed Bath and Beyond.


giveawaymommy at yahoo.com

Nova said...

My first choice would be Apple - 'cuz they're freakin' amazing.

If Apple's already taken, I'd go with Starbucks.

novapsych674 at aim dot com ^.^

Maddie M. said...

I want to be entered!
Hmm.. probably Starbucks.((:

maddie.mcphail@gmail.com