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by Rae Mariz

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-180208-9
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

In a near future in which corporations run schools and popularity is determined by whether or not you are “branded” by an advertiser, discontented musician Katey “Kid” Dade longs for “authentic” moments not based on market research. She gets one when a mysterious student group known as The Unidentified stages a fake suicide in order to shake their classmates from their sponsored stupor. Kid begins to search for the underground movement’s members even as she herself is branded by an online-security company. Dodging both her sponsor and friends, Kid uncovers a secret plot to play the corporations for fools using her as a pawn. Furious, she engineers and launches a technological counterattack that dupes both parties and secures her spot among The Unidentified. Though the rising suspense results in a dissatisfyingly low-stakes conclusion, debut author Mariz successfully creates a frighteningly real, sadly jaded world where teens’ material affections are bought and sold on an open market thinly disguised as education. Pass it along to fans of M.T. Anderson's classic Feed, Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother (2009) or Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. (Science fiction. 12 & up)