By: Rae Mariz
Review copy provided by publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads): 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.
My Review: I was so excited about this book. Dystopia, a nice message about the dangers of consumerism, and a dialogue on privacy. I read reviews from Lenore and Steph Su, and I thought I would love this book. I imagine you can see where this is going. I was pretty underwhelmed. I wasn't able to connect with Kid, and if I can't connect with the main character, it just doesn't work for me.
But, I think this book will have a lot of fans, so I want to highlight some of the things that I think other will like about this book.
While Kid's character didn't work for me, I think a lot of people will like her. She's just an ordinary girl who likes to hang out with her friends and play music. She likes to stay under the radar, doesn't have a lot of ambitions to get "sponsored" and doesn't challenge things in her life. So, while a lot of people could relate to her, I just wanted more from her.
I also wasn't fully convinced of the purpose of The Game. I was told that it was supposed to be a solution to the budget crises of the public school system. But, the story didn't show me that that was the case. They had a few text message questions and some other projects, but I really didn't think a lot of learning was happening. No one in their right mind would think that this was an adequate substitute for school.
But, if you can buy into the concept of The Game and see it as a commentary on consumerism and privacy, then you will probably really enjoy the book. One of the things I really liked about the book was how few of Kid's relationships were genuine. Social networking and branding were so important in this society that you never knew the real motivation behind friendships.
So, while this book only left lukewarm feelings in my heart, if you give it a try, I hope it lights your fire.
Drugs and Alcohol: Mild