Fifteen-year-old Katey (aka Kid) does not go to school in the traditional sense. Rather, she attends The Game, playing through the different levels. That's because when the government ran out of money for education, sponsors took over and converted old shopping malls to Game locations all over the country. Now everybody wins: the government is off the hook, the students get an education, and the sponsors have 24/7 access to kids for market research. After Kid witnesses a disturbing anti-sponsor stunt, she is intrigued by it's defiant message and determined to uncover those who are responsible. In the process, her trendspotting insights catch the attention of the sponsors, and Kid winds up "branded," which brings her status and privilege. But Kid learns the hard way that when it comes to sponsors, even rebellion can be used to make a profit.