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Friday, April 20, 2012

Swipe review

Publisher's Description:

Everyone gets the Mark. It gives all the benefits of citizenship. Yet if getting the Mark is such a good thing, then why does it feel so wrong? 

Set in a future North America that is struggling to recover after famine and global war, Swipe follows the lives of three kids caught in the middle of a conflict they didn't even know existed. United under a charismatic leader, every citizen of the American Union is required to get the Mark on their 13th birthday in order to gain the benefits of citizenship.

The Mark is a tattoo that must be swiped by special scanners for everything from employment to transportation to shopping. It's almost Logan Langly's 13th birthday and he knows he should be excited about getting the Mark, but he hasn't been able to shake the feeling he's being watched. Not since his sister went to get her Mark five years ago . . . and never came back.

When Logan and his friends discover the truth behind the Mark, will they ever be able to go back to being normal teenagers? Find out in the first book of this exciting series that is Left Behind meets Matched for middle-grade readers.

My Review:

  This dystopian fiction book is a great read for middle school kids and up (including adults!!).  Imagine a world in which life itself is dependent upon being "marked".  You can't buy anything without it and it is a symbol of adulthood, a celebrated event.  That's not so hard for those of us who have read the New Testament and know it is coming.

After some serious world-wide conflict (alluded to but not included in the book) government officials banned together and created world peace.  Citizens were asked to voluntarily take the mark to show their commitment to the new peace.  Fast-forward a few years and we are introduced to Logan, a normal teen struggling with normal teen stuff.  A best friend who seems to be drifting away, a female best friend who is acting strangely, and feelings for a new girl who moves to town that seems to be so much more worldly than he is.

Logan has doubts about the mark, partly because his sister never came back from her marking ceremony, and partly because of the things his grandmothers says about how wrong it is, despite the fact that she too has the mark.  Add to that the feeling of being watched and that kids are disappearing.

The first of the series introduces us to the main characters and the story.  At the end of the book we are left with a lot of questions.  What is the mark really?  What happens with Logan?  What happens with Erin, the pretty gal from the city?  What about The Dust, the group of street children who refused the mark?  And what is DOME, the government body that acts so secretly and is responsible for administering the mark, up to?

The characters, however, are fleshed out and despite the cliff hanger ending it is a great introduction and I look forward to seeing where Evan Angler takes them in the next installment!

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