Author: Evan Angler
- Series: Swipe #1
- Published: May 8, 2012
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson
- Reading Level: Middle Grade
- Pages: 275 pages (paperback)
- Source: Won
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.~*~Lili's Reflections~*~Sometimes you know you have a decent story in front of you, but other outside circumstances are preventing you from liking it. I think this was the case for me. I knew that aspects of this story were incredibly interesting, but reading it was a struggle. It took me a solid two weeks to pick up this book after I got through the first fifty pages because I didn't want to. Then, what should have been an easy two hours to finish it up the day I picked it up once more, turned into a several hour session where I kept picking the book up after putting it down just to do it again because I couldn't fully focus on it. It never truly pulled me in and put me in a temporary reading funk. I know many people enjoyed it, but this one wasn't for me.Needless to say, this is why I plan on keeping this review short.As promising as the plot was, it just fell flat. The world-building was not that detailed and at times it was incredibly unorganized. The antics of some of the characters was incredibly juvenile, as was the writing style in specific parts of the story. A random decision to go and risk your lives on a spy mission is story-book nonsense. To keep going back is a suicide mission. To refuse to alert authorities is sheer stupidity. To do everything that is going against ones better judgment is unnecessary and I found the characters to be more frustrating than anything else. I couldn't relate for them, I didn't pity them nor really connected to them. I understood their paranoia, but so many aspects of this book were unrealistic to me.Angler's writing style is unique, I'll give him that. It's generally geared more towards a younger audience. No complexity, not extensive descriptions, no big words or complicated plot twists. I think this was a large part of why I had trouble with this book. I like some middle grade and I can't deal with some because the themes are too simple and incredibly predictable. Unfortunately, this is one of those books that is too simple and incredibly predictable.Would I recommend this book? Yes, to those who want an interesting sci-fi with a really unique concept of the stamp. Do I recommend it with intensity? No. Will I check out the sequel? Probably not, but you never know. What was an unsatisfactory read for me was more than satisfactory to many of my fellow readers, so I encourage you to choose for yourself whether you want to give this book a chance or not. As for me, I plan on shelving it and not looking at it for a decent portion of time.2.5 stars
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