Friday, November 26, 2010

Book Review: Bar Code Tattoo

The Barcode Tattoo
by Suzanne Weyn

Synopsis: (From Powells)
The bar code tattoo. Everybody's getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity. But what if you say no? What if you don't want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There's no option but to run . . . for her life.Indivuality vs. conformity.. Identity vs. access. Freedom vs. control.The bar code tattoo.

Why I picked up this book: The cover, the synopsis, and the many reviews saying it was worth reading

My thoughts:
I was intrigued by the synopsis, sold by the cover, and hopeful for the outcome.  What happened?  Well, to me... the book didn't.

I loved the idea that Weyn created, of the government being taken over by a corporation, which gradually made it a requirement for every citizen to wear a bar code on their arm.  It replaces money, cards, ID, everything.  Kayla, the main, is thrown for a loop though when her father commits suicide, her mother goes crazy, and she becomes friends with a rebel group at school, all because of the bar code.  All very reminiscent of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, only with a tattoo other than all-out plastic surgery.

Why didn't I like it then?

Though the plot was capturing, the writing wasn't.  It was very simple, almost adolescent in style, and I had to force myself through it.  I wanted badly to see where the story went, but with the writing the way it was, I was more tempted to pull out my red pen and do major editing instead.  There were many places where Weyn could have told more, left more mystery, pretty much done...more.  But she didn't.

Then I looked at the publisher and a little bit of it made sense.  Scholastic, you old devil.

While Weyn did a good job at portraying the story and wrapping up the lose ends, I never felt fully connected, pulled in, or satisfied.  I did not hate this book, but I highly doubt it is a book I will ever pick up to read again.


My rating:

2 out of 5 stars

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