Monday, July 27, 2015

REVIEW: The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn

The Bar Code TattooIndividuality vs. Conformity

Identity vs. Access

Freedom vs. Control

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.

I've seen this book around, but never picked it up because of the awkward cover. I saw it at a cheap book sale, though, so I figured "why not?". I probably could've done without reading this book. It wasn't horrible. It's your typical dystopian, but it was just meh overall.

Everyone is getting the bar code tattoo. Everyone over the age of 17 gets one. The tattoo is becoming the new currency and it carries all of your information. What's the big deal? It's not a problem if you have nothing to hide? But normal people's lives are being destroyed by this tattoo, while others are getting promoted. Kayla is against the tattoo and knows that it's dangerous, but when her society is getting closer to it being mandatory, can she keep her promise to herself? And what is in those bar codes?

This book is your typical dystopian. Government tries to be utopia, everyone goes along with it, except for MC, and MC joins rebellion. This isn't bad, but I've seen it all before (though, this book was published before the dystopian craze, so I can't really blame the book). I still liked the idea behind this book. I thought the tattoos were interesting and you really see a sheep-like effect in the population with the introduction to the tattoo, then they ignore any bad rep. It was also interesting seeing how fast and far things escalated. It's sad to say that this is how people would probably react, but it's true. I would also like to mention that there was a surprising kind-of paranormal-ish element to the book. It made it a bit different.

Now, I'm sorry to say that from here on, my review is going to be a bit negative. The book wasn't bad, but I couldn't ignore the flaws. My main problem was the pacing. The pacing was extremely fast, which meant that we were told things rather than shown and some parts were completely skipped over. There is one part where it mentions that Kayla's birthday is weeks ago, then the next chapter she wakes up on her birthday! Where did the time go?

Kayla, as a main character, was okay. I liked that she was into art and how she stands up for what she believes in, but other than that, there really wasn't much to her. The characters in this book felt really flat to me, not just Kayla, everyone.

As for romance, it was there, but it was so flat! There were actually two love interests, but I felt NOTHING for either of them, because their characters were so flat. Also, the thing I like about romance in books is all the feels. The romance was just cardboard. Instead of describing the kiss, it was described as "we kissed". Then they supposedly loved each other and had dates, all of which were skipped over!

Overall, this book was just "meh". I liked the idea and despite it being a typical dystopian, it had some new ideas. The pacing, though, was too fast and both the characters and romance were pure cardboard. I wanted to like this book, but I couldn't ignore the flaws. As for continuing the series, maybe. If I see it at another book sale, I'll pick it up. Otherwise, I'll just pass.

I hereby give this book
2.5 Stars
Meaning: I almost liked it, but not quite

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