Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Book Review: Swipe by Evan Angler

Title: Swipe
Author: Evan Angler
Published by: Thomas Nelson (2012)

My Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭


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?

My Review:

This book was amazing! I loved, loved, loved it. It was captivating and very suspenseful, not to mention the author has incredible writing skills. There were numerous words that even I didn’t fully understand, and they flowed naturally in the story. A lot of books try this, but they never come off well—either the big words come off condescending, or like the author purposely put them in there to make it sound “better.” In Swipe, every word flowed, fit with the story, and made the story better. 

Characters: The characters were, plainly put, awesome. They were realistic and lovable and easy to connect to. There were a lot of characters, but the way it was written made it no problem to keep track of them all. Another truly amazing aspect is how every single character tied into the story in an important way. You start the story, meet all these random characters, and wonder how in the world they’re all connected, then it all comes together in the end. Not to say I didn’t see some of the reveals coming, but it was still done really well.
One thing worth mentioning as well is that despite the numerous characters, each one has their own personality and is their own person, truly developed and written in for a reason. I did not see one random background character that swoops in and out without contributing; every single character contributed, someway, to the plotline, and every character was very well done.

Negatives: On the downside, it was a bit confusing. I had trouble understanding certain scenes or what was happening. I can’t say for sure it was the writing or storyline itself, because this was a very detailed story, so I could have just gotten distracted and lost track of what was happening. But I will say that some of the dialogue was just so choppy—as well were a couple scenes—and in the beginning I had a hard time making sense of things. However, I have to say, my confusion never lasted for long and it did all make sense in the end. It was just a smidge confusing in the beginning.

The other downside I have is the random ‘girl problems’, as Logan puts it, that seems to be going on behind everything: Logan trying to figure out who he likes and who likes him. Oh, Hailey likes me. Hmm, but I think I like Erin. Does she like me?—that sort of stuff. And I suppose that the stuff between Erin and Logan, well that’s realistic and understandable at that age. So I do understand the reason behind it, mostly, and I appreciate it that there is actually a reason. But for me, in the context of the story it just seemed completely out of place. I’m glad the author didn’t take it any further, though I am curious to know if there’s going to be future stuff between Erin and Logan (I hope not, as they are such great friends right now and I’d hate to see it turn into romance).

As a whole however this was a spectacular read. Vivid, suspenseful and full of fun, this is one book you don’t want to miss: a unique dystopia in a world of stereotypes.

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