Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn

It's the year 2025. Some things are different than we know now, such as:

  • There is no paper money - only e-cards, and most recently bar code tattoo's (also called 'too) on a person's right inside wrist where they are scanned, like food at a grocery store. 
  • Minimum wage is $18 an hour. 
  • Global-1 is issuing that everyone at the age of 17 must get a bar code tattoo or the ones who don't get the 'too will be a felon. 
  • AgroGlobal (a district of Global-1) creates all food. They replicate the seeds in plants, creating food when they want to rather than planting seeds in the ground to produce natural food. 
  • Robots run cash registers. 
  • Desktops in schools now have an iPad or eReader installed in it. 

Kayla Reed has just turned 17 and has been conflicted over whether she wanted to get the bar code 'too. After watching her father go crazy and try to cut the 'too off of his wrist, killing himself, she's inclined to stay away from her own bar code. 

However, Global-1 won their lawsuit against the government, stating that everyone of the age of 17 must get the 'too, or they will be committing a crime. 

After Kayla's world starts crumbling around her, losing everything and everyone she was close to, Kayla finds herself running from the government and police officials. She wants to keep her own identity instead of having her every action being followed. 

She decides to find a haven where others who are rebelling against the 'too live together. Instead of living in high society, they are living in the mountains, living day by day as the cavemen used to without technology. 

But they are also psychic - they can talk to one another through their minds and use energy to move things if they are strong enough. After seeing images of a war in the near future, Kayla is unsure what will happen to her and her new friends in their future. 

My Thoughts/Reflections
I really liked this book. When I first read the back, I got the image of Dark Angel television show with Jessica Alba where she had a bar code on the back of her neck after she broke out of a prison as a child. This is different, though, because everyone wants the 'too rather than only a select few can get one. 

Kayla had to grow up very fast in a short amount of time and I liked that about her. She might have complained about how tough things were, but she never gave up and always tried to find somewhere safe to be. 

This is the first book in a two book series, so I'm excited to see where Suzanne Weyn went in the second novel, The Bar Code Rebellion (which I'll be reading next to find out!). I hope I see more of the rebellion members and see Kayla initiate actions to hopefully get rid of the bar code law. 

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a "futuristic" novel and if anyone is interested in the future of credit cards/banking topics, since this is basically related to those topics. The twists and turns Weyn takes throughout the novel is also refreshing as I didn't see all of them coming ahead of time. 

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