Swipe (Swipe #1) by Evan Angler0
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.
I think this cover is so epic. I love when covers manage to capture an important part of this story and maintain the mystery to draw people in. Anyone who says don't judge a book by it's cover has never seen an amazing cover for a book yet. This is by far one of my favorite book covers.
Swipe tells the story of a future America, once ravaged by war and separated based on differing ideals now united by one thing -- the Mark. The perspectives of the story shows the opposing views of a world that is as unfamiliar as it is familiar to the reader. Logan is afraid of the world ever since his big sister died while getting her Mark and with the day of his pledge coming up, he can't seem to think about anything else. Everyone tells him that he is being ridiculous -- that his fears are irrational and formed without sufficient evidence. Little do they know how right he really is. Erin is, well, proud to be a Mark bearing member of society and doesn't see any reason for Logan to fear. She is determined that everyone should see the benefits of being a member of this utopian society but where there is perfection on the surface, greater flaws simmer just beneath. These characters are about to realize just how big of a flaw is being hidden.
Logan is an endearing character from the beginning with his almost paralyzing fear of everything. In many ways, he reminds me of a young child but that sort of behavior presents itself for a long time after the trauma occurs. It didn't take seeing his sister taken to prove to him that there is a reason he should fear his community and his government. He grows a lot throughout the course of the story, maturing beyond his fear of everything partly because of his crush and mostly because of what the situations demand. I can relate very well with the way he struggles with what is considered right and what is considered wrong by his society. I feel like I do that a lot with different things so it was nice to see it portrayed in a character. One thing I admired about him is how cautious he is about everything. He doesn't take anyone at their word, instead he allows his own reasoning and his own opinions to make up his own mind. So many characters are so trusting, blindly following other people, and believing that everyone deserves that amount of trust. That is what causes betrayal.
Erin kind of maintains the role of a main character without being the complete center of the whole story. I had a different experience with her than I did with Logan because while his character was endearing, hers was off putting. She is extremely selfish, in the sense that she looks at everything to see what she has to gain from it. To a certain extent I think it is a defense mechanism of hers because she is pulled from her home, her life, and her mother. If I were in her position, yeah, that would be all I would think about. Especially if I could find a way back to her. This feeds into her need to appear stronger than she actually is. No one expects or anticipates that she should be strong after being up rooted but she is stubborn and that causes a lot of struggle for her throughout the story. Her biggest growth in the story is when she shows weakness and strength by betraying the society she has placed so much faith in. It showed me that despite her selfishness, a great part of her was actually selfless. I just didn't get to see it much.
The Dust are the perceived bad guys for the bulk of the novel. I learned a lot about their lifestyle and about what this utopian society did to those who remained Markless. What was unique about it was that these people were more than what the society believed them to be. They had an unflinching faith in their cause that I think Logan probably should've been jealous of. How can they be so certain that their cause was right when he couldn't even decide if getting the Mark was the right idea? The best part of these "bad guys" was the fact that you really got to see into their lives through the alternating perspectives of the stories. Of course, their side of the story was few but it was nice to see who was behind the ominous group.
Logan's sister became a sort of icon throughout the story, at least for me. I grew attached to a character that never really showed up in the story other than being mentioned. Her story as a girl who was essentially perfect in her family's eyes suddenly wasn't good enough in her society's. It made me question what I deemed perfect and beautiful compared to what really was. Who decides whether something is perfect? Society or us?
I miss the days when getting a hug from a guy was pass out worthy. Oh, the joys of being young, right? I love simplicity in relationships and the build up to them if any occur. I hate relationships that just happen or suddenly appear. Not cool, not cool at all. The relationship ( I use the term loosely) between Erin and Logan flip flops between, well, awkward acquaintances, friends, friends pretending to be in a relationship, to a full out crush. Of course, the saying is a crush is meant to be crushed. I think we will see more occurrences of this duo throughout the series but that is just my assumption. There was a couple other little side relationships or hints toward crushes that potentially might bloom in the future. I can't wait to see what happens. Friendship played a huge role in the film both behind what created the Dust and what Logan depends on throughout the story. I learned a lot about the importance of friendship as well as how easily it is taken for granted.
I liked this story. It was a great dystopian with a beautifully created society and culture that I think will develop into something extremely captivating as the series progresses. Check it out!