Bookshelf of a (Maybe) Teen Author, by Emily Russell
Logan is just months away from getting Marked – from becoming a free adult. But his sister left for her Mark five years ago and never returned… and Logan swears he’s being watched.
This book is awesome. It’s set in future North America (dystopian? yes, please!), where all citizens of the American Union can receive the Mark on their thirteenth birthday. Pledging to receive the Mark isn’t required, but it’s the only way to go to the movies, buy groceries, or do any other adult activity – so everybody does. Everybody except the Markless, who are dreaded and dangerous criminals.
But to Logan, the Mark creates a mixed reaction. On the one hand, he knows it’s supposed to be the right thing to do. On the other hand, he is one of the few children who know that Flunkees – those who die during their Pledge – are real. His sister Flunked her Pledge five years ago. Then there’s the matter of his paranoia; nobody believes him, but he knows he’s been watched since her death. Things only get worse when a new girl comes to town and Logan becomes involved in a conflict of international proportions.
I love futuristic novels, and this one didn’t disappoint. It’s a fast read that holds your attention and keeps you turning pages. The plot was great, and the characters were realistic. I especially liked the parts where Logan and the new girl brushed with the Markless – although I won’t say anything else. No spoilers here. 🙂
My only complaint would be the intended audience. The book is marketed to kids age 7-10; but, with the setting, characters, and events combined, I would be more inclined to recommend Swipe for kids ages 9-13. There’s some romantic elements and complicated world building, although not enough to make this YA fiction. If you’re a teenager who’s not opposed to reading younger characters (like I am), then you’re sure to enjoy it, too. I’ve already read (and love!) the sequel, Sneak, which released this September.
While I originally chose this book just for reviewing purposes, my brothers and I recently started a family book club and chose Swipe for our first book. There are no discussion guides available at the moment. So I wrote my own! The author himself has read and loves my questions; if you’d like to use the discussion guide yourself, just email me at email@example.com. I’d post it here, but it contains some spoilers.
All in all, I give this book 4.5 stars and look forward to more from Evan Angler. I received this book for free through BookSneeze in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Emily Rachelle is a homeschooled junior in love with Jesus and the world of words. You can read more book reviews, as well as poetry, opinions, and everyday chatter at her blog, Blog of a (Maybe) Teen Author.