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Series: Swipe (1)

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Swipe by Evan Angler

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I was really, really excited to read Swipe. But, I think the book I had just finished prior to starting Swipe was just SO good that I can only describe Swipe as tepid. It just seemed to lack something for me. I didn't really engage with the characters of Logan and Erin as much as I was hoping I would and that was disappointing. But, this is a Middle Grade book, not Young Adult. These kids are like 13 and right now they are limited.

I actually did enjoy Swipe. It is a quick read at only 275 pages, too. I would recommend this book to someone in the mood for an easy, interesting read. This book is extremely well written. I hope I don't discourage anyone from reading Swipe. In fact, I have been approved at Netgalley for the sequels, Sneak and Storm. And to be honest, I am about 38% into Sneak and it is already better than Swipe as far as more action. I'm looking forward to finishing the trilogy!

4 stars to Swipe.

Originally posted at Thinks Books: http://thinksbooks.blogspot.com ( )
  ThinksBooks | Apr 27, 2013 |
There are a lot of dystopian elements going on in here. Like a lot. Corrupt government. Check. Revised history. Check. Creepy ways to track all citizens. Check. Mysterious deaths. Check. Religion replaced with patriotism (The Inclusion). Check. Evil adults! Check, although that's not so much dystopian as MG/YA, but whatevs. So yeah, lots of things. They do all seem to nest pretty well and believably, which is good. Sometimes authors try to make too many things happen in their books, and it ends up feeling like a forced, cluttered mess, but not so Swipe.

Swipe is getting added to the list of books that tells me to stop being all judgey judge about books based on the publisher. Like Halflings, Swipe is published by Thomas Nelson, a Christian publisher. I have nothing against Christians, but I cannot deal with inspirational fiction at all, like when every chapter starts with a Bible verse and everyone's always praying and praising the lord (Hallelujah!) every other paragraph. However, these books are reminders to me that just because a novel is published under the Christian fiction umbrella, it really doesn't have to mean that it's pushing a religious message all up in your face.

Oddly, Swipe reminded me of The Immortal Rules, despite being for completely different age groups, and mostly different dystopians. What they share, though, is the mark. In Kagawa's I believe that the registered are branded or tattooed or something, which earns them a right to food from the vampire government. In Swipe, there's a similar system. People can choose not to be marked at the age of 13, but that means you're not getting anything. Son, you're on your own. Basically, the government is saying that unless you let us track you, you'll have to become a criminal to survive, so you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Nice.

The only thing that really didn't jive with me was the Dust. I have trouble seeing how the government could have trouble stopping that movement. I mean, they know where a lot of them are, and it's not like the people would really care. It just seems like, so far as resistance movements go, the Dust was pretty lame, and should have been easily nipped in the bud. Perhaps, though, this will receive explication later on.

Much of the story reads like a dystopian mystery. Erin and Logan take on the role of teenage sleuths to figure out who is watching Logan, and what Erin's dad is doing in Spokie. Swipe reads somewhere between middle grade and young adult, perhaps ideally aimed at folks in their young teens. However, I found it to be a solid, fun dystopian read, and will be checking out book two, Sneak, for sure. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
The world that Evan Angler builds in Swipe is, well...creepy. As stated in the synopsis, at the age of thirteen all citizens are required to get "marked" by the government. The mark is essentially Big Brother's human bar code. Without a mark, you are not eligible to earn money, spend money or have any societal benefits. Those who choose to remain markless end up squating in the slums, scrounging or committing crimes just to eat.

I loved the premise of this world, though admittedly the idea freaks me right the hell out. I can imagine a world where the government has a complete 'nanny state' control on it's citizens and I can see them spinning it as a good idea. Perhaps the fact that I can imagine it, is what freaks me out about it. Angler does a great job at taking the imagination to the next level.

Logan is a great character. He is so paranoid and scared and written with such care that you really can't help but feel for him. I practically tiptoed around in the dark with him. The other main character, Erin, left me wanting. I couldn't really connect with her. She's a tough girl, brave, confident but not empathetic. That was hard for me to like. She just wasn't very endearing most of the time. But a few of the other characters made up for what I was lacking in her.

All in all the story is a good one. My only real fault with this story is that, for a middle grade book, it lacked in action and humor. There is a bit of both, mind you. I'm just not sure there is enough of either to really hold most younger audiences attention.

Swipe ends on quite a cliff hanger and I am anxious to read book #2, Sneak which is due out in September. I think it promises much more action, to which I am looking forward to.

My Rating 3.5/5 Stars ( )
  MissAliGirl | Jan 29, 2013 |
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! ( )
  BailsChris | Jan 22, 2013 |
I began reading the second novel in this series first, which was a mistake. It kept me confused about the meaning of several tools they use. So, I picked up Swipe, and totally entered this dystopian world of the future of evolved technologies and one world vision. After the “Total War” everybody is thankful just to be allowed to live, and doesn’t examine the requirements of the leaders. Each person must swear their allegiance and then they receive a tattoo like marking on their arm that allows them to function in society. When Logan’s sister dies when she goes in to make her pledge, Logan’s family begins to fall apart, and Logan believes that he is being watched.

I definitely think that this series should be a hit with middle school and older students. The writing is tense enough that you will check over your shoulder to make sure you are not being watched. The book is clean, but the sense of ‘big evil government’ permeates the story. A must read for dystopian lovers, as well as those who enjoy a good mystery. ( )
  Glenajo | Dec 31, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140031836X, Paperback)

“Apocalyptic dystopian fiction at its best. Angler’s sharp wit and dexterity with political themes are matched only by the thrilling suspense on every page.” —Lis Wiehl, New York Times bestselling author and FOX News correspondent

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:23 -0400)

In a world where everyone must be Marked in order to gain citizenship and participate in society, a group of youngsters who questions the system struggles to identify the true enemy--while pursuing a group of Markless teenagers.

(summary from another edition)

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