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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tyranny Takes Hold
In the world of the near future, people are getting bar codes tattooed on their arms to make life easier. If you want to pay for something, just flash your tattoo. It can't be stolen or lost and its very secure. But despite the advantages there are still some how do not trust the tattoo. They feel their rights and freedoms are taken away by the tattoo. Kayla is one...
Published on August 30, 2006 by Joshua Koppel

versus
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for teenagers who don't want to be challenged
Overall this wasn't a bad book. The premise was interesting, the action was fast-paced(although some events were far-fetched and a little too convenient), and it kept me entertained. A teenager looking for an entertaining book to keep them occupied in English class should pick this up.

However, readers looking for something complex and deep in the story will be...
Published on March 20, 2005 by Crystal


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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for teenagers who don't want to be challenged, March 20, 2005
This review is from: The Bar Code Tattoo (Mass Market Paperback)
Overall this wasn't a bad book. The premise was interesting, the action was fast-paced(although some events were far-fetched and a little too convenient), and it kept me entertained. A teenager looking for an entertaining book to keep them occupied in English class should pick this up.

However, readers looking for something complex and deep in the story will be disappointed. The characters are underdeveloped and flat(Mfumbe and Zekeal are practically the same person), the plot-twists are often predictable or convenient, and the ending seems rushed. The author could have done so much more with this.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tyranny Takes Hold, August 30, 2006
By 
Joshua Koppel (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bar Code Tattoo (Mass Market Paperback)
In the world of the near future, people are getting bar codes tattooed on their arms to make life easier. If you want to pay for something, just flash your tattoo. It can't be stolen or lost and its very secure. But despite the advantages there are still some how do not trust the tattoo. They feel their rights and freedoms are taken away by the tattoo. Kayla is one who does not want the tattoo. Then things begin to go very wrong starting with the suicide of Kayla's father.

Kayla's best friend is out on the street when her family's tattoo seem to have stopped working. They need to move to a relative's house. More and more trouble seems to be brewing. Then Kayla finds herself on the run from the law and it becomes criminal not to have a tattoo. Kayla joins up with other resisters and work on strengthening themselves for a confrontation with the world of the tattoo. Is there something sinister in the bar codes? What is really going on with the tattoos? You will have to read to find out.

A very good and scar story that shows how freedom can be lost slowly without resistance. Although the story idea come from the Book of Revelations, this is not a religious story. Nor is it political. It is mostly emotional. Kayla makes a wonderful backdrop to view changing society against. I was somewhat confused by the corporation behind the tattoo. It seems to be an entity unto itself without actual people behind it. It is had to believe that anyone behind the tattoo would use it to make the masses smarter, stronger, healthier and more powerful than themselves. I think people should read this book before something similar happens in the real world. Check it out.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother, May 23, 2008
This review is from: The Bar Code Tattoo (Mass Market Paperback)
This book only sounds good in the plot review. In truth, it is an absolutely horribly written book with plot twists that are so predictable and cookie cutter characters. There is hardly any real worth to reading this book, which is dissappointing because the idea behind it is very interesting, although not original.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars good premise, not so good writing, April 29, 2007
A Kid's Review
This review is from: The Bar Code Tattoo (Mass Market Paperback)
After reading the back of the book, I decided to read this. The premise was unique and interesting, and it sounded good. However, after reading it I regret ever having done so. The writing was poor, and the author seemed to flit from one thing to another without a thought of consistency or plot development. One moment she meets new people, then she flees again, then she suddenly develops an aptitude for telepathy. Its hard to figure out where the author is trying to go with anything, and the book as a whole was just a mess. I definitely do not recommend this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Awful, August 16, 2011
This review is from: The Bar Code Tattoo (Mass Market Paperback)
This is easily one of the worst books I've ever read. The plot is poorly thought out, with new plot points springing from the pages without warning and without just consideration. Rather than flowing seamlessly from one event to the next, it seems as though the author added in random ideas whenever she got bored. Every time the scene becomes too static, she introduces a betrayal or kills someone off.

And because of the poor planning of this novel, the story begins a million miles away from where it ends, leaving many of the plot points unresolved or only hastily, untidily wrapped up.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bar Code By Suzanne Weyn, April 7, 2006
This review is from: The Bar Code Tattoo (Mass Market Paperback)
This science fiction, breath taking thriller will capture your inner heart and make you wonder about the years that are to come. Seventeen year old Kayla Reed finds herself lost and confused about the new fad of how to carry all your personal information: the bar code. Only, what if you say know, by making that one choice Kayla faces serious consequences. Her whole high school starts turning against her, and terrible things happen to her family and friends. Nothing is left of the life she once had. Her only choice is to run for what she has left. Struggling for survival, danger follows her everywhere and can't seem to escape the horror of the bar code.

This was not one of the best books I have ever read, but it gave me a good visual picture in my head about what the future might be like. It was hard to relate to what they were talking about since it was in the future. It didn't really seem that believable at first but once the story and the plot got going you could relate a little bit easier. This would be a good story for someone who want to know what the future may be like someday.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where do I even start?, February 21, 2010
This review is from: The Bar Code Tattoo (Mass Market Paperback)
This review is, by its nature, going to contain spoilers. You've been warned.

So, in this book we have Kayla, a conspiracy, and tattoos. And a heck of a lot of bad writing, so let's get started listing it as it goes!

1. Kayla. Kayla, Kayla, Kayla. Who the heck are you? This book is written in the freakin' first person, and at the end of it I'm still not sure what sort of a person Kayla is other than that she starts off being irrationally scared of the bar code tattoo and finds out that it's rational after all. All the characterization in this book is flat and bland (I'll get a note on the villains in a bit!), but it's terrible when it happens to the *narrator*, don't you think? If anybody in the book should have a personality, shouldn't it be our first-person protagonist? And yet, at the end, all I have are a collection of bare facts - she likes art, hates doing computers in school, and hooks up with disreputable folks all the time.

2. The bad guys. Well, we don't get to see any of the big bads - maybe in the next book (which I bought cheap so I suppose I'd better read), but we do get to see a few of the little bads - kids from Kayla's bar-code-resistance group who not only turned to the dark side but now go about forcibly trying to convert others to getting coded. One of them turns out to be a mega-problem, the other is all sighing and unrequited-crushing all over the place and angsting over having to turn Kayla in for a crime he knows or suspects she didn't commit when he also knows that he's wrong about tricking other people into getting bar codes. Or something, I don't know.

3. The science. "Oh, the people without barcodes are getting all psychic and all because evolution is forcing this on them!" Yeah, um, no. Evolution doesn't work that way, and being a pariah doesn't work that way either. "Oh, bar codes are inherently evil because the megacorporation that rules the world (more on this in a bit) is now cloning people and... stuff... and anyway if humans decide who gets to reproduce evolution won't work right!" Again, um, no. Humans have, for tens of thousands of years, decided who gets to reproduce. That's part of evolution. We don't just go out and do it in the street with whoever.

What's really annoying is that there's a good point in their commentary here (more on what that commentary *is* in the next section) but it's completely covered up by the bad science. Ugh.

4. Massive worldwide conspiracies ahoy! So, the bar code tattoo is being pushed semi-secretly by a worldwide company that owns all the seeds (which are all genetically modified and only bear fruit for one season so you have to keep buying - this is truth in fiction!) and all the livestock and the post offices and, like, everything. And not content with simply amassing power and cash, they've decided to play their hand at being outright evil, so now they've started:

Cloning (evilly)
Not allowing clones to get the tattoos that are about the only form of money left and then some
Secretly spreading information through the tattoos about people's genetic codes (this deserves a section of its own, hold on) just to mess with them
Controlling all the hospitals so nurses secretly kill everybody over the age of 80 and any baby whose genetic code indicates that it might, in the future, become sick

This is all so they can ineptly control human evolution. Or something, their motives aren't really explored.

The last one is what really gets me. I can believe that a shadowy organization might promote some of these things, sure... but exactly how many nurses and doctors are there? NONE of them is coming forward about this? Not a one? REALLY? They ALL are just happily going along with this little plan even though it's secret because, after all, it's evil and still illegal? REALLY?

The problem with conspiracy theories is that they rely upon conspiracies. And in the long run, I don't think a conspiracy of millions is going to stay secret for as long as this one apparently has.

5. Okay, so the bar code tattoos "really" contain information about people's genetic codes, so when scanned your employer knows if you're prone to schizophrenia or if, alternatively, you've got the code of an uberman. And people are being promoted or are losing their jobs because of this information, and they're being unable to purchase things at stores and all that. But nobody *knows* about it, and if you try telling people your fortunes changed dramatically, for better or worse, after getting the tattoo they think you're paranoid. Even though this happens to about half the people in one small high school, so you'd think it wouldn't be that secret after all.

Here's the thing. If it's really so secret... how do all the bosses know about this to discriminate? Again, it's the same problem as the nurses. Nobody is willing to cut a million dollar deal and come forward with their shocking tell-all about this? NOBODY?

6. In addition to the bar codes, we get hints that things have gotten a lot more repressive since 2004 when this book was published. In just 21 years tobacco and permanent decorative tattoos have been made illegal. College has gotten WAY more prohibitively expensive than it ever has been before. Only a few paranoid weirdoes think there's anything wrong with the government being able to track your every move (tattoos required to pay tolls) and purchase (no cash money anymore), or with locking up teenagers for not being tattooed.

In fairness, this theme was common in fiction so soon after 9/11. All the same... sheesh. Things just don't change as fast as all that. (Also? I highly doubt that at ANY point in the forseeable future we'll be living in a world where all art is done on computer and you have to go to art school to get an art job.)

Going along with that, though, the government's response to all this is to discredit the resistors by saying they're immature criminals, and that people with problems are suffering from paranoia. Their denials of a problem are so ham-fisted that your average seven year old would see through them, but the residents of three continents (Europe, Asia, and all of the US are stated as being highly bar-coded) don't? Really? People are that stupid in 2025? Maybe they do need to be watched for their own protection!

7. The whole thing was sprinkled in with random bits from Revelations. In real life, when I see people quoting from Revelations I put them in my crackpot file. Admit it, you do too. Why would people who honestly have dirt on real conspiracies waste their time discrediting themselves? Okay, so they were actually being led by a bar code enthusiast, got it, but they outnumbered him! Didn't any of them have the sense to see what a bad idea it is to add Revelations to... well, anything?
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyne, January 22, 2005
This review is from: The Bar Code Tattoo (Mass Market Paperback)
The year is 2025 and the latest craze is the Barcode Tattoo. It `s very convenient. Credit cards, debit cards, checks, cash, change... no longer needed. All information is now contained in the barcode tattoo. Now, even a teenager's allowance can be controlled by the barcode tattoo. To many, in this high-tech world, the barcode tattoo is great, convenient, and the thing to have. But is it really? What is really contained in a barcode? 17-year-old Kayla begins to question the use of them when her father, an FBI researcher, becomes insane over the tattoo and commits suicide trying to remove it. Her mother, a nurse, also makes some amazing discoveries about what the tattoo really contains. In fact, she too commits suicide trying to remove the tattoo. Now orphaned, Kayla runs for her life with an organization called "Decode", trying to escape the new law that has just been passed issuing everyone to be tattooed on his or her seventeenth birthday.

This riveting science fiction tale will be a best seller among our young adults. Weyn incorporates a lot of today's technology such as email, credit cards and just pumps up the technology slightly to make this story very realistic. She points out how things can be traced with credit cards, email, and cellular phones and incorporates how the tattoo is even more dangerous as modern society begins to take on Marxist beliefs. She also incorporates some new teen lingo into the story. Throughout the story she uses terms such as "people are all banged out"(mad, bent out of shape) and it adds some appeal. Character development is great, and the story is realistic. This book is a winner.

Kelly Anthony

Librarian

Rogers CAPA/ Greenway Middle
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bar Code Tattoo, October 21, 2005
This review is from: The Bar Code Tattoo (Mass Market Paperback)
Suzanne Weyn created a story that a much deeper meaning than what the title suggests in The Bar Code tattoo. The story is a battle between conformity and individuality that pits a girl who stands for what she beleives in against society. The story takes place in a futeristic era where money is pretty much useless because the bar code tattoo can be used as a substitute for money. The holder of the tattoo can include any information that the holder wants. After somebody gets the tattoo, the tattoo becomes their identity. Kayla doesn't want to become just another code in society, so she refuses the tattoo. This dicision outcasts her and bad things happen. The story was really intruiging and can be read by anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pros and Cons, January 7, 2013
By 
This review is from: The Bar Code Tattoo (Paperback)
SUMMARY:

On her 17th birthday, Kayla is elegable to receive her bar code tattoo. The tattoo contains all your information completely eliminating the need for physical copies of anything: medical records, banking information, etc. But something's not right. After her father gets the tattoo, he gets severely depressed and eventually commits suicide. Her best friends parents got fired and have lost all access to their information. Her mother dies attempting to burn her tattoo off. Kayla just doesn't want to risk it. She gets very suspicious and joins an anti-bar code movement at her school. After the bar code becomes law, Kayla must flee to avoid getting tattooed, so she runs to the mountains where the resistance is forming.

PROS:

1. It is very fast paced, no boring/slow parts whatsoever
2. It's fairly realistic. It's the sort of thing that could eventually happen in our society. It gets more science fiction towards the end though.

CONS:

1. Being so short and fast paced, there is little time to get to know the characters. It seems that the focus of the book is more on the events than on the characters. I would have liked a slightly longer book if it would have given the opportunity to understand the characters better.
2. Towards the end, the realism of the book fades, and it turns more science fiction, with the resisters somehow evolving to gain telepathic powers almost overnight, with little explanation as to why.
3. Kayla falls in love with two characters one right after the other. After she finds out her first boyfriend was a traitor to the cause, she falls in love with a new guy just a few chapters later. You could argue that, after losing every single person she ever loved, she was just latching onto anyone who would love her back. It was still annoying.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
I would recommend this book to someone who wants a quick but exciting read. I think that the plot twists would be predictable to adult readers, but a good level for teens or even young adults.

THE SEQUEL:
I have read the two other books in the trilogy, The Bar Code Rebellion and The Bar Code Prophecy, and found them both to be far superior to this one. It was worth reading this one to get to the next two.
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The Bar Code Tattoo
The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn (Mass Market Paperback - September 1, 2004)
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