I bought this book on the fact it sounded like a different spin on the Hunger Games trilogy, and I had previously read Suzanne Weyn's Distant Waves
If you can get this book for cheap, it is worth it. It's 250 pages long, and I managed to finish it within two bus journeys (on the same day) going to and from work.
It's a good story, if sometimes a bit too convenient, unbelievable and predictable. The story centres around Kayla, who is on the cusp of turning 17. It's set in the future, and people have bar codes tattooed onto their wrists (although the cover shows the tattoo placed on the upper forearm, I think the placement would have been better actually on the wrist, as described in the book) which have all your details included in them. But there is something suspicious about what exact information is included, and how it affects different people ...
If you're looking for a quick and easy book to read, this is for you. Suzanne has written an interesting and intriguing book, which will get you thinking about what could happen in the future. As I mentioned, it's in the same kind of vein as the Hunger Games, but without the Battle Royale scenes.
For such a short book, the character development isn't up to much. The only characters who really get the majority of page time are Kayla and Amber, the rest of the cast can only be described as cardboard cut outs. In fact, I can't even remember half of the names now.
The only sections of the book which I didn't like were the 'dream' sequences (these made NO sense) and I think the ending could have done with some work. But then again, I am not really the target audience for this sort of book (YA books have come on in leaps and bounds - in my day all we had was Sweet Valley High and Babysitter's Club!) and I do think Suzanne has done a good job with this book.
There is a sequel The Bar Code Rebellion
, which is on my wishlist, but I'm now a bit unsure about it. There is a lot of hints, particularly in the dream sequences, that could possibly be used in a sequel. But I think it would have to bring something new and not just be a re-hash of the original, which I suspect it could be. Plus, it's not cheap to get a hold of, and all the copies listed on Amazon are shipping from the USA. I might consider it in the future however. I will be interested to see what other books she has written, as she does have potential as an author.