Suzanne Weyn has written many books for young adults including Distant Waves, Reincarnation, Empty, and Invisible World. She lives in New York, and you can find her at www.suzanneweynbooks.com.
Voice of Youth Advocates
(April 1, 2005; 0-439-39562-3)
In 2025 America, everyone is getting the bar code tattoo on their wrist, containing financial and medical information. After sixteen-year-old Kayla Reed's father commits suicide and her best friend's family members are forced to move after receiving their bar codes, Kayla joins the resistance group Decode and refuses to get her tattoo when she turns seventeen. Readers encounter many cliffhangers as Kayla survives a house fire, escapes the hospital before getting tattooed, is accused of murdering her mother, hitchhikes to the Adirondacks, and wanders the wilderness sick with fever and desperate to avoid corporate and government enforcers and double agents her age. After joining a camp of resisters who are developing psychic abilities in response to the changing social and cultural environment, Kayla regains the strength to fight another day. The science fiction angle of the corporate/government powers using bar codes to weed out the unfit and uplift those with the least genetic flaws for future cloning is complemented with a discussion of how credit cards were the seeds of consumer tracking. A subplot of the elderly being euthanized in hospitals to save insurance costs is equally disturbing. Mixed in with such thought-provoking substance are some distracting subplots. A romantic triangle between Kayla and two classmates seems forced and used only to heighten suspense and move a plot that is already progressing well, and the conclusion involving people quickly evolving psychic abilities is under-explored. Teens will enjoy this book with its intriguing cover and suspense but might find the ending unsatisfying.-Julie Scordato.
School Library Journal
(February 1, 2005; 0-439-39562-3)
Gr 6 Up-It's 2025, and the thing to do on your 17th birthday is to get a bar code tattoo, which is used for everything from driver's licenses to shopping. Kayla, almost 17, resists because she hates the id