Author: Evan Angler
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2011
Genre: Sci-Fi; Futuristic
Target Audience: Middle-grade readers (ages 10-14)
“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.”
As an avid reader, it pains me to come across a book other readers hold in high esteem and feel that it falls short. Dystopians are usually my favorite reads, and thus it usually takes me the least amount of time to read them. It has been years, and I cannot bring myself to finish it.
Simply put, Swipe did not live up to the expectations I had for it. It is written for middle-grade readers, so I expected a simpler writing style and plot line. What I did not expect was the extreme boredom I would feel as the protagonist was thrust from one impossible scenario to the next with little time to breathe between overcoming obstacles. It isn’t that I disapprove of the action–I love a good thrill as much as the next reader. What was frustrating for me was that so much happened without much description or detail that it was difficult for me to connect with the characters and insert myself into the story.
I know the overall idea behind the story has great potential, and perhaps I went into the book with the wrong expectations. If a middle-grade reader picked up this book, perhaps they wouldn’t notice the flaws I found with my own reading experience. However, I don’t think the book would attract the attention of a struggling reader, or of an individual who does not passionately enjoy reading young (young!) adult sci-fi.
Needless to say, I will not be seeking out the next book in the series.