The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn Reviewed by Emilee Evans

The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn

Summary from

The Bar Code Tattoo. Everybody’s getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity. But what if you say no? What if you don’t want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things start happening to her family. There’s no option but to run . . . for her life.

Imagine everyone peer pressuring you to get a tattoo that you feel like it could kill you. Kayla Reed does everyone in her society is required to get a bar code tattoo on their wrist on their seventeenth birthday. Kayla feels like the bar code is the mark of the beast after the traumatic events that have happened to her family. In the novel The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn I enjoyed the theme, plot, and setting.

I enjoyed the theme in this novel which I felt was freedom versus control. I felt that because at the beginning it was like if you wanted the tattoo fine and if you didn’t that’s fine too. After a while Kayla’s society was required to get the tattoo as soon as they turn seventeen and if they didn’t they would be placed in jail and other consequences if they resisted. Kayla felt controlled by her society she felt that if she didn’t want the tattoo she shouldn’t have to. Kayla feels like she should have the freedom to do what she wants. Kayla isn’t the only one who feels that way; Kayla meets a group of students called Decode who are against the tattoo just as Kayla is. So it seems…

I also enjoyed the plot in the novel The Bar Code Tattoo. The plot thickens as the story progresses in every chapter there is a surprising twist and outcomes. Also there is a cliff hanger ending that makes me want the finish the entire series. The novel beings with Kayla’s father comminuting suicide and her mother feels that the bar code is to blame so she tries to burn of her tattoo and causes a house fire that she traumatically dies in leaving Kayla to blame for homicide, after those events Kayla has to skip town and run for life.

Lastly I enjoyed the setting in the novel which was the year 2025 which is only 12 years away. I liked the setting because it made me think what if this really could happen in the future. What if my children will be required to get a tattoo that tracks their ever move when they turn seventeen. Thinking about your future is already hard to imagine and thinks that my society could basically take my freedom is freaky. This novel defiantly made me think about things.

Overall I loved The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn; I would recommend this book to teenagers because I feel that the book would intrigue them about their future giving them different scenarios and ideas about what their future could possibly be like. I also would recommend this book to people who genuinely love dystopian novels. If their like me they’ll enjoy the theme, plot and setting.


5 responses

  1. Emilee,

    First of all, this book review really has me interested in reading this book. The first thing that drew me in was when you said Kayla felt the tattoo was “the mark of the beast” because, biblically, this will happen someday; therefore, I completely think about how this would affect my future and my children’s futures if it were to happen. That’s the thing about dystopian novels: they make us evaluate society and what life would be like if it were different, so good job on thinking critically about this book.

    Great job on identifying the theme in the first sentence of your paragraph; I remember that was one thing I commented on in your last review. One thing that could use some revision is the last sentence in your paragraph about plot. Though I really like the specific examples in the sentence, it needs some punctuation to make it easier to read. For example, saying “The novel beings with Kayla’s father committing suicide; her mother feels that the bar code is to blame, so she tries to burn off her tattoo which causes a house fire. Because her mother tragically dies in the fire, Kayla is left to be blamed for the homicide. After these events, Kayla has to skip town and run for her life.” There are many ways to rewrite this, so this is just one example to write these significant details.

    Overall, I feel that you really comprehended this book and saw the important factors of it. Just remember to pay attention to your sentence structure and word usage. Keep up the good work with using specific examples to make your main points. I look forward to reading your next review.


    1. Dear Sarah,
      Thank you for complement on my work and, thank you for the advice I will surely use it on my next essay. Also I will work on punctuation in my future; punctuation errors makes me loose points so I will try to work on it. Also I hope read The Bar Code Tattoo because I think it is a really good book. If you have any advice for me just let me know.
      Thank You

      1. Emilee,
        Good job on correctly using a semi-colon in your comment! I also see that you almost successfully connected to independent clauses with a comma and conjunction (and), but next time, make sure you put the comma before “and.” I can definitely see the effort you’re putting into your work to improve! It has been a pleasure reading your work this semester.


  2. Emilee,
    You have really hooked me in. Honestly, I am about to start searching for this book on Amazon. I applaud you on the way you gave just enough information to get your audience intrigued about the book, but didn’t give any of the ending or plot twists away. This sentence was powerful: “Kayla meets a group of students called Decode who are against the tattoo just as Kayla is. So it seems…” I love that you gave us a hint, but let us wonder for ourselves what “so it seems…” really means.

    The only advice I would like to give is:

    – You use “Kayla” a lot, for instance in the sentence I quoted above. Remember you can use pronouns like “she” and “her” or even “the main character,” instead of always saying her name.

    – In your setting paragraph, just remember that setting isn’t just time – it’s also the place in which the book takes place. This would be a great place to add a quote, where the author describes the way things look in this dystopia town.

    -Finally, you accidently used the wrong “their” in your final sentence. Remember: “their” is possessive. “They’re” means “they are,” which is what you were meaning to say.

    Overall, I thought this review was great! Keep up the good work and just remember the pointers I mentioned for next time,

    1. Dear Kristen,
      Thank you for saying you enjoyed my essay and I persuaded you into wanting to read it. It means a lot! On my next essay I won’t overuse the main character’s name and I’ll use “he” and or “she” instead. Also I will work on my grammar such as “their” and “they’re”.
      Thank you again! Do you have any more advice for me?

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