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The Bar Code Tattoo

(Bar Code #1)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  16,446 ratings  ·  1,478 reviews
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 happen to her family. There's no option but to run . . . for her li
Mass Market Paperback, 250 pages
Published September 2004 by Scholastic Inc.
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Isabella kayla
kaylas mom
kaylas dad…more
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Sweetblue The lesson I take away is:

How easy it is to just take over someone life. Through the need to be accepted people will conform to an idea just so they a…more
The lesson I take away is:

How easy it is to just take over someone life. Through the need to be accepted people will conform to an idea just so they are "part of the crowd." Also, the trust people had on what information the government had and how they used it.

The scary part is how possible this is in our society today and how fast it could happen. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.55  · 
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 ·  16,446 ratings  ·  1,478 reviews

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Apr 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
Overall, this book started out pretty good. Futuristic dystopia, great idea. But... Underdeveloped. It was a good easy read that fit together well, if a bit shakily, up until Kayla escapes from the hospital. From there, it seems like either the author was working hard and fast to meet a deadline or doing everything in her power to make it under a certain number of pages, because every scene is speedy, too quick to really process. It is like you as a reader are being shoved into this completely n ...more
Ruben acebes
Apr 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ruben by: teenagers
this is a book that talks about the future, 2025. the government of the USA makes every person to get a tattoo in their wrist. this is requiredfor every single citizen at age 18 and so.
but this girl found something about the tatoos. their family died for these tattoos.
The bar code tattoo talks about the new kind of identity in the United States, and also in the developed countries. It’s to get a bar code tattoo as if we were things. After some months when a girl called Kayla who refuses to get t
Jul 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
My daughter chose this book for a school project and read it aloud to me over the past few weeks. Though the concept sounded promising, it was not well executed. The dialog was terrible, the characters were flat, and the pacing was uneven. Things would happen with little or no explanation, time would pass unaccounted for, and the ending was just silly. I always view YA through a special lens because I realize that I am not the intended audience, but this book had far too many issues and none of ...more
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd


I've seen this book around, but never picked it up because of the awkward cover. I saw it at a cheap book sale, though, so I figured "why not?". I probably could've done without reading this book. It wasn't horrible. It's your typical dystopian, but it was just meh overall.

Everyone is getting the bar code tattoo. Everyone over the age of 17 gets one. The tattoo is becoming the new currency and it carries al
Amber Hetchler
Jul 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ugh
Cute. What an adorable attempt at a dystopian novel. That's hours of my life that I'll never get back. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: A girl refuses to follow the crowd and ends up joining a rebellion.

Opening Sentence: Outside, rain drummed against the window.

The Review:

Everyone is getting the Bar Code Tattoo. No one over 17 doesn’t have it. Except Kayla. The United States, like many other countries, is controlled by Global1, the company that created the Tattoo. As the tattoo controls more and more of their identity, Kayla joins a small rebel group at her school, dedicated to
Cora Tea Party Princess
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I haven't read this book for a long time, perhaps even five years, but it has stuck with me for all of that time, since I first read this as a young teen.

The possibilities that this book describes are terrifying.
Amy B
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book wasn't finished. I'd say it was the second draft, just barely one step up from an I-have-this-idea-let's-get-it-on-paper-really-quick draft and it needed three of four more to really flesh it out. The Bar Code Tattoo was super underdeveloped with simplistic writing, which was a shame because the concept was one of the most possible and realistic dystopian futures I've read.

Government tracking, peer pressure, lack of privacy, etc. (not too far off from a smartphone, am I right? I wonde
Oct 25, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of utopia/dystopia, pre-Orwell
I'm only about 70 pages in and it seems to be a book for YA/Ad Lit readers/teachers if they are looking for utopia/dystopia readings.
Essentially, the future (about 2020/2025) has each person tatooed with a bar code. Some believe, "if you're not doing anything wrong, why worry about it?" where others realize the danger of information that could be created and passed on within that bar-code. An interesting read in the age of the Patriot Act and for readers who are (or will one day be) familiar wi
Blake C.
Sep 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not good in content, style, or dialogue.
This was a good concept that fell disappointingly flat. It seemed really current in it's idea. With the current scandals of government wiretapping the media and IRS intimidation of political groups, along with the current debate over Common Core and the implementation of Obamacare, I expected this story to feel more realistic and fresh. Unfortunately this book was written 10 years ago, and it shows. It is painfully outdated.

The writing was very choppy. It
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I had some decent expectations for this book and ended up being disappointed. It was no where near as good as I thought it would be, not to mention I am not particularly fond of the author's writing. It's a YA novel but to be honest I feel like it was written by a teenager. The language wasn't rich nor interesting, it made the story flat. The only perk to the book would be the plot, the idea of a society where every 17 year old needed to get a bar code tattoo containing everything about themselv ...more
May 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
just no. I can not deal with this book, there are way too many problems with it! I really really liked the basic idea of the book: a barcode tattoo which has a lot of different information about you like identification, driving license, bank account etc. However, the writing style was simply horrible. The characters in the story have no real character development. The author seems to just put one event after the other with no logical thinking. Whenever the situation gets difficult or dangerous, ...more
Sep 26, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: july2007-2009
this book was on what will happen if everyone in the world was only identified by a code. In the book, getting a bar code was a cool thing and you get it when you turn a certain age. (16? 18?) but the government was corrupt and was killing everyone that was did not have the perfect DNA. and anyone with a history of cancer would be killed and the bar code tracked the movements of everyone. I thought this was wrong and so did the protaganist of the book; she decided to run away from her communtiy. ...more
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who enjoy books so bad they're amazing
Recommended to Mel by: Adrienne
Adrienne texted me the other day. "Omg just read the worst YA series you gotta read it, the bar code tattoo trilogy, it takes like 3 hours for all 3 and it's a mess and I want to talk to you about it lol"

I admit I was skeptical, but this book delivered in Hot Mess. It's got two stars because it's one of those "so bad I need to see where this goes." First of all, it's a book inspired by an end times pamphlet. I mean....really. But okay, whatever, a good writer can work with that to a certain exte
Tamora Pierce
Nov 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in SF about identity procedures & global corporations
Recommended to Tamora by: picked it up at the bookstore
A next-century-future novel, where a bar code tattoo is being pushed for every member of society. Why resist when it makes every financial transaction and instance in which ID is required easier? Except some lives are being ruined once people get their tattoo.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Individuality vs. Conformity

Identity vs. Access

Freedom vs. Control

The three decisions written on the back of this book, and the three things that you decide to have in your life today. While reading the barcode tattoo I was sent into a future world that doesn’t seem too far off of what we know the world as today. Kayla struggles to fit into the new big trend, getting a barcode tattoo. Her father took his own life because of it, and her mother too. Her best friend, Amber and her family are strug
Dakota Prewitt
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I missed the big hype about The Bar Code Tattoo when it came out and I read it in my 20s.

Overall, it fits in with all the other dystopian novels, but it also has a unique foundation with the bar code.

I didn't like how it ended without telling you what happened to one of the characters, you just kind of have to assume.

Though, if I kept reading the series, I'm sure if find out what happened. However, I think I'll put the series on the back burner for now.
suzanne weyn said insurance corporations will be the death of us all and she was RIGHT

thx Little Free Library of Del Ray for this read 😂
Isha Parker
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
1) The Barcode Tattoo was one of those books in my library that was constantly irritating me. Every time I walked in and started scouring the shelves, there it was; sometimes there would even be two copies! The cover combined with it's name put me off reading it (yes, i know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover so sue me)and I managed to ignore it for half a year. One day, I reached out to pick another novel off the rack when The Barcode Tattoo jumped out at me. Well, not literally but you g ...more
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"The Bar Code Tattoo" by Suzanne Weyn is a story set in the future. It tells the timeless tale about a teenager’s rebellion against a status quo. Kayla Reed lived in a society where once you turned 17, your life changed drastically: for the better or for the worse. She had to decide whether to get the bar code tattoo and fit in with the rest of society. Growing up often means making a choice between changing oneself to be part of a group or being yourself and being accepted into a group. This is ...more
Katie Kenig
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, dystopia
This book is a great illustration of how quickly things can change when you are writing of the future. While the novel was created in 2004, not long ago by any means, it already reads as out of date, due to the author having dictated changes that began taking place in 2006, and continued with major events in 2010 and 2011. Unfortunately for me, that kind of thing breaks my ability to suspend disbelief while reading.

The plot, though, was compelling enough to keep me going.

I would not be surprised
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'M SO SICK OF THIS! No more! I don't think I can stand another dystopian "corrupt government controls the world" story, for many reasons! Let me elaborate:

A) They are *always* predictable. Government is somehow corrupt. People are starving. War is on the horizon. Cute boy. Only a small portion of the world is left after the rest was destroyed by savage government sought wars. One person doesn't like the corruption. They make a stand or a display and learn not to do that. Their boy crush helps t
Sep 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
To me, this novel was anything but original. Hey, what would happen if the government forced us to all get tattoos that recorded all the information about us on our own skins? See what I mean? This type of novel has been done tons before. Kayla lives in a world where all seventeen-year-olds have to receive a bar code tattoo on their wrists. Of course, the huge conglomerate that owns everything in America (including the government) has included genetic information on the tattoo. Some people recei ...more
Raye of the Dead
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
The Bar Code Tattoo is about something that is possible, which is a very scary thing to think about. I was in a reading slump when I started reading this book and it brought me right out of it. I was pulled in from the first page. I just had to know what was happening and how it was going to turn out.

There were some things about it that I had problems with. Mainly characters just showing up randomly. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book and will eventually pick up book two.
Miracle Ferguson
Oct 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
Honestly this book really disappointed me... I really feel that the author could have done so much more with this story than she did. Although the aspect that disappointed me the most is the love story that Weyn cooked up. In my opinion it had no substance and didn't really draw me in at all, there wasn't really any buildup to the "I love you." If that makes sense... Overall I'm just kind of sad Weyn didn't do more with what could have been an excellent story. ...more
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is about this girl named Kayla and She wanted to get the Bar Code Tattoo when She turned seventeen she got it right away. When her dad found out that she got the Bar Code Tattoo her dad committed suicide because of her Tattoo. He really didn't like the fact that she got the Tattoo. Her mom, well I forgot what she said though but I guess that she didn't like the fact either because it drove her dad crazy for the Tattoo. ...more
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The Bar Code Tattoo 2 19 Nov 19, 2017 12:49PM  

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Suzanne Weyn grew up in Williston Park, Long Island, New York. She has three sisters and a brother. As a girl she was very interested in theater and in reading. Louisa May Alcott was her favorite author, but she also read every Sherlock Holmes story. Suzanne lived pretty close to the ocean and going to Jones Beach was one of her favorite activities Even today, if she goes too long without seeing t ...more

Other books in the series

Bar Code (3 books)
  • The Bar Code Rebellion (Bar Code, #2)
  • The Bar Code Prophecy (Bar Code, #3)

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