Author: Julia Kar
Published January 6th 2011
Rating 3.5 Birds
“Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world—even the most predatory of men—that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past— one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.”
My take: I’ll fully admit to actually not liking this book when I started, and it took a little bit for me to really delve in and get to the good stuff. It’s not to say I don’t like the book, heck I gave it 3.5 birds! But this is to say, if you’re looking for a book that you’re going to be immediately drawn in to, this might not be it.
The one thing I had to keep in mind during this entire book was use of abbreviations and shortening of words. Advertisements = verts throughout the entire book, GC = Governing Council, etc… So admittedly, this also made it a bit harder to get into.
In XVI, Karr takes grasp of what it’s like for one girl to think about turning sixteen. Nina is totally different from nearly every fifteen when it comes to turning sixteen. While her best friend Sandy is thrilled about becoming a “sex-teen”, Nina is completely opposed to the ideals that it holds. Some people are completely against the GC’s ways as well and are called NonCons through the book.
Nina’s pulled from her own school and thrown to another, where she meets Wei and Sal. She’s already friends with two of the boys she’ll be going to school with as the area is a place she used to live.
Everything is divided into tiers in this story, and when you’re a low level tier, your biggest hope is to get into FeLS as a means to gain a man in a higher tier. Even guys try to get girls coming out of FeLS because it could move them up. I’m hoping to see more of an explanation in the second book
as to “what” exactly the government’s ideals are regarding this. It’s a crazy twist to the story, but one that I can tell is completely necessary.
There were times throughout the book that I had to take a step outside of it and remember that this was about a Dystopian world, and not a world we live in. But, living so near Chicago myself, it actually put fear in me if things were ever to come to the way they are in the book. Not that it’s completely feasible, but if it were to happen…I’d steer clear.
So why give this book a 3.5? Because once I truly got into it and nearer the middle and especially in the end, I really kept wondering “what will happen next?!” Although the book could be the end, and we could all be left to wonder and make our own conclusions, Julia’s writing a second book, due out as she put it “Hopefully in January”. (Thank you Twitter!) The cover also did pull me in. I know you
aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but let me tell you…I did that with this one. When I saw it, I knew I just had to read it. Now, I’ll be waiting on the next book!
My newest team member and author of this great review has a special gift for everyone!
She's hosting a giveaway for an Autographed Paperback Copy of XVI and (drum roll please) it's open INTERNATIONALLY!
Find Julia Karr