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Monday, March 14, 2011

XVI by Julia Karr

"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."- GoodReads

Paperback, 325 pages
Published January 6th 2011 by Puffin/Speak
Source: Bought.
                                                 Challenge: 2011 Debut Author

What would it be like to live in a society where when a girl turns 16, she is fair game? What would it be like to be told being a "sex-teen" is great, that throwing yourself at guys and sleeping around is "the in thing", and guys are supposed to act like your are a piece of meat? Scary thought, right?
Well that is just the kind of society Nina lives in, though she is in the minority of not wanting to be a "sex-teen". She doesn't read Sixteen Ways, a magazine that shows girls all the right ways to flirt and be the perfect sexual sirens to boys. She doesn't even want a boyfriend just to make sure she doesn't turn into what so many girls have turned in to, what her best friend is turning into; basically a tramp. Nina doesn't want to turn 16.

What really got me while I was reading XVI was how I felt this could actually happen. I'm not sure in such a drastic way so fast, but with how our own media is, it could be possible. So many TV shows, movies, magazines, and books glorify girls as sex kittens no matter their age. And that was the big thing in XVI, the media encouraging girls to be "sex-teens".

I actually really liked Nina. She was a strong lead who didn't have all the answers but was willing to find out what she could. But as much as I liked Nina, I was really interested in Sandy, the best friend. She is selfish, superficial, and so excited about being a sex-teen that she is already practicing flaunting herself to any and all boys. I think it would have been amazingly interesting to see inside her mind and get her side of the story.
And Sal, sweet and charming Sal. He's a doll. Oh and it was so nice that Nina didn't meet him and automatically fall in love. She didn't want a boyfriend...she has major mixed emotions about this boy and I really felt that. How confused she was. Should she or shouldn't she?
Nina's friends were pretty neat characters, too, though I hope we get to know them a little better in the next book.

One of my only complaints about this book was the futuristic terminology. Pretty much none of it was explained. After a while I caught on to what was what, but some stuff it took a little bit and that was a bit annoying. So for me, it took away from the story having to stop and re-read a section just to try and figure what the termonolgy meant.

XVI is going to have at least a sequel. On Julia Karr's website it says it is a work-in-progress and it will be called Truth. There is also another work-in-progress that says it is going to be a spin-off to XVI and it is called Cinderella Girl.
I will be interested to see if Cinderella Girl's main character will be a character that we have already met in XVI.
Definitely looking forward to both though.


  1. Hi,

    I'm Kate Evangelista, author of Taste, and I just wanted to take this time to introduce myself. If you have the time, please stop by The Coffee Bar by using the link below:

    I hope to see you there.


  2. l agree, this was a main probably for me, a lack of explanation towards what why the country is like how it is etc
    It actually really got to me! Still enjoyed this though

  3. I really enjoyed this book! The new terms and phrases threw me at first, but I caught on eventually and didn't notice it as much.

  4. I can't wait to read this. It's been on my TBR list FOREVER! :D

  5. I have this book waiting on my TBR and seriously bought it the day it came out. I'm so glad that there's not a case of insta-love in this book, and I'm glad you enjoyed it for the most part! I keep saying "I need to read this soon," but "soon" is such a relative term :P


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