Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: XVI

XVI (XVI, #1)

Author: Julie Karr
Pages: 325
Publisher: Puffin/Speak
Source: Library
Synopsis: 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.

Buy the Book (Amazon / The Book Depository

XVI was a really cool book. The dystopian premise was interesting with the world building and the characters and their experiences were readable.

Nina dreads her 16th birthday where she will get a tattoo on the wrist proclaiming that she is legal for sex. She lives in a terrifying society where girls are taught that being a "sex-teen" is the way to be. These girls will go as far as the guy wants them to. They don't have a very big choice. Nina of course isn't like that- she thinks outside the box. Her mom taught her differently. I liked Nina. She was an obvious independent thinker but she didn't know what to do about the problems in her society. She focused instead on keeping her friends and family safe. Nina is a great character- strong but not a superhero, she has doubts and weaknesses too.

Nina's relationships with the other characters helped shape XVI's world and made it more real for the reader. You meet Sandy, typically wannabe sex-teen who Nina cares for deeply and you can't help but like Sandy, even if she annoys you 3/4s of the time. Then there's Sal, mysterious and gorgeous who you like but you're not sure whether to trust. Nina's romance with Sal is sweet and I supported it. It was a romance you'll root for. Nina also has other friends, Mike, Derek and Wei who are awesome in their own rights. I just loved the relationships and how real they felt in this book.

The world of XVI was different from ours with lots of strange lingo. When I first started reading I got confused and while I learned more what specific words meant, there are still some I don't know of. I did like that the author's world was well thought out enough to have lingo. This is not a society I'd like to live in and it's unforgettable in that sense.

While XVI kept me interested, it wasn't always very action packed. Nina was kept in the dark by her mother so she didn't act much and instead worked on getting the answers. I wasn't sure where the story was going at times. I hope the next book will feature more action and a bit less of mystery.

All in all, a good dystopian read, XVI is another title for your TBR list. 4 stars,



  1. I loved this book! Can't wait for Truth!

  2. Great review! And we've met Julia Karr -- she's lovely. :)

    "strong but not a superhero, she has doubts and weaknesses too"

    Love that.

  3. @Carole: I know what you mean! I can't wait either.

    @We Heart YA: Wow, you guys are lucky. It must be great meeting her. I'm glad you like my review :)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...