Thursday, January 20, 2011

XVI by Julia Karr

Characters: 17/20
Plot: 17/20
Originality: 18/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 88/100 or B
Source: Publisher

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.
I found the premise of XVI to be very interesting and unique. Nina was such an amazing character. I don't think that I could handle losing my mom with the grace that Nina had. Dee was a really sweet little girl. Pop and Dee helped bring comedy to the story, when it was needed. The relationship between Sal and Nina wasn't as developed as I would like, but I still enjoyed Nina's other friends. The plot of XVI was full of suspense and mystery that kept me wanting more. I think that the dystopian aspect of the book was clever and original in a few ways, like the tattoos and how the government ran. Karr created a fantastic book, full of great writing. I would recommend this book to fans of 1984 and Uglies.

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