by: Julia Karr
release: Jan 2011
genre: Teen Fiction/Dystopian
challenge: Debut Author
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.XVI does a great job of highlighting how the world can go bad, while also throwing me a lifeline of hope.
XVI explores harsh truths. Bad stuff happens -people get hurt, some die. But on the flip side, Karr has strong characters that overcome and thrive in a terrible environment. Nina is strong, loyal, caring, smart, and fierce when she has to be. Her most defining quality is that she isn't buying into the whole 'sex-teen' thing, thanks to her mom's rebel influence.
Sex is mentioned a lot in XVI, including references to rape, porn, adultery and sex trafficking - but it doesn't happen on the page. I thought it was handled well and relevant to the story. While Nina doesn't consider sex bad, she isn't ready for it and want's the chance to make the choice for herself. Romance with the mysterious Sal is sweet, her old BFF Sandy is annoying since she buys into all the government's hype, but Nina's new friend Wei is a tough, smart cookie. Loved her!
Enjoy the captivating, thought-provoking world but the delicious twists and shadowy intrigue are what suck you in. XVI is an awesome suspense thriller!
|I Did NOT See That Coming!|
Check out our latest (and first) In My Mailbox Video where Jake claims the model on this cover is one of his favorite actresses. ...You decide!
AUTHOR BIOI grew up in the small town of Seymour, Indiana. Although I’ve lived as far east (and south) as St. Augustine, Florida, and as far west as Longmont, Colorado, I now live about fifty miles from my hometown. I’ve been writing nearly all of my life. When I was young, I lived with my grandmother and my older sister, but my mother lived in Chicago. I spent a lot of time writing her long, newsy letters about what was happening in my life. She would sometimes correct my spelling by return mail! (I learned to love being edited! lol!) I also loved to write poetry and draw. I would design greeting cards and send them to my friends and relatives.When I was sixteen, I moved to Chicago to live with my mother. I fell in love with Chicago, and have never fallen out of it! There is nothing quite like the thrumming heartbeat of a big city! I have two lovely daughters, who are grown. They both live within five miles of me, and I like that a lot! When they were little, I used to make up stories for them. That was when I first starting thinking about writing for children. But, it wasn’t until they were out of the house that I began to take my writing seriously. I love writing young adult novels. XVI is dystopian fiction, but I am also working on some fantasy and some contemporary themes. Too many ideas, too little time!