Thursday, March 17, 2011

XVI- Julia Karr

Title: XVI
Author: Julia Karr
Publisher: Speak
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.

    In Nina's world, innocence expires at sixteen. After that, you receive a government issue tattoo, XVI on your wrist, that adverises to the world that you are legally able to consent to sex. The government commercializes the "sex-teens" in the media, making the concept out to be cool. Nina dreads her sixteenth birthday, especially after her mother reveals something very important to her before she dies. Nina must use all he strength to protext herself, her sister, and uncover her mother's murderer.
     Going into the book, I was apprehensive because I've read mixed reviews on the novel. They were certainly misplaced, however, because I really enjoyed this novel. I do see where some of the critique comes from. If you are thinking this novel is solely about the "sex-teens," you'll be disappointed. It is more of a murder mystery set within a dystopian society with the "sex-teen" being more of a sub-plot. With the misleading synopsis aside, I really enjoyed this novel. Julia Karr put a lot of thought into her setting and thought of a great deal of interesting aspects of her world. Also, the characters of Lena and Sal are intriguing. However, I think that Wei is my favorite character because she is the archetype of the rebel in this novel. The murder mystery really added to the story as a whole and was by far the driving action. The ending left the reader with quite a cliffhanger and set up the possibility of sequels. I'm really looking forward to continuing this series.

Until next time,
The Book Nook


  1. I'm the same way. While I'm a little mixed at time, I ultimately liked this book. It's not my favorite Dystopian, but it's a solid entry and I'm eager to read more books by Julia Karr!

  2. hi theresa

    i just read xvi... =) i liked it a lot, too.
    and you're right there will be a sequel "truth"and a spin-off novel "cinderella girl" (works in preogress according to the author's website).

    p.s. i'm a follower now =)

  3. @Bonnie I think that it has a lot to do with the fact that this is Julia Karr's first published novel. As she gets used to her writing style, I think her books will greatly improve.

    @ndone Thanks for following! I tried to access yours but it said that its private. I'm really interested in reading Cinderella Girl.