By Julia Karr
January 6, 2011
Speak, 272 pages
Source: Chicago Public Library
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.
— Amazon.com description
I read a review of this book months ago that called it "unsettling." Yep, that is the perfect word.
But I mean "unsettling" as a good thing. This is the type of book that will provoke thought and discussion on just the sort of subjects teenage girls NEED to talk about: sex, gender issues, social pressure, control.
Sure, the themes here are anything but subtle, but this is the type of thriller that makes the important issues relatable. And that is a very important part of teen literature. It was so captivating, I'd recommend it to all.
Entertaining sci-fi with a side of romance -- fans of Divergent and Bumped would enjoy this for sure!