Friday, September 16, 2011

XVI by Julia Karr Review

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.

— 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!

Anna Reads young adult book blog


  1. It WAS a bit unsettling. I really liked the uniqness of this one though and am beyound exited to see what Karr will be doing next :)

    Hope you are enjoying Saving June! I have that one on my TBR.

  2. I bought this book the other day not knowing much about it other than I got it for a really good price. After your review I'm excited to read it. Thanks :)

  3. I wasn't a big fan of this book but I'm glad you liked it! And unsettling is definitely a great word to describe it. :)

  4. I have this book on my TBR list but I had heard not so nice things about it so I kept putting it off. It's refreshing to hear a different POV on it. After your review I think I might just put it back in my priority list.

  5. I like the idea of this book. Though I've heard a lot of negative things about about it, I'm putting it on my TBR list. It sounds like something that is worth reading once, even if you dislike it.

  6. I'm on the fence with this one. I've heard mixed reviews but also that it starts slonw. UGH I'm not good at slow starting particularly if I already know before I start it, lol. Still have it on the TBR pile though, so you never know.

  7. I found this book in a book store the other day for a super cheap price, started reading it and couldn't put it down! I absolutely loved it!! Cannot wait for the sequel.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...