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.
-From the Publisher
XVI is placed in an utopian society and focuses on a teenage girl dreading the day of her sixteenth birthday. Julia Karr I think intelligently explores difficult family dynamics, relationships, and sex, and speaks through the main character in an honest voice. I enjoyed the read.
Review by Elizabeth Gatluak, Olympus High School
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 9-12
Written by Julia Karr
Speak / Penguin Group
Release Date: January 6, 2011
ISBN: 9780142417713 (original paperback)