XVI

XVI

by Julia Karr

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Overview

XVI by Julia Karr

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101485941
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 01/06/2011
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 334,312
File size: 550 KB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Julia Karr lives in Seymour, Indiana.

Customer Reviews

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XVI 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
Bonnie_W More than 1 year ago
Dystopian lovers rejoice: Julia Karr's <i>XVI</i> marks the start of a wave of 2011 releases in the genre. Her debut novel is reminiscent of the classic novels <i>1984</i> by George Orwell and <i>The Handmaid's Tale</i> by Margaret Atwood. <i>XVI</i> features a strong feminist viewpoint and a look at where our society could be headed. The novel takes place in Chicago during the year 2150. On their sixteenth birthday when they become "legal," (Get it? "XVI?"), the government requires girls to get a special tattoo on their wrists. Sadly, women's rights are no longer protected and once they have their tattoo, many fall victim to the whims of men. The media advocates sexuality and teaches young girls how to appeal to men, making them want to turn "sex-teen" as soon as possible. Nina, the protagonist of the novel, was raised by her mother Ginnie, an outspoken woman who dislikes the rules enforced by government officials. After she's murdered, Nina and her younger sister, Dee, move in with their grandparents and begin attending a new school. Nina makes friends with Wei and Sal, who conveniently both have parents who were friends with her own mother and father before they passed away. Nina is dreading her sixteenth birthday: Unlike her childhood best friend Sandy, who wants nothing more than to be a sex-teen, she dreads the fact that a man may decide to take advantage of her once she's legal. She feels no need to have a guy in her life, especially after seeing the way her mother's boyfriend Ed abused her over the years. When she realizes she's attracted to Sal, she fights her feelings and becomes conflicted. Upon Ginnie's deathbed, Nina discovers that her mother believes her father to be alive despite the fact that he died several years ago. Digging into her past, she discovers that he may be a leader for NonCon, a group of people against the government and media. As she learns more about the secrets the government is hiding from society, she finds herself in increasing danger and must learn all she can before it's too late. At times, it's clear that this is Karr's first published novel. She falls into some writing traps such as "telling" over "showing." The first portion of the novel suffers from this. The characters talk to one another about all the "modern-day" jargon being thrown around that 2011 readers have no concept of. At times, it felt overwhelming. Sometimes, I wished I could just physically see what a trannie car looked like. There were also a couple of times when Karr didn't explain the lingo until further into the novel, so I was lost and had to infer what the characters might be talking about. I also wish Nina was a little more emotional after her mother's violent death, though I do realize she was trying to be strong for her little sister. I would have at least liked to see a bit more reflection internally. From time to time, situations felt a little too convenient, though such crutches are necessary in order for Nina to discover all that she does on her own. That being said, the second half of the novel really picks up speed and I became invested in Nina's plight. I wanted her to figure things out and succeed. Characters that were previously one-dimensional were fleshed out more and I found myself caring about what happened to them. <i>XVI</i> has moments that are tragically sad, full of fran
ComaCalm More than 1 year ago
The idea behind this book is quite a clever one, with your typical Dystopian themes - different classes of people, called 'Tiers', a controlling Government, a Resistance rebelling against the Government and right in the middle of it all is the main character, getting caught up in the politics of her World whilst falling in love and dealing with that. This story should be perfect for me, I am a Dystopian junkie after all. But I just couldn't connect with the story at all. The writing was okay but I couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters exept for Wei and I couldn't picture the world at all. The back of the book is quite misleading, the XVI tatto and all that it means is pushed to one side (at the same time as being brought up often) in favour of playing Fathers For Justice. Indeed, most of the book is about Nina keeping her little sister, Dee, away from her Mother's crazy ex, Ed. Which bored me to death. I thought the book was slow going when I started it but once it stuck itself in the rut of Nina narrowly escaping Ed, it really stuck itself there. Sex was the side dish of this book. Nina is terrified of becoming sixteen because she expects that as soon as she does she'll get gang raped. She decides she never wants sex due to watching Ed's Sex-Teen tapes when she was younger, the details of which aren't really mentioned. Actually, for a book so heavily centred on sex, the Author does a great job not mentioning it. Anyway, as soon as Nina meets Sal for around the third time she immediately notices how hot he is and spends a lot of time wanting to hump him. But she can't hump him, she's too traumatised! But she wants him! Oh dear. Characters wise, I have no idea why Nina and Sal are together, I have no idea what Sal looks like or what his personalities like, I couldn't care less about him. Wei was the only character I cared about as she actually had a personality. Strangely enough, the thing that annoyed me the most (apart from the trannies) was the constant reminder that Nina takes the 33 bus. I think it must have been mentioned at least 10 times.
Chancie More than 1 year ago
Different and interesting plot idea, but it never felt like it reached even a scratch of its full potential. All the rest of it was so horribly done and painfully cliche. It felt like an exact copy of every other dystopian novel with an "evil government." Full of really unhealthy attitudes about sex.
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sandyemerson More than 1 year ago
No, Just no! This book was not what I had expected and I didn't realized I was going to be quite so angry about it.  I read it and then read it again because I wasn't sure what to put in my review.  Well, now I know.  Be warned - this review is going to contain spoilers and be rant-filled.  So we begin. This book was all kinds of bad. But, first this is what I liked about it. - I enjoyed the relationships in the book.  It was interesting to read about Nina, Sal and the others. - I liked how it wasn't an insta-love type of book. - There was plenty of suspense or mystery. - I even liked the writing and the dialogue. What I didn't like about it could go on forever:- First, the confusing world-building  There was a hint of it and just when I thought, 'oh the author's going to explain how her society came about further' bam - nothing happened!  Just more questions and no answers.  And, I hated, POSITIVELY LOATHED, how there were questions at the back of the book that asked me how I thought the world came about.  I'm sorry, but you're the author of the book.  It is not up to your readers to determine what ran through your head while you were writing this. And what a world it was - when the heck is it all right to have a book that treats young girls as if they're subservient?  What happened to women's rights?  How the heck did it get from us fighting for our rights, to us having none but the expectation that a man/boy can rape a girl anytime they wanted, just because the girl had a tattoo of XVI?  OR WORSE YET GET TRICKED INTO THE SEX SLAVE INDUSTRY!!!  Did they have a shortage of women?  What happened in all the wars they had that it would turn into such a patriarchal society?  If I was living in this world, I'd blow it up. Now, I'm no prude - I can't be with some of the books I read, but I do have self-respect and this book just tramples a girl's self-respect right into the ground.  I don't even mind sex in stories as long as it's consensual, safe and sane.  Reading about girls whose only hope for the future is to have a tattoo and to sleep with any guy who demands it is sickening.  I. WANT. TO. HURT. SOMEONE! And it continues. There is also a caste society where people have a better chance at life the higher they are in it.  Being friendly to the homeless was punishable by the Governing Council.  Who are the Governing Council and how were they made up?  Did the dregs of society - the mass murderers, rapists, the sadistic and goodness knows what else - rise up and take control of the world?  Or worse, are they like cockroaches and only nasty, vicious men survived after the wars were over? Oh, I almost forgot - if you're under sixteen and come from a lower class, you can also run the risk of becoming a 'Cinderella' girl.  Which pretty much means you are your parent's slave - for the rest of your life!  Or until you become sixteen!  And you now by know what happens then. IT SUCKS TO BE A GIRL IN THIS WORLD!  Thank goodness for characters like Sal, Mr Jenkins and Nina's father.  They gave me hope that good guys still existed in this world. But, wait, there's more hideous, horrendous stuff.  Some of the characters are crucified.  Sandy, for one.  Her character was so poorly executed I wanted to cry - or hit someone on her behalf.  I felt so sorry for that girl.  She was so one-dimensional and that dimension was being a sex addict or a 'sex-teen'.  She could have been so much more than that.  A girl can be boy-crazy and have a brain.  This poor character was made out to be an idiot. And she was objectified by boys and her character was written in such a way that she enjoyed it.  Poor, poor Sandy. -sigh- This book takes everything that a girl values and twists it into a mockery of the way it should be. It makes sexual, physical and emotional abuse acceptable and that to me is all kinds of wrong.  And, yes, I know it's a book, but I really don't care.  It sends bad messages to the ignorant.  And, what's worse is I haven't even covered some of the other stuff that happened in this book - like Ed.  It's your risk whether you want to read it or not, but, as for me, I'm glad I got it out of the library, instead of buying it - like I was going to do. It would have been a waste of money. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. Book review from Sandy at Magical Manuscripts.
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Erlessard More than 1 year ago
I had an immense amount of trouble finishing this book. I don&rsquo;t think the topic was handled well in the story. Apparently, when a girl turns 16 she becomes a sex fiend and it&rsquo;s okay if she&rsquo;s raped or whatnot because women are only used for sex. But, I wasn&rsquo;t too angered by the topic because the writing itself is so blah. I felt so disconnected to all the characters. The characters themselves were really bland. Nina is the only sane female, in that she cares about things other than sex. All the guys are apparently using only their third leg to think. Ed, the stepfather, was a complete dick and beat up Nina&rsquo;s mother (who she annoyingly called Ginnie) but that was okay. The whole abuse factor was handled so non-nonchalantly that it made me want to throw the book against the wall. Also, Nina isn&rsquo;t like other girls until she turns 16 and falls in love, but then its okay that she&rsquo;s so gaga over boys. Nina&rsquo;s best friend, Sandy, is so ignorant of what&rsquo;s going on that I just want to shake her. And it is ironic that for a book being completely about sex drive, there is no sex. Everything happens off-screen. I just did not like this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MarindaRue More than 1 year ago
This time last year I was reading my first dystopian YA novel. Something about Christmas break makes me want to read about the end of civilation as we know it. :) Just kidding. I liked this book. It didn't blow my hair back but there were several parts of this book that appealed to my political science heart. I definitely could feel how the author felt about the sexualization of young girls, health insurance companies, and over bearing governments as a whole. The interesting thing about this book, that other dystopian books lacked, was how real the main character is. Nina is the average girl who is put into some serious and terrible circumstances. She handles what she can and fails when she can't handle them. I am looking forward to the follow up. I would also say that I liked that Nina was not only loyal to her family like all or most dystopian books, but Nina also valued her friends as family. I liked that Nina had strong female friendships with two very distinctly different girls. I can relate to that. Even now my two closest female friends couldn't be more different.
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KimballSK More than 1 year ago
The Setup: So, Nina and her friends are living in a world where women are pretty much whores the minute they turn sixteen (either willingly or not) and the masses are living in an 15th century caste system. Given the instant sexual availability that comes with turning sixteen (or "sex-teen" as it's called in the novel), it's no wonder that Nina is dreading her birthday and the "XVI" wrist tattoo that comes with it. Karr attributes the over-sexed behaviour to "verts" (in your face advertising campaigns) and "Media" (the government run media) and I can go there with her, given that we have sex slammed at us every day in every way now. The Peeps: Of course for the boys the legal age is eighteen (not sure why, we do mature faster than them, maybe that's it) and we are given several examples from the gate of horny dudes looking to hookup or rape and girl with an XVI tattoo. I'd really like more backstory about how this society went from women in power (a Fems ruling period was briefly mentioned) to this open-legged situation. Nina's love interest, Sal, starts out as a (LBD) Lightening Bolt of Destiny situation, but he eventually grew on me and I hope we learn more about him and his family in the sequel. Nina has two BFF's: one who is annoying from the first page (Sandy) and a super-cool one that I wish had more page-time (Wei). I also liked that Nina had two male friends and neither of them was relegated to the role as third point of a love triangle. Although it did surprise me that she had male friends at all with guys running around raping people everywhere willy-nilly. Her cast of friends are interesting supporting characters and not just props for exposition. Parental figures play a huge role throughout (which I always appreciate). I wish the villain had been a little more two-dimensional and not so obviously insidious. XVI goes where any good dystopian tale should: with the little people trying to figure out how to bring down The Man. Lingering Thoughts: I do question some of Karr's choices, like I couldn't get past the fact the cars are now called "trannies" and some of the technology was not fully explained. However, overall, I really liked XVI and I am so happy that I read it just in time for the release of its sequel Truth on January 19th. I found it to be a quick and interesting read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book so much. I would have recommended it to all my friends because they love this stuff and they love a hint of romance as well. But they are also so sensitive about this kind of topic. Oh well. I read this book about 5 times and know everything. THEN once I saw a SECOND BOOK WAS COMING OUT, I nearly fainted and alarmed everyone who read it. I can't wait!
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murphyslibrary More than 1 year ago
from Murphy's Library - rated 2 and a half there Looks like dystopian futures are a tendency on new releases lately. Nina Oberon lives in one of them: one that looks quite like our reality, but there society makes sure everyone knows when the girls are ready to have sex, once they reach 16 years old. But while Nina's best friend Sandy can't wait to turn 16, Nina's not that thrilled with the idea. Nina lives with her mom and her half-sister Dee. One day she helps a guy who's been beaten up on the streets-he looks like a homeless guy and she has no idea why she decides to help him-and you can figure out what happens later on the story between the two of them. Actually, you can figure out a lot on this book, which's a bummer. When Nina's mom dies, she asks Nina to take care of Dee and do not let Dee's dad get any closer to the girl. She also reveals some shocking information about Nina's dad, and Nina spends the rest of the book trying to keep the promises she's made to her mom. I was so excited to read this book-I won it on a giveaway hosted by Annette's Book Spot-but it did not reach my expectations at all, I finished reading the book and felt like there was something missed. Maybe more explanations about that future, how they've got to that point. This book was shallow and the plot could have been way much better explored. The "sex is a bad thing" message all the time kinda bothered me, because we don't really understand what happened to the Media start controling them that much and reinforcing the idea that after 16 you're "ready" and because of that you can be a slut. It looks like there's going to be a sequel, maybe Karr explains it better on it, but I'm not sure I'm going to read it to find out.