XVI

XVI

by Julia Karr

Paperback

$6.60 $8.99 Save 27% Current price is $6.6, Original price is $8.99. You Save 27%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

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: 9780142417713
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 01/06/2011
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: HL600L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Julia Karr lives in Seymour, Indiana.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

XVI 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 95 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.
AverysBookNook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
***May contain spoilers*** Over the last little but I had read a number of dystopians and as such I have found myself becoming somewhat burnt out with them- It seems like they essentially all follow the same storyline: a young girl is on the brink of adulthood, a time in which the society that she lives in initiates her in some way by imposing something upon her (whether it be a tattoo, a medical procedure, etc.), when she begins to notice that her seemingly perfect life and government aren't all they're cracked up to be, that they are hiding something about the initiation process and what occurs afterwards from its people. Her suspicions are confirmed when she meets the male lead of the story who is extremely knowledgeable about their corrupt government and society (as he is a member of the opposition) and who soon becomes her love interest. As her and her love interest delve deeper into exposing the corruption that runs deep in their government they find themselves in more and more danger. And though I did feel that this story did follow this storyline almost to a tee, I didn't find myself thinking to myself, "Oh gosh- another one!", mainly because, unlike in many of the other books of this nature, Julia actually provides with the reader with answers about what is occurring in the plot (as opposed to just talking around answers or giving the reader even more questions- which is just so gosh darn frustrating) and she writes extremely likeable characters- especially the secondary characters (which in many cases I find to be completely unnecessary as they rarely fuel the plot line).Sandy, Nina's best friend, wasn't my most favourite secondary character in the book because I found her to be quite mindless and annoying, but I understand that her role was quite essential as she was the epitome of how her society wanted young females to act like. I really loved Wei, Derek and Mike as secondary characters, they all really had good heads on their shoulders and they truly cared about making a difference in their society. Also Ed, Nina and Sandy's tormentor was a great character, despite being a true villain. And the adults/parents (who really seem not to play all that much of a role in YA books) were truly noteworthy characters (Rita, Wei's parents, Gran and Pops, etc.).It always seems like the boy in dystopians gets the shoddy end of the deal (ie. Alex in Lauren Oliver's "Delirium" and Ky from Ally Condie's "Matched") therefore I was beyond ecstatic to see that in this book Sal was not a male victim of the Revolution. Sal was such a sweet and caring character (not to mention totally swoon-worthy) and him and Nina are, in my opinion, perfect for one another as they really balance one another out. All in all, while upon initial glance at this book it may seem that it is a typical (or almost overused) YA dystopian storyline, it is anything but that!
highflyer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm really starting to enjoy dystopian novels and this is no different. I found this book to start off sort of slow and I was beginning to wonder why I was reading it. However, as the story unfolded, I really started to enjoy it. I'm far from being 16 anymore, but I can remember a lot from those days. And scarily enough, I can see a lot of these things occurring in the distant future. If anyone, those ideals are already pushed within our culture, so I don't think the ideals pushed within this novel are far fetched.
kreagsheehan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
XVI was one dystopian that I have been waiting for for a long time. I was pleased to finally be able to read it and find that it was as enjoyable as I had hoped.XVI focuses on Nina, a soon to be sixteen year old girl. her father is believed to be dead and her mother is with an abusive man. The story mainly focuses on Nina's adventure of finding out the truth about the society she lives in and all the secrets that her family held. It was very enjoyable for the most parts, though it does seem to drw on the "oppresive government" theme, as most dystopians seem to do. Also, around halfway through the book, I found myself not wanting to read the book much. It became slow and for some reason I felt univolved. Luckily, soon after the slump, the story picked up and threw us right back into the action. Overall, it was a fun ride that I think fans of dystopian novels wil enjoy. 3.5/5For the most part, I loved most of the characters. Nina was probably my favorite. She was strong and independent, and she didn't let people push her around. She was likeable and funny and I enjoyed reading from her perspective. Wei and Sal, Nina's friends, were also great. They were well developed and smart. My one complaint is some of Nina's other friends- Mike, Sandy, and Derek. I didn't feel as if they were very well developed, and while they were not as much of a main focus as the other characters, I still wish we felt more involved with them. 4/5I loved the world that Nina lived in. It was a great dystopian concept, a world where girls over 16 are free to have sex with whoever wants to. It was concerning and disturbing, but it was very creative. The futuristic setting of Chicago was great and there was plenty of variety in the places that the characters traveled to. It was highly enjoyable. 5/5I really enjoyed the writing! I felt involved with Nina through most of the book. When things happened to her, I felt for her. Some points in the book had me feeling so strongly for the characters I was close to tears, which was great. Though it was slow at points, overall, Ms. Karr did a great job and I am looking out for more from her. 4/5Overall, 16.5/20. I really did enjoy the book, and i hope to see a sequel sometime soon! I want to find out more of what happens after the cliffhanger of an ending Ms. Karr left us with! I recommend it to fans of dystopian novels, as it is a great one. Oh, and I also want to warn about the high sexual content in the novel. If you are okay with sexual situations, then go ahead, but consider your self warned.
MrsMich02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Starting this book, I had a very hard time with the idea of a society where once you turn 16, you are legal for and expected to have sex. Thankfully, the main character also has trouble with this idea. It builds nicely into a mystery and a nice dialog on Orwellian-like society. By the last page, it seems as if things are settled but I for one am wondering what would happen next?
BtweenLibShelf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thanks to the book Divergent I decided to read more Dystopian novels, so I picked up XVI and began to read. At first I felt that feeling I felt when I read the first Dystopian novel way before Divergent. It seemed to dumb people down. But as I read I realized that was the underlying message that the book wanted to portray, but at the same time it also pinpointed peoples conscience knowledge of free will; or better known as the "resistance" or NonCons.I enjoyed the action and suspense of the novel, how Nina had to grow up sooner than later and also, having to deal with Government mandatory tattoos of sixteen year olds. I think it was interesting how until Nina's mother dies she had no idea how her friends felt about the "resistance" or how many of the other characters in the novel that become her friends are already part of it. Nina learns that her father may still be alive, she also learns a big secret about Dee and she already knew that Ed, her mother's boyfriend, was mean and evil, but as the story unfolds the reader finds that Ed will do anything it takes to prove his theory about Nina's father's existence. With great friends and grandparents Nina finds strength and confidence to carry out her mother's dying wishes.XVI was a great read!
readingbeader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow, just wow. In a future where there are ten tiers of economic classes and the US government has been replaced by a ¿World Council,¿ at 16 a girl is considered of legal age, for sex at least, and receives a tattoo on her wrist so all will know. The government claims it¿s for protection and it will fade if a few years. Uh, hum. Nina is approaching 16 and isn¿t excited like many girls; she and her mother didn¿t buy into the government¿s ¿sex-teen¿ propaganda. When Nina meets people who knew her father before he died, she feels excited, but they might not be everything they seem.Tight writing, suspenseful storyline and not your typical plotline, make XVI a fast, intense read. I¿d recommend this book to fans of The Chosen One, and Hunger Games.
LauraMoore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
** spoiler alert ** This book is completly not what I thought it was going to be, although I knew it was dystopian, I guess maybe I didn't realize that it was futuristic and that I would need to learn new terms in regards to their ways of life. That being said, I still really enjoyed this book. I didn't give it a 5-star rating because I think the subject matter was a little much for a young-adult novel (ex. sex slavery, rape, abuse, and such a need for casual sex), I felt that this book could have gone farther if it had been an adult novel. Character-wise I enjoyed everyone other then Sandy, who annoyed me to NO-end, but I did feel bad for her death, and almost cried. I felt so bad for Nina and my palms were sweating at parts because it was so intense. She was constantly on the edge of her seat and I was as well. I flew through this book because I wanted to know what was going to happen next in the crazy-ness that was Nina's life. I guess for me I wasn't a huge fan on the world, and that's another thing that made this not be a five-star book for me. It was not a world I would want to be a part of, and in fact all the scary/bad stuff thats in our world today was exemplified and at the fore-front of this future society, and maybe that was Karrs' purpose of saying that if we let media decide who we are and what to think, thats what our world will become one day, which is scary.
bibliophile.brouhaha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What kind of whack-job government requires sixteen year-old girls to get proof-of-age tats on their wrists that publicly announce they are ripe for the raping? How does a society even get to that point?To be fair, the synopsis warned me, but bravo to the author for managing to make my skin crawl anyway. Ug, and crawl it did, right from the beginning. Sixteen year-old girls have zero rights in the year 2150. Men openly leer at young girls and check out their wrists to see if they are legally available. If an of-age girl is preyed upon, there basically is no legal recourse for her to take. She is 16 or `sex-teen¿ as the Media so cutely describes her, and was of victim of her own poor choices. However, this is only one aspect of the future world that Julia Karr sets up for us. Another defining point is a tiered level of citizenship, where being at level one makes you only a step above being homeless and being a level 10 gives you a cushy job and nice play to live. How you are treated by hospitals, the Media, and your peers is determined by your level. Other futuristic elements include hovering ttransportation vehicles, or `trannies'; points, which are used to buy food and goods rather than cash; ID chips, which citizens have implanted in their hands; and GPS tracking implants, which everyone has in an ear until age 16.Karr does a great job of making this world plausible in her book, and that might have a lot to do with her characters. Nina is believable from the beginning as care-taker of her physically abused mother and loving older sister to Dee. Aside from her mother¿s horrible boyfriend, what she is stressed most about is turning 16. Her best friend, Sandy, is the boy-crazed ditz we all would love to smack (honestly, I don¿t think I could take a real life Sandy). Derek is a passionate musician with a mellow attitude, and Mike simply is a likable guy who isn¿t a threat to anyone. Add in new friend Wei (who is freaking rad, tough and very artistic) and love interest Sal, and you¿ve got yourself a believable high school group of friends.This was a decent book with an interesting premise. However, my mind did wonder a few times, but the chapters were short and the story would quickly pick up again. I think XVI probably could¿ve been a shorter, more tightly written book. It seems to have two major plots for Nina: 1) making sure she and her sister are safe (there are significant threats to them both); and 2) completing the final task her mother left her before she dies after being lethally attacked. Besides that, there were many subplots, mostly to do with the drama one would expect within a high school crowd. They seemed to mesh together relatively well and one flowed in and out of another, but at times it was a little difficult sorting through what was important. The all-controlling government and Media invoked a sense of paranoia, but this wasn¿t an overstretched aspect of the story; it simply was something the characters dealt with through a few different means. Obviously, sex is a major topic in the book, and it was interesting to see how control over it could shape a one¿s entire sense-of-self. It is portrayed by different people as a choice, a commodity, a right-of-passage, a means to a better future and, of course, as rape. There are never graphic, detailed descriptions of sex or rape, although the few occurrences of leering men and the references to rape will make you cringe. I don¿t think it was overly done, however, and it really does make you aware of how it must be for Nina and other girls who have to live this way. Given the synopsis, the reader is fairly warned. Thankfully, Nina is a particularly self-aware character who was raised by a mother determined to make sure Nina was as free from sexual threats as possible once she turned 16. However, Nina fears men and sex regardless, and her views on her own choices are heavily influenced by her mother¿s relationship with her violent, disgusting
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another one of the dystopian YA novels that I like so much. XVI was entertaining, a nice twisted after reading the mess that was Bumped. I find YA author's obsession with sex to be interesting, I thought that Karr had an interesting, though sometimes I wasn't sure her characters were going to make what I thought were good choices. Overall, an easy read.
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a world where teen dystopian novel have taken off, I am completely in heaven. I've been a fan of dystopian (or, for those not familiar with the term, negative utopia) fiction ever since I first picked up George Orwell's immortal novel 1984 several years ago. Though this has always seemed to be a somewhat obscure genre in the adult fiction universe, it has found an unexpected home in the teen/YA world. It seems like ever since the popularity of The Hunger Games, teen dystopians are being released in bucketfuls, heading toward a new peak in 2011. While some of these dystopian novels tend to be nothing more than a paranormal romance with some elements of dystopia, this has brought about a fascinating resurgence of interest in dystopian worlds.Nina Oberon's sixteenth birthday is coming up. In her world, when a young girl turns sixteen, she is given an "XVI" tattoo on her wrist, so that everyone knows she is legal of age -to have sex. The Media portrays this as a wonderful freedom for young girls, who will then have the opportunity to join FeLS (Female Liaison Specialists) and, presumably, improve their social status. The idea is a no-brainer for some like Nina's friend Sandy, but Nina isn't looking forward to turning the legal age and experiencing life as a "sex-teen." When Nina's mother dies, she leaves behind a book that the government would kill to get...The world of XVI almost seems like a stepchild of 1984. It's incredibly dark and fascinating, but strikes a haunting resemblance to our world today and, sadly, I can easily see some elements of XVI coming true if the world continues in much the same way it is now. One of the most frightening aspects of XVI is the Media, a vast corporation owned by the government -and fed exclusively by the government -that controls all of the information available to citizens. Most importantly, the Media hypes up the glamor and freedom that comes with a young girl becoming sixteen and, of course, joining the supposed elite FeLS.What I particularly liked about XVI is the fact that's its more cerebral than most YA dystopian novels out there. Karr openly discusses teen sexuality issues, which is incredibly refreshing, dark and edgy for a teen novel (of course, I'd note that this book isn't appropriate for young readers). As someone who shares many of Nina's beliefs on sex, I enjoyed reading about a character who didn't buy in to the Media hype and wanted more out of her world than the supposed "freedom" of sex at sixteen.XVI, though, isn't perfect. The world is a well-constructed, thought-provoking dystopia with plenty of issues for the characters to explore. However, I was a little off-put by the somewhat rickety writing. It's not completely smooth, somewhat weak and, at points, seems to go around in circles, neglect important details or even not go far enough into the deeply-rooted issues of the world. Karr really has amazing ideas here, but she could use a little more work in the writing department. I've seen online that XVI is supposed to be the first book in a trilogy, so hopefully Karr's writing will get better in future installments.Ideal for older teens who enjoy thought-provoking dystopian worlds.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book and the way the world was portrayed. There were so many emotions and so many....changes in the world that it was easy to see with Ms. Karr writing.This book is awesome. I like how Ms. Karr used the future of the world and what is going on today to formulate a wonderful story. Never have I heard or read anything like it. The rules of her world are easy to see and how our world today is progressing. In XVI girls have to dress easy and be all sexed up by the time they turn 16. They are told how to act, what to wear, and to do stuff that is beyond disgusting.The world of XVI is scary and one that some girls and women could relate today. Nina is a strong character with strong morals. She knows what she wants and what is right. In searching for her mom's killer, Nina learns new secrets and is not bitter. She takes everything in stride, knowing that they were secrets for a reason. Nina is mature. Very mature and has learned things the hard way.My only gripe about the book is that its slow. It takes a while to get into things and for things to start coming out. Of course I do understand because there is a lot of explaining of what the future is like in this book. if you like to read dyspotian and something of what this world s today, read this book. It will open your eyes like no other book has ever done.
Nikkayme on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4.5XVI is one of those books that stick with you. Not just because it is a well-executed and thought-provoking dystopian, but because it has so many components that lend to its greatness. Nina, the MC and a 15 year old girl who is terrified to age that one year and become a `sex-teen,¿ is strong, but fragile at the same time; she¿s far too grown up for her years, but still just a child. Her life is dictated by the world around her ¿ which isn¿t a great one.Julia Karr has created a Chicago of 2150 that is eerily reminiscent of the world of 1984 (one of my favorite books of all time) and she constantly reminds the reader just how much control the government has over its inhabitants. The technology is believable, at times it¿s incredible and I wish I could experience it, but other times it just shows how much the government interferes in everyday life.Nina, her sister Dee, her grandparents, and all of her friends truly have very little control over their own lives. The tier system is very much the same as a caste system and with little hope of moving up in tiers, the girls who turn sixteen sign themselves up to literally become sex slaves, only they believe they¿re signing up for a better life, just with a few strings attached. Even Nina¿s best friend, Sandy, is convinced that joining the FeLS (Female Liaison Specialist) is the perfect way to move up in life.Karr throws Nina into the world of The Resistance and forces her to question all she has ever known, while introducing her to the mysterious Sal too. Nina¿s only hope at escaping a life of forced sex and possible death, is in the whispered words of a dying woman. Those words drive Nina to become a stronger person, with an unbreakable determination.At times an emotional thriller, XVI touches on many aspects of the society that we live in and pushes the limits on what could be. Tense, horrifying to imagine, but impossible to put down ¿ I was enthralled in this future world, the technology, and the characters. All the characters are developed and no one felt flat to me. My only complaint is that the ending is rushed. I would have liked to see all of Nina¿s struggling and worrying pay off in a more fleshed out way, instead of the quick wrap-up. But still, this is a dystopian that cannot be missed.Opening line: ¿Nina, look.¿ Sandy jabbed me in the ribs. ~ pg. 12Favorite lines: I¿d choked back so many tears, they¿d become a lake of sadness in my belly. ~ pg. 36And this one: ¿Personal sacrifice lies at the center of change for the better.¿ ~ pg. 189
katiedoll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think my favorite thing about futuristic novels is the worlds that they take place in. They¿re different, they¿re brutal, they¿re almost unimaginable. XVI is another prime example of that. Sex among teenagers is such a touchy subject nowadays and with some people, it¿s extremely frowned upon. The idea that sex at sixteen is sugarcoated to be something to strive for is a ridiculously ironic twist and I absolutely loved it.There were a few things that I wasn¿t crazy about; it was kind of unclear, to me at least, what the aim of the story was. Everything seemed kind of scattered. Nina¿s trying to keep her little sister¿s brutal and abusive and dangerous father at arms length. She¿s trying to uncover her mother¿s murder and seek out the father who she believed to be dead. She¿s trying to reign in her feelings for Sal, a mysterious boy who takes an interest in her, because she doesn¿t want to be like every other girl at her age: a sex-teen. It was a lot to digest and made for an anticlimactic ending, but it did keep me enthralled.I don¿t know if this is the first book in a series or anything, but for the very least, I¿m crossing my fingers for a sequel. Karr sets up a taboo world that opens the door open for an immense amount of issues for Nina and the gang. I¿d love to read more about Nina¿s father, her relationship with Sal - which I would`ve loved to see more of - and the rebellion of the Non-Cons who struggle to restore the freedom and values the world once had.Overall, XVI is a fresh and exciting story that explores the dark side to futuristic ideas about sex and teenagers. I was immediately swept up into Julia Karr¿s twisted world and I can only hope that she satiates our need for more with a sequel!
abackwardsstory on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dystopian lovers rejoice: Julia Karr's XVI marks the start of a wave of 2011 releases in the genre. Her debut novel is reminiscent of the classic novels 1984 by George Orwell and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. XVI 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. XVI has moments that are tragically sad, full of frantic adrenaline, and laced with mystery. Whenever Nina was with Sal, it felt very real: These were truly two teenagers exploring their first real relationship together, with all its ups and downs.Despite the fact that there will be at least one sequel and a companion novel, XVI didn't end on a cliffhanger. It was such a relief after all the books I've been reading that make you need to know what happens next right now. There are a lot of loose strings and questions to be answered, though. Karr is currently working on the sequel, tentatively titled The Sisterhood. There will also be a companion novel entitled Cinderell
raboyer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sinister Sixteen*Read via ARC from Around The World ARC ToursThis book gets a not bad 3 out of 5 gnomes it has a pretty great concept and the characters are interesting, there's just not enough answers to the main character, Nina's questions.I was disappointed by the book not being more like its description. The description made it sound like she'd be on the run with her sister Dee but they just end up living with her grandparents.Nina and her best friend are very different when it comes to their society's social norms for sixteen year olds. Nina is of the view that just because getting a XVI tattoo on your wrist is mandatory, it doesn't mean that you should go right out and have sex. She sees the tattoo as giving people an excuse to just go out and target girls. Sandy on the other hand is a complete sex-teen and believes all the hype of the media and what they are taught in school. They are basically encouraged to have sex as soon as they turn sixteen.In the future the world is pretty much run by the media and strictly controlled by the government. Freedom of speech is laughable and surveillance is everywhere. People fall into different tiers in society that are much like a caste system. The lower tiers which Nina is a part of, have almost no hope of rising to the top tier.Also just like in any good dystopian society/future there is a rebellion fighting against the repression. After her mother is killed and before dying she gives Nina an important task and tells her to keep her sister Dee safe.Now Nina has to worry about Ed, her Mom's abusive boyfriend/Dee's father. She's afraid that he will take Dee away to be a servant for him. Nina doesn't want a boyfriend but that starts to change once Sal comes into the picture. He's different then anyone that she's ever know and knows a lot about the resistance.I know that Ed's a horrible guy and he does make a great bad guy for the story. The one thing I don't understand is why Nina seems so scarred from just seeing some of Ed's pornagraphic vids/videos by mistake one time. It's not very plausible to be that messed up from accidently seeing a dirty video especially with her not wanting to talk or tell anyone about it. In this society with everything that we know about it and how sex obsessed it seems you would think that a fifteen year old would know that videos like that exist or at least not be traumatized by seeing one.Secrets and mysteries abound but I just wanted more answers to be given. Towards the end of the book it looks like some major questions are going to be answered and then it just ends. I'm looking forward to the next book to see what happens next. After lots of time spent looking for answers there are still plenty of questions left and the story stops on a positive note.
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this Young Adult dystopia, it is the year 2150, and life has gotten much worse for women. When a girl turns sixteen (or ¿sex-teen¿ as it is known), she gets an XVI tattooed on her wrist. This means she is now legal sex bait for anyone who can get to her. As the protagonist Nina Oberon explains: "We¿re all supposed to be so excited about sex and willing to do whatever with practically any guy who asks.¿But Nina has differing views than most girls about turning sixteen. Her best friend Sandy, who pays constant attention to the propaganda, can¿t wait: "Sex has got to be the most ultra thing in the galaxy!¿Even Nina¿s eleven-year-old sister Dee is excited about it: "All the verts [advertisements] tell you how popular you¿ll be if you dress and act so boys want to have sex with you.¿Nina, on the other hand, is not looking forward to having sex. She has seen the state-approved videos, but she has also seen the porn kept by her mother¿s abusive boyfriend Ed, and never wants to be treated like that. Plus, she is afraid to lose who she is by falling in love with someone else.Sandy is especially interested in being selected for training as a Female Liaison Specialist (FeLS). All fifteen year olds are required to fill out the forms for this mysterious position, and then ¿choosers¿ select from among them. They are told that FeLS ¿get to wear ultra clothes and hang out with vid stars and have all kinds of money.¿ Ed is a Chooser, but Nina¿s mother Ginnie is adamant that Nina not get ¿chosen¿; there are rumors it is just a cover for recruiting virgins for sex slavery to service upper-level government officials.Ginnie is knifed to death one night, and Nina suspects Ed, but can¿t prove it. Right before she died, Ginnie passed some shocking news on to Nina along with a cryptic last request, which Nina is determined to fulfill if only she can figure out how. Now orphaned, Nina and her sister Dee are sent to downtown Chicago to live with her grandparents, the parents of her dad who died right after she was born.One day Nina sees a group of ¿¿letes¿ (college athletes known for animalistic behavior) [insert sarcastic comment here about some things never changing even in dystopias], pummeling a homeless person. The homeless are considered to be ¿no better than river rats¿ and get beaten up and killed regularly. But Nina risks her own life to intervene. When the `letes leave, she is shocked to find the homeless person is a boy about her own age, and moreover, under all the scrapes and blood, he is attractive. His name is Sal Davis, and it turns out he goes to her new high school.By hanging out with Sal and his friend Wei, Nina and her friends learn the dark secrets of the regime. With their help, she also is able to uncover the secrets of her mother¿s life, and find the solution to the problem her mother passed on to her. But Nina¿s friend Sandy can never overcome the propaganda she was brought up to believe, and her willingness to buy into the system has tragic consequences. Evaluation: I thought the darkness of the world created by the author was appropriate; it sounded like a definite possibility to me. It struck me as much more realistic than the similar but "lighter" dystopia portrayed by Lauren Oliver in Delirium. As for the exploitation of women, much of it was implied rather than described. By way of comparison, I tried to read the adult dystopia, The Windup Girl, written by Paolo Bacigalupi and published in September 2009. It won all kinds of awards, but the sexual abuse was so horrific I just could not get very far in my reading. This book includes mistreatment only by way of suggestion.I also was not bothered, as some readers have been, by the fast chemistry between Sal and Nina; when I was her age, I continually ¿fell in love¿ for no reason whatsoever besides the way someone looked or walked or even the color of his hair. And I¿ve known plenty of girls like Sandy. I would p
ilikethesebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is totally up my ally, so naturally, I was excited and expecting alot. Almost everything I wished for was presented in this novel, however, the way Karr went about it was just a bit confusing to me... XVI is a dystopian novel with a resemblance to The Handmaid's Tale by Margret Atwood, but beautifully written in its own way. Nina is plagued with the fact that in just a few days she will turn 16. And unlike nowadays, when a girl's 16th birthday is the definition of "freedom", Nina's 16th will be anything but. On her much dreaded 16th, Nina will be poked with needles while getting multiple shots and a XVI tattoo on her wrist pronouncing her sexual eligibility. As Nina's life seems to start to unravel thread by thread, not only does everything she was used to start to change, but family and government secrets surface with every event. Nina's story holds a shocking amount of suspense, love, and a scary interpretation of what the future can hold for us all.I did enjoy this book quite a bit, but like I said before, I was slightly confused with all the new slang and terms. I wish there was a guide or key or something in the beginning of the book to make it easier (whether this is me being ridiculous or such a thing is actually needed, I'm not quite sure). I found my self uncomfortable with the situation at more than a few times, and only a good book can do that. XVI was frightening, but also interesting, thought provoking, and suspenseful. If you like dystopians, I recommend this one
MrsTeeMae on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
WOW! I don't know what to say about this book. It was definitely different than any dystopian book I've read. While it had some similarities to Matched, like the age you get matched and the age when you can have sex. I thought this book was very controversial, but not in a bad way. I loved the plot and the action of the story. I think the super futuristic stuff threw me off a little bit. But that is just my opinion. Maybe I am not so much for the future, Jetson-like stuff. So basically, when you turn 16 you get the XVI tattooed on your wrist, there letting the world, err, universe know that you are legal to have sex. What bothered me was the fact that women or girls in this book were used and abused. Sixteen or not, they were looked at as a piece of meat, like they were beneath men. I think the great thing about this book was what that it emphasized on society does to the younger generation with the TV ads, the Magazine ads, and the pressure it puts on teenagers in the present. It's really sad to think that a lot of these teenagers are doing everything they can to get attention from boys or whoever just to fit in. I think this is a great book for teenagers to read. Even though it is placed in the future, I think a lot of it is happening now. So if you love the futuristic stuff, dystopian and action, I say read it. This "review" is just my opinion on what I read. I still enjoyed the read.
thebookwormsorg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Overall, I really enjoyed XVI! I had read many comments about the first half of the book being slow and readers not being able to get into it until chapters in. Well, for me it was great from the start. I was thoroughly interested and couldn¿t wait to read more.Nina Oberon is not ready to be sixteen and become an `adult¿. She¿s afraid of what that means, which is that sex is okay and happens all the time, according to the sex-teen giddy girls. But Nina¿s is not okay with that! Just when she needs help with boys the most, her mom is murdered and Nina¿s past is revealed in her mom¿s last words. Nina is sent on a whirlwind of finding out who her father is and fending off her mother¿s killer.Nina¿s grandparents take her and her little sister under their wing and Nina discovers that there are secrets her family hasn¿t told her and she¿s determined to find out. Nina meets a few new kids at school and not just friends, but people who can help her. Everything she discovers has its dangers and ones she may not be able to be saved from.Nina¿s best friend Sandy has joined the sex-teen bandwagon and although Nina dislikes it, she¿s torn, because after all Sandy is her best girl friend. I thought Sandy was really annoying. I just wanted her to shut up and NOT act like a sex-crazed girl. I do, however, feel that Sandy brought meaning to what its like to be forced to basically be `branded for sex¿ and if you go against everything it would make things more dangerous and I truly felt that she was just as brainwashed as the rest of the world. That¿s why Nina stood out so much to me, she wasn¿t just another brainwashed girl. She had feelings and thoughts of her own.Mike and Derek, two of Nina¿s closest friends, I felt weren¿t a huge addition to the story, but I enjoyed their presence. Now, Sal is Mr. Hot Stuff, haha. Nina thinks she doesn¿t like Sal, but I feel that it was always her being afraid. I loved that XVI didn¿t have any steamy relationships, considering the overall concept of the book I thought it was just right.This was one of my first dystopian novels and I¿m glad I got into them, because this book has proven to me they are just as interesting, mysterious, and exciting as paranormal novels! XVI is a must read, so go pick it up!!
titania86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the year 2150, girls are branded with a tattoo on their wrists proclaiming their status as a sixteen year old. This public display of their age is supposedly to protect them and provide freedom, but it really makes them a target for exploitation and sexual violence. Nina Oberon is especially nervous about turning 16. Most of the other girls in her position are excited about dating boys and being viewed as more mature because how the media portrays this age. On television, magazines, and advertisements, girls are encouraged to dress provocatively and learn to attract men. They are also encouraged to join FeLs, Feminine Liaison Specialist service, which is the only way for lower class girls to rise above their station. The organization is shrouded in mystery and not many people hear from girls after their required time there. Nina¿s mother was working to uncover part of this mystery, but she is suddenly killed by her boyfriend. Nina is now determined to continue her mother¿s work, but she needs to find her father. The only problem is she thought he died many years ago. Can she find her father and solve the mystery before she is killed as well?In XVI, Julia Karr takes a negative aspect of our own society and augments it exponentially. Ours is a patriarchal society and women are frequently objectified and idealized in the media in ways not possible to naturally look. This is a negative, but generally accepted or ignored part of our society. We can see this in legislation trying to redefine rape to not include statutory rape or date rape, attacks on Planned Parenthood, blaming victims for rape, advertisements that objectify women to sell items, and legislation to criminalize both abortion and miscarriages. This is a real problem, but this book takes it even further, giving women next to no rights. A woman is killed in the novel and it's not a pressing matter at all to find her killer because she is the lowest of the low in this society: poor and a woman. One of my problems with this novel is that it's never explained why women are treated this way. I guess the rationale is the current misogynistic views evolve to be bigger and even more pervasive, but I would like something a little more concrete to base it off of. The lack of even trying to present a reason just makes it harder for me to suspend my disbelief.I really like how overpowering the media was in the book. There are literally advertisements being blasted at people 24/7. When they are interrupted by the Resistance, people are shocked and pandemonium ensues. Information is skewed and distorted through the media to lull the masses into a false sense of security. I also like that Nina and her friend Sandy provide two polar opposites. Nina does not want to be considered a sexual being and resists the advertising and brainwashing. Sandy, on the other hand, plunges head first into dressing provocatively. Sandy and the media in XVI are a commentary on our own society. The media promotes the American ideal of beauty which is nothing really resembling natural beauty. Sandy represents the young girls who are effected by these images and work to appear less smart to attract a man.There are a few things that bothered me about this book. Nina is pretty inconsistent and frustrates me with her antics at times. One minute she's super overprotective of her sister and then the next she seems to forget about her altogether. It just didn't really make sense to me and made me want to shake her. Some of the language in the novel is weird. For instance, cars are now known as "trannies." I think an author writing now should be aware of current slang. I just laughed to myself every time I saw the word and that brings me out of the story. The word "sexteen" is repeated a ridiculous amount in the novel and it eventually became an annoyance. The mysteries that consume Nina for most of the book are predictable and I figured them out very early on.XVI is a quick dystopic read that leads the reader t
MBels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's difficult not to compare XVI to Matched - the stories are quite similar: dystopian society, teenage girl as the protagonist, the evolution of sexual identity. Although there are similarities, XVI is really very different from Matched. XVI's society is darker and more violent, with rape and sexual slavery apparently being commonplace.I am giving this book the same rating that I gave Matched - although I think Matched is the better of the two (for want of a 1/2 star). I found myself compelled to continue reading this book, even when the clock was well past midnight. The love story between Nina and her boyfriend was quite sweet amongst the general yuckiness that surrounds her, and there was a decent level of danger to make the read interesting. I still found the book lacking in some explanation as to the tiers in society, and I thought the end of the book was a tad rushed. The book ends well on it's own though. I'm not sure if there will be a sequel, but the book has been written as though it's a one book story, and that's a refreshing thing in the sequel-heavy young adult genre.
UniquelyMoiBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The eager anticipation of this books arrival wasn't what it cracked up to be. I was hoping more of a story line of what happened after the arrival, not the journey leading up to. All in all, it was an OK read, just wasn't quite what I was expecting. For Nina, things apparently used to be rather pleasant, being a tier 5 and all, but now, now she's a tier 3. The higher the count, the better the rank in life, the lower, well, that pretty much means your a nobody. And once a girl turns 16, well, you get a not so pretty tattoo labeling you for everyone to see, so they know. They fill your head with lies. Good things happen when you turn sixteen! Yes! You get to leave your family and go with the government to who knows what exactly because nobody seems to come back but they tell you its wonderful!!!Lies!The only way out? There is a contract that can be bought for you so that you don't have to go. That's just what Nina's mom did. Thing is, Nina's mom was murdered and now her contract is missing.
Henriettatwloha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
XVI is a very well-written 2011 debut novel. I truly enjoyed the world building Julia Karr did with her futuristic 2150 US society. The future was similar enough yet just different enough to be truly terrifying. I can't imagine a world in which when I turned sixteen that I would be required to have a tattoo placed on my wrist as a signal to all guys letting them know that they could come to me for sex at anytime. ***On Soapbox***Yet, isn't that what sixteen year olds do now anyways, sans the tattoo, running around in their skin tight clothes doing drugs and who knows what else? I was a teenager not too long ago and it seems that kids are starting to be overtly sexual even younger than they did a few years ago, and I thought it was way too young then.***Off Soapbox*** Karr did an amazing job bringing that not too distant world to life. XVI was a well-thought out book and I truly enjoyed ever minute of it. Learning about Nina's past sucked me right in. I want to know more gosh darn it! Hurry up and write another book already :) I'm not sure if XVI will have a sequel or companion book, it seemed like it could but that it could also stand alone, but I sure do hope that it does. Nina was such a beautiful and believable character that I would love to read about her again right now. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read a believable yet not too distant dystopian novel. It was great!