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Saturday, August 20, 2011

XVI by Julia Karr

Title: XVI
Author: Julia Karr
ISBN: 9780142417713
Publisher: Speak
Released: January 6, 2011
Page #: 325
Source: My own copy

"Every girl gets one. An XVI tattoo on the wrist - sixteen. They say they're there for protection.

Some girls can't wait to be sixteen, to be legal. Nina is not one of them. Even though she has no choice in the matter, she knows that so long as her life continues as normal, everything will be okay.

Then, with one brutal strike, Nina's normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believe about her life is true. But there's one boy who can help - and he just may hold the key to her past.

But with the line between attraction and danger as thin as a whisper, one thing is for sure...
for Nina, turning sixteen promises to be anything but sweet."
First Lines:

"'Nina, look.' Sandy jabbed me in the ribs.
I glanced up at the AV screen expecting to see the latest vert of back-to-school fashions for sixteens.
'No, there.' Sandy jerked my arm, bringing my attention to the doorway."
Page 1

I think I'm becoming a sucker for all things dystopian fiction. Seriously. As soon as I heard the premise of this book, I was so excited. Luckily, I had a right to be... :)

This book is about a girl, Nina, who lives in a world where girls become adults at 16. This means they are pretty much open territory for guys - a scary prospect. There are a few ways to be protected and Nina is taking all the precautions. Then tragedy strikes and she is forced into a different life and less security. She meets some new friends that have information about her past and begin to protect her from the unknown.

With some dystopian novels, there are twists on words that we use today - I guess to make it seem more realistic that our vocab would evolve that way. But there were a few words in this book that I had a hard time with. Specifically "trannie." It stands for transportation... car, I think. But honestly, my head wouldn't let go of today's version. I had to read some sentences twice... like, there was a green trannie following us. Wait, what?! Oh, right... car. :)

Those silly word games aside, I truly loved this story. I was totally on board with Nina's character. I can imagine that she reacted to situations just how a normal girl would. She has to deal with some things that were more than I could imagine. I was very much rooting for her and every turn, I hoped for the best. I also really enjoyed the character of Wei. She's a friend of Nina's in her new school - she's pretty badass. But she's also in-the-know and gives Nina a friendship that she never knew was possible.

There's definitely a bit of romance in this book. In a world where sixteens are also called "sex-teens," you can imagine that relationships can get a bit tricky. But there's room for real relationships, you just have to look hard for them. I think those that love romance stories will find the love in this book to be a bit heart-wrenching, but amazing.

I will definitely be recommending this book to teens. It's a well-written story and I loved all of the semi-lessons throughout about teen behavior and such. I will say that I'm not sure this book is appropriate for younger teens. It's very much about sex (though it's not all that), and there are some instances of abuse and other unfortunate things. They all go right along with the story, but I'm not sure if it's too much to handle for some readers.

While looking on the author's website, I just saw that there is going to be a second book with these characters. I am more than excited about this! I was hoping to get more of the story - it's a little bit of a cliffhanger, but not really. It's more that you don't know what happens next. I can't wait to see what happens! XVI is a wonderful book from a debut author and I am happy to recommend this one.
Other Blog Reviews:

Down the Rabbit Hole
Book Nerd Reviews
The Bookworm Society
Smash Attack Reads!
Rhapsody in Books Weblog
Brooke Reviews
Me, My Shelf and I


Jen said...

Nice review! I had liked this book, too, and thought it was a good story.

Your comment about the green trannie made me start laughing .... funny how I didn't even think of that when I read the book!

Anonymous said...

Lovely review!!
I'm a bit on the fence about this book, I don't usually read much dystopian but I sort of like the sound of it.


Thanks for the review.

Kat said...

'Trannie'-- seriously? OK, I think the dystopian lingo can be really cool, but that's taking it a bit far, I think. Glad you enjoyed this one, anyway-- I'll probably check it out. :)

Kat @ A Myriad of Books

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