Author: Julia Karr
Date Released: January 6th, 2011
Rating: 4 out of 5
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 contiunes as normal, everything will be okay.
Then, with one brutal strike, Nina's normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believed 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.
In XVI, Nina does not want to turn 16 at all. She absolutely dreads it because the moment she gets the letters XVI tattooed onto her wrist, it basically means that she's not protected by men anymore, if you know what I mean. She just wants her life to stay normal, where she doesn't have to worry about guys and the FeLS (it stands for Female Liaison Services, I believe) and where she can hang out with her best friend, Sandy. However, her life turns upside down when her mom, Ginnie, is murdered. On her death bed, Ginnie tells Nina a shocking secret, that leads Nina into even more potential danger.
I really liked the whole concept of this book, probably because I'm really into dystopian now and haven't really read a book like this, but it's definitely unique and really interesting. The only problem I had was maybe the confusing lingo. There are so many new words like 'trannies,' 'noncons,' and 'verts' (which I still honestly am not totally sure about). However, Karr creates a future that isn't exactly ideal, especially for girls like me (I'd probably be fearing for my life right now since I'm 15), but a possible future, with a situation that could be likely (which I guess is the whole point of dystopian novels...).
To me, the characters seemed okay. They were all strong and had their own unique personalities, but I just sort of felt like I couldn't really connect to them. There was a little bit of flatness with Nina, maybe because she's such a serious character, but I really liked Wei, her new friend that she meets when she moves to Chicago after her mom's death. What I thought was really cool about Wei was that she was half Japanese ^^ Sal was a sort of confusing character because why would you want to dress up as a hobo?? In this future, hobo's are not welcomed at all and are often beat up, so why would you want to pretend that you're one? That was a little confusing, but overall, he seemed like a really great guy.
The plot was really captivating. However, the ending seemed a little rushed, and I sort of wished that it could have been played out differently. The romance between Nina and Sal also adds to the interest factor as well because you really don't know if it's going to play out that well since Nina tends to be cautious around guys.
I honestly wasn't sure in the beginning if I was going to end up liking this book or not because I'm not that big on reading about things that happen like those in XVI. In the end, I actually ended up really liking it. Maybe if you're a bit uncomfortable with subjects like this, then I wouldn't really recommend it, but if you're fine, and you loooove dystopian novels, then go for it!
I'm not exactly the biggest fan of this cover, but I think that it really fits the story. It has this mysterious aura, and the palette of colors that they used really fits as well. But, what's really cool is how the XVI is elongated across the cover, and in each letter, a part of the girl's face is shown.
*Description copied from the back of the cover. If you want to read a different one, click here.
**Review copy purchased.