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January 4, 2011

Review: XVI by Julia Karr

Title: XVI
Author: Julia Karr
Release Date: January 6th, 2011
Publisher: Puffin / Speak
Pages: 272
Age: Young Adult
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.
Nina is a 15 years old girl, and probably the only one who isn't exited about her sex-teen birthday. When girls turn 16, they receive (obligatory) a XVI tattoo on their wrist. They say it's for protection, but what it really does is to announce the world that you are legal to have sex.

It doesn't seem like a big deal, except that every men have the right to be with you, even if you don't want. And who would believe you? You are a sex-teen. You want this.

Not only Nina have to worry about her sweet sexteen birthday, but also her mother is murdered. Now, Nina is all alone with her little sister and old grandparent, trying to discover her mother's secrets and dealing with the possible killer.
I was scared for this future. It's not only about a govern that controls you, but about women. It's sad, but I can see it. The Media, in this book, is showing you how to be, how to act, just for the boys to like you. Isn't it that way now? Isn't everyone showing you how cool you are if you have sex?

Not only I was scared, it was stressing to read this book. But don't get me wrong, I believe it's the way it's supposed to be. Nina have so much to deal with, I felt bad for her and grateful our society isn't like this one...yet.

Women have walked a long way to have freedom to think and do whatever we want. But really? Are you sure? For example, no one is making you do it, but every thing is showing it to you and telling you how great it is. So who isn't going to do it?

I was very impressed with XVI. For me, it is one of those books I can't stop thinking about it (and talking about it with my boyfriend). It really had me wondering if women are always going to be considered as sex object.

It was fast paced but sometimes I had to stop reading it because it was too much. But I always came back, and  usually read a couple of chapters more. The writing is good, and as I said before, I was totally feeling the same that Nina felt. I liked the character (well, most of them), specially Nina's friends.

Overall, I think XVI is an awesome first book of a series. It's a dystopia that seems to be very similar to our present and I can't wait to find more answers at the sequel, which I think it's called The Sisterhood, and Cinderella Girl, a spin-off tale.

More about this book at juliakarr.comGoodreads, Amazon


  1. Great Review! I really want to read and review this one!

    Any chance you want to trade???

  2. Sounds intense. Great review.

  3. Thanks for stopping by The Wormhole - I am a new follower!

  4. Definitely on the top of my TBR pile!