Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fresh New Voice of YA- XVI by Julia Karr

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."- summary from Amazon

Wow. This is a well-defined dystopian and it's creepy how omnipresent the government is. Karr really did some wonderful world-building here and the danger of being overheard is present throughout the novel, so there's this sense of suspense and wariness that I got as I read. It's like I was in the novel with the characters and was facing the same dangers and punishments they do.

The ending is a bit open-ended, which I wasn't a huge fan of even though I know a sequel is coming. There's also a little romance, which is cute, but it's mainly in the background with all the action up front. It's a nice change of pace.

Overall, this was just a really good book that I couldn't put down. I don't really know what else to say; it's just too good for words!

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.


  1. Great review! Stop by and say hi if you get a chance!

  2. I think maybe it was because I read Matched, Delirium, and then XVI all pretty much right in a row, but it wasn't that good for me. It was intense, sure, and some of the content was WAY higher than your usual YA. And I really liked the premise, but it just -- it didn't get me as excited as Matched and Delirium. :/

  3. I am just reading this now and I saw your review link. I am seriously enjoying what I have read so far. Plan to spend the rest of my day with this book!

  4. Kristin- Thanks for commenting! I'll definitely try to stop by sometime.

    Sarah- It might have been. I didn't like Matched all that much (3 out of 5 for me). Haven't gotten to Delirium yet. Thanks for commenting though!

    Cat- Glad you're enjoying the book! Can't wait to see your review!