Friday 3 February 2012

XVI by Julia Karr

Every girl gets one.
An XVI tattoo on the wrist--sixteen.

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 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.

***If you haven't read this book, it might be a good idea not to read this review. There are some spoilers***

After reading the blurb for this book, I was intrigued. The concept is bizarre and is bound to make any woman feel uncomfortable. But with the way the world is today--with the media going crazy over the dumbest things, and the need for some to belittle and control females--it doesn't sound as far-fetched.

Nina lives in a world where as soon as a girl turns 16, she gets a tattoo on her wrist to let the whole world know she's 'legal'. Yeah, legal to have sex. Beforehand, the Media has been prepping them how to become irresistible to the opposite sex, paving the way for perverted predators to take advantage of them. I know, it's really quite sick, right?

The concept of this book might be scary, but the story's fantastic.

Nina's a very strong character with real morals, heart, and determination. Her mother has done everything she can to make sure Nina doesn't become just another statistic. Even after her mother is killed, Nina is determined to carry out her last wishes... which involve tracking down the father she's always believed to be dead.

After moving into the city with her grandparents, she also becomes deeply involved with a boy called Sal. Someone who challenges her decision to not become a sex-teen. She just doesn't believe there's any in-between and assumes all guys are after the same thing. But Sal's different, and also has a connection to the new things she's discovering exist beneath all of the adverts and government control.

There's a lot of stuff going on in this story, like her mother's boyfriend stalking her to fulfill his own ambition, the protective role she takes with her little sister, her best friend's obsession with turning 16 and how it will change her life, her need to find her 'dead' father, seeing the world in a new light, discovering not all 16 girls are the same... Yeah, there's a lot, but it's all awesome! And everything gets resolved, one way or another.

The tension--especially towards the end of the book--is amazing. There's some sadness, and even some hope. The worlduilding is also very detailed.

Yeah, this book turned out to be so much more than I had expected! And I just found out there's a sequel. Can't wait to read it!         

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