XVI - Julia Karr

Synopsis: 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.

Review: What a great read! I’ve read a number of dystopian books, but this one I felt was a little bit different, and it was refreshing! The book didn’t spoon feed me, it expected me to keep up and figure out the definitions for myself. Things like “Non-Cons” I figured out what that meant in the 4th chapter or there abouts, there was no background explanation which during chapters 1 and 2 frustrated me, but I appreciated it in the long run, because the book hit the ground running and got straight into the action!

The story line itself was absolutely compelling. Nina is about to turn 16 (or sex-teen as it’s commonly referred to). She’s not sure she wants to get the 16 tattoo on her wrist because then she will be an adult. Her mum has told her certain things about the Government, but she is about to find out a WHOLE lot more that will shock her. There’s also some romance in this story too - which lets face it, we all love some romance!

The characters were so strong and well written. Nina has such a strong will and knows what she wants. She may not physically be a strong girl, but she is still what I would consider emotionally strong. She is thrown into so many situations, from her mother, to finding out about her father, Ed coming after her… she is pretty amazing.

Wei covers the physical aspects with her martial arts training, and then Sal is also portrayed as a protector.. someone who is strong as well. I even think that Sandy is quite strong as well - she is strong willed and stubborn and is determined to be selected for FeLS.

I really like reading a book that has kick ass characters personally - maybe it’s because I am such a wuss myself that I get a thrill out of it!

Ed was pure evil, everything from the videos Nina saw, to the physical violence he bought upon Nina’s mum and then everything that is to come later in the book, he is absolutely dispicable and so easy to hate. I’ve said it before, but I truly love having someone so easy to hate in a book. A good villain is essential a dystopian novel!

Fantastic book, I am giving this a 5 out of 5 for it’s abilty to have me turning pages like it did. It was highly enjoyable and I am of the understanding there will be more in the series. If this is true, then I am very much looking forward to a sequel!

Rating: 5 out of 5

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