Published: January 6, 2011
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: XVI #1
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.
I'm actually surprised that XVI hasn't gotten better reviews. Not that I've seen negative reviews of it, but none of them are particularly gushing either. I thought it to be much better than some other raved about books out there, but I'll keep that to myself.
So. XVI felt like an intensified version of our society. Females are looked at much the same way, but they're completely stripped of their rights. Religion has become pretty much obsolete. This is something that I found interesting about XVI. I won't go into my religious beliefs. I don't have any. That's kind of the point. I've never actually sat down and considered what our society would be like if few believed in any gods. What would a world of atheists be like? Do I believe the world would be as it is in XVI? Not at all. But it definitely made me think.
While I'm surprised there aren't many raving reviews, I'm afraid this one won't be raving either. I liked XVI. I didn't love XVI. There were certain things that annoyed me about the story. Mainly the naivety of damn near every character. Nina kept walking into danger, she kept things from people so they were completely in the dark, and her best friend was practically brain dead, absolutely incapable of thinking for herself or listening to reason. Nina was also back and forth back and forth back and forth. She doesn't want to have sex, she doesn't want to have sex, she may want to have sex, she does NOT want to have sex. It just got old after a little while.
The other thing is the lingo. Non-cons? I don't even understand what the hell that stands for. I don't recall it ever actually stating what that meant, and if it did, please, PLEASE correct me.
XVI was a good story. I did enjoy it. Never once did I get bored and consider not finishing, and I am anticipating the sequel.
Language: None, unless "skiv" at some point in the future, becomes a derogatory term.
Sexual Content: Kissing. Many references to sex. (Think Secret Life of the American Teenager)(Okay don't think that, it wasn't mentioned that many times) References to rape.