Sunday, January 30, 2011

XVI - Julia Karr - 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge: Book # 2 (of 12)

Title: XVI
Author: Julia Karr
Year: 2011
Publisher: Speak
Date Read: 1-30-2011
Overall: * * * * * (5/5)

GoodReads Blurb: 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.

Plot: * * * * *
Characters: * * * * *
Style: * * * *

My Review: This book only furthered my love for dystopian novels. Nina is such a fiercely independent character, refusing to give in to the "sex-teen" ways that are constantly pushed upon teenage girls in the society she lives in. She is forced into becoming like a parent to her little sister, Dee, and though she loves Dee, she is also frustrated that this has happened to her family.
There was such a great contrast of characters in this book. Nina's best friend, Sandy, is nothing like Nina and cannot wait to turn 16 and caves to all of the advertisements that tell 16 year old girls how they "should" act. Nina doesn't want her life to belong to anyone else, and though the two disagree on a lot of things, their friendship still feels genuine.

I really enjoyed reading about Nina's base group of friends. Mike and Derek were great supporting roles, and their love and friendship for Nina and Sandy, and, later on, Wei was so evident. Wei was a great role model for Nina, a like-mind for her to find comfort in. Nina's budding relationship with Sal felt strange at first, because it seemed like I could feel Nina's confusion and discomfort with it.

I really liked reading about the way our future could turn out. It's one of my favorite things about dystopias, because sometimes it feels so real and so possible. Hopefully people read these books and are then determined not to let our world end up like this. I really liked that there is still a "Creative" designation, because at least it meant people could use their talents. In Matched it made me sad that people weren't allowed creative thought in any way. The ideas about what sex could mean in the future were strange, and rather disheartening, since 16 year old girls are sort of forced into thinking sex is great and can only improve your life, when in reality the girls could end up in what turns out to be a sex-trafficking scheme run by the government. Fun.

Another thing I liked about this book was the "chase" feeling. I loved that Ed could be anywhere and that there was this constant unsettled feeling and anxiety. This book really kept up the pace and it felt like it went by really fast. I didn't want the last pages to come. I am wondering if it will be a series or a stand alone story. There is some definite series potential.

To Buy: Amazon

Currently Reading: Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
Currently Listening To: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (read by Carolyn McCormick)

Books Read in 2011: 12

No comments: