Tuesday, February 12, 2013

XVI Review

Book Review Feb. 10th


XVI by: Julia Karr

4 Stars

Blurb: 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...

I absolutely loved XVI. Normally not a fan of the dystopian world, I thought this imagining of the future was rather fitting considering the way of our current society. If your normally a dystopian fan then XVI should be right up your alley. There's love, mystery, murder and of course secrets waiting to be uncovered.
In some ways this reminded me of the Matched series. Mostly how the Resistance broadcasts, just as the gov't and opposing party do in XVI. Nina's father is surprise, surprise, the head of the resistance, just like Ky's parents being part of the opposing side in Matched. At least here I have some hope that Nina will be able to meet her father, though, but by the end of this book it had yet to happen. They spoke about ten words over the phone but it's all a big secret that he is even alive and she cannot even tell her grandparents.

Secrets is a popular theme throughout XVI. This new world they live in claims to look out for it's people and at 16 teens are given a tattoo that not only broadcasts their age but in a way marks them open for business, the females that is. 

The media have hyped up becoming 16 so many of the lower tier girls cannot wait to become of age. Basically 16 announces that they can have sex and it is often referred to as 'sex-teen.' In some ways this is exacerbating the whole sweet 16 party idea, which, not so long ago was used as a coming out party for girls who are now of age to marry. XVI takes it a step further. There is a program called Fels which girls of 16 can join. Because of the way the media portrays it, the Fels program seems like the answer to many prayers. Nina's friend wants nothing more than to join the program and be trained in the forms of sex just so she can rise above her two tier status. We learn that Fels is really just a gov't sex-trafficking program that basically uses the girls and then discards them like trash. But of course, the media keeps the true purpose a secret.

After the loss of her mother, Nina moves in with her grandparents. Who let me just say are awesome. They take her and her sister in without complaint and seem to have secrets of their own. Nina has a great group of friends and when she moves and meets Wei, her kick-ass Asian friend, she seems to be on the right path to get some answers she desperately needs.

The city-life in which these characters live is an outlandish imagining and though they have fast, hovering cars and bots advertising in storefronts, all the freedoms that we readers now have, have all been denied in this new world.  

Because of the topics XVI covers, for many this book is either Love or Hate. I am definitely in the Love side and cannot wait to read book two. (damn library for only having part one!!) I was thankful she managed to get out of the Fels program since I wasn't looking forward to reading details about that, however, I am excited to see how Sal and Nina work a sexless relationship into a sex craved world and find her father so not only can she meet him but she can finally get her answers.

I did find one error that made me pause briefly. Not so much as those annoying spelling issue but at one point Nina rushes off to first period and then a page later they have homeroom....???? 

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