Tuesday, June 7, 2011

XVI by Julia Karr

Welcome to the city of Chicago in the year 2150.  It is a civilised city of the future where every teenage girl receives a XVI tattoo on her 16th birthday - a clear sign to everyone that she is now ready and legal to have sex.  Some girls embrace the sex-teen culture, learning all the skills and tricks to attract a man, any man, so they can experience sex for the first time, and as often as they like once they have their tattoo.  But not everyone believes the hype, the propaganda that sex is something that every girl should want as soon as she has her tattoo. 

One of those girls is Nina Oberon, who dreads turning sixteen, getting her tattoo, and becoming a target for every sexed up guy who sees her as fair game.  Her mothing Ginnie has always supported her, always made sure that she can make up her own mind, but sometimes that isn't enough.  Nina has never wanted her tattoo, but her best friend Sandy is like a walking advertisement for everything that the GC wants teenage girls to be - sexed up and ready to go.  When her mother is murdered, Nina suddenly finds herself in a very vulnerable position, she is without her mother and without a lot of the answers that could keep her safe.  She is finding new friends and new supporters, but there is a dangerous enemy working against her and if they win she could lose her family, her beliefs, and even her life.

Dystopian novels are a growing genre for teenagers at the moment, and at first it seemed as though this may have been just another one amongst many, but as I read further I became more and more addicted to the story and the wealth of information within the story.  Unlike other authors in the same genre, Julia Karr has really fleshed out her world, giving it a depth and breadth that is sometimes missing - it felt like a real time and place rather than just somewhere that was created by somebody.  I hope that there are more books of a similar calibre from this author as this is an amazing book regardless of the fact that it includes a lot of reference to sex - there is no actual sex in the book, and all references to sex are handled within context rather than thrown in your face.  Highly recommended, although you may find the first few chapters a bit odd to get into to, definitely worth the read.

If you like this book then try:
  • The barcode tattoo by Suzanne Weyn
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • The limit by Kristin Landon 
  • Witch and wizard by James Patterson
  • Hunger games by Suzanne Collins
  • The unidentified by Rae Mariz

Reviewed by Brilla

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