by Julia Karr
Young Adult science fiction
Pub date January 6, 2011
Ever since The Hunger Games got popular, publishers are more willing to take a chance on young adult dystopian science fiction. I couldn't be happier--it's my favorite genre. XVI is another one that I've read recently.
Sometime in the near future, Nina Oberon lives in a world where turning sixteen is a huge milestone. Gone are the days of "sweet sixteen"--in Nina's time, turning sixteen means that girls are fair game for boys who are looking for a good time. Once you've been branded with a XVI tattoo, you're expected to be up for just about anything. But for girls like Nina, who aren't sure that they're ready for sex, it means constantly avoiding older boys in dark alleys and quiet corners.
Just before her sixteenth birthday, Nina's family experiences a terrible tragedy and she finds herself relying on former strangers. She begins to realize that her life is not what it seems--and she's caught up in a race to find out what it is before it's too late.
Karr puts forth some interesting ideas in XVI. Her version of the future is loud, uninhibited, and a little scary because it's not completely unbelievable. I'm curious to see what her next book has in store for us.