Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
XVI Paperback – January 6, 2011
Customers who bought this item also bought
In 2150 Chicago, girls are walking billboards. Upon turning 16, they receive government-issued tattoos on their wrists that read “XVI.” They’re supposed to keep the girls safe, but in reality, the tattoos broadcast their brand-new sexual availability. As their sixteenth birthdays approach, Nina is increasingly disturbed by her best friend’s obsession with becoming the ideal “sex-teen” and entering the Female Liaison Specialist (FeLs) service, the only option for women from the lower tiers to move up the social ladder. Meanwhile, Nina works hard to uncover the mystery her dead mother left behind, a secret that could end the entire FeLs program. In her unsettling debut, Karr depicts a sex-obsessed future where women are the perpetual victims of predatory marketing, and other societal ills seen in our present—families trapped in the welfare system, pharmaceutical companies in bed with health-care providers and the media—have been taken to terrifying ends. At times the message goes overboard, but there’s no doubt this well-written, accessible sci-fi thriller will provoke discussion. Grades 9-12. --Courtney Jones
Gender politics and sexual awareness play prominent roles in Karr's thought-provoking dystopian debut, set in a totalitarian future. A solid, enjoyable story. Ages 14 up. --Publishers Weekly
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Most girls buy into the Media hype that turning sex-teen is "ultra." It's hard not to when the Media, from an early age, bombards them with the message that they want to be surrounded by boys who desire them and that having this tattoo equals freedom.
Most girls cannot wait for their tattoo to proudly display the fact that they are of legal age. Not Nina Oberon. Not only does she not want to be branded, she doesn't even want to have sex. And the idea of being marked does not make her feel even remotely close to free.
When Nina's mother is stabbed and left for dead, she questions whether the attack was random. And when she finds out that her mother has been keeping secrets, Nina is dead set on finding answers.
In a society where your every move is tracked, your conversations monitored and free thinking is not allowed, searching for answers can be risky, even deadly. And as Nina uncovers truths that her mother has kept hidden from her, will they put her in even more jeopardy?
XVI is author Julia Karr's debut novel of a dystopian society set in 2150. Although futuristic, it is not outlandish to think that with the natural progression of our current society that the vision of the future the author created is a very real possibility.
In XVI, government control has escalated, class systems or "tiers" have been set up as yet another form of regulation, the Media has gotten much more powerful and influential, freedom of thought is discouraged and girls are being treated as second-class citizens while athletes are treated like royalty. Very believable and all within the realm of possibility.
XVI is an engaging, effortless and often humorous read. There are a number of original ideas, but it is the characters in this story that distinguish it from other books in the genre.
The three female main characters have very diverse personalities that work well in this story - Sandy, the media-seduced, flighty sex-teen on one end of the spectrum, and Wei, strong, independent and free-spirited on the other, with Nina, our heroine, somewhere in between, creating the balance.
Nina's mother Ginnie, while not present for most of the story, has great presence throughout. We see her character through Nina's eyes as she looks for answers and in Nina herself as she has been raised to not take everything at face value and to think for herself.
Add in the rebellious Sal, Nina's lovable grandmother and her cantankerous grandfather, and you have a wonderful new set of characters to fall in love with.
This story does not end in a cliffhanger, but there are so very many questions left to be answered in the sequel.
First, I actually did like the main focus characters. Protagonist, Nina is a strong and smart leading female, even at age 15. Her family and friends are a decent group of people just trying to survive in a world where they have very little control over their own lives. In fact the character development was probably the strongest part of the read for me. I genuinely cared about nearly each and every character, even the more secondary ones.
Not the best, upsetting yes, but I get it... mostly:
XVI is about a dystopian world sent in the future (2150) when at age16 girls are required by law to get XVI tattooed on their inner wrist to show... the world I guess... that they are an adult and ready for sex. The media, the government, basically society all push this as a great and positive thing and are constantly pushing the propaganda for girls to sex themselves up so boys will be more attracted to them. And this future works on a class system, so basically prostituting yourself out there is a great way to move up I the world, right?... just check out the verts overwhelming you from the shops as you walk down the streets, trying to convince you to buy the latest thing to hit the shelves that will make you more popular, more attractive, your life better. But truly all the XVI tat is, is a big green light on the girl for any skeezy, guy/boy/man to corner her and well, have sex with her weather she is consenting or not, cuz hey she must want it right, just ask the media and look how she's dressed, oh and hey why not invite my buddies to join in too, it'll be a party! Not to say you're safe from these encounters if you're under 16, but they are practically condoned if said girl is "sex-teen". Needless to say the future is not pretty in the 2100+.
Not a fan:
Although I felt Ms Karr was respectful in avoiding "spelling out" some of the more graphic sexual material, in the end it was almost worse just having the references made and leaving the horrible details up to the reader's imagination. The stuff regarding Ed completely turned my stomach and I just kept thinking... This is a book intended for teens?
Okay, with some potential:
The actual plot, aside from the issue of the XVI, is the rebellion group the NonCons, an anti-establishment/anti -government/anti-media and anti XVI; who are an underground resistance, but they are still a bit of a mystery and only tastes were revealed about them throughout the story as Nina searches for her once thought to be dead father. There isn't a big cliffhanger, but this is the first in a series so there are still questions to be answered.
As far as me moving forward with the next installment of XVI, I'm undecided. I will say this though; being that I found much of it disturbing (at age 32) I can't imagine my teenage son/daughter reading this... NOT a YA read in my book. 2.75 stars
Most recent customer reviews
Plot: The biggest reason I decided to give this book 2 stars instead of 1 is because of the...Read more