Enter your mobile number 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.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

XVI Paperback – January 6, 2011

3.6 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the XVI Series

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.74 $0.01

Available from these sellers.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Series: XVI (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Speak; Original edition (January 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142417718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142417713
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,392,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback

XVI is one of those books that stick with you. Not just because it is a well-executed and thought-provoking dystopian, but because it has so many components that lend to its greatness. Nina, the MC and a 15 year old girl who is terrified to age that one year and become a `sex-teen,' is strong, but fragile at the same time; she's far too grown up for her years, but still just a child. Her life is dictated by the world around her - which isn't a great one.

Julia Karr has created a Chicago of 2150 that is eerily reminiscent of the world of 1984 (one of my favorite books of all time) and she constantly reminds the reader just how much control the government has over its inhabitants. The technology is believable, at times it's incredible and I wish I could experience it, but other times it just shows how much the government interferes in everyday life.

Nina, her sister Dee, her grandparents, and all of her friends truly have very little control over their own lives. The tier system is very much the same as a caste system and with little hope of moving up in tiers, the girls who turn sixteen sign themselves up to literally become sex slaves, only they believe they're signing up for a better life, just with a few strings attached. Even Nina's best friend, Sandy, is convinced that joining the FeLS (Female Liaison Specialist) is the perfect way to move up in life.

Karr throws Nina into the world of The Resistance and forces her to question all she has ever known, while introducing her to the mysterious Sal too. Nina's only hope at escaping a life of forced sex and possible death, is in the whispered words of a dying woman. Those words drive Nina to become a stronger person, with an unbreakable determination.
Read more ›
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The dystopian future that Julia Karr worked with in XVI should have been creepy, unsettling, and more than a little thought-provoking. It was. Unfortunately, not for the reasons the author probably intended. A lot of these comments have mentioned the way that the narrative dragged and that Nina was essentially a boring heroine. That's all true.

What no one seems to have mentioned is the awful messages that this book perpetrates. Nina's best friend, Sandy, buys into the idea of being a sex-teen (an overly sexualized, vapid sixteen year old who's only motivations in life revolve around boys). And we're supposed to sympathize with Nina on how much she wants to help Sandy out, but just can't seem to get Sandy onboard with her concerns.

I really wanted to sympathize. I did. Except that was kind of hard when Nina refused to actually TALK to Sandy about her problems. Nina finds out that her friend essentially wants to sell herself into sex slavery. Instead of sitting down with Sandy and having a conversation about it, Nina decides on her own that Sandy is too stupid to actually understand. This occurs two seconds after Nina is outlining how Sandy isn't very smart, but can be perceptive. What?

The idea that all men are basically dogs who can't control themselves was unnerving, but necessary to the premise of the story. I get that. The idea that women have no control over their own destinies? That I wasn't so on board with. The only women who had any backbone at all in this novel were those that were fortunate enough to be educated. It's a nice thought, and yes, education is important. But the idea that those girls who haven't been fortunate enough to receive the kind of learning that Nina, Wei, or Mrs.
Read more ›
Comment 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
It's a little bit strange, but I feel as though I've grown particularly choosy when it comes to the dystopian novels I pick up lately. I'm not sure if this is a result of the seemingly increased number of YA ones, in particular, being released. Or if it's merely that my taste is evolving somewhat over time. I did read several for the SciFi/Fantasy panel I served on for the Cybils this year. Some were good, some not so good, as is to be expected. But so often the substance fails to live up to the premise for me. And those are sad days, where I wonder what went wrong and if it was the book, the execution, or me. In any event, I was looking forward to the release of Julia Karr's debut novel--XVI--with a fair amount of anticipation and curiosity, hoping it would stand out among its fellows and earn a permanent spot on my shelves. I read it in the space of a single evening and have been examining my thoughts on it for a little while now.

Nina Oberon is about to turn sixteen. And in her world, this monumental occasion is about more than just a driver's license and more freedom on the dating field. So much more. At the ripe old age of sixteen, or "sexteen" as her world calls it, girls are essentially fair game for any and every boy/man/pervert that comes strolling by. Girls turn sixteen and get the infamous XVI tattoo on their wrist proclaiming their newly available status and Nina, for one, is scared. Most girls, like her hyper best friend Sandy, can't wait to achieve their new status in the world. Drunk on the wealth of male attention that will come their way and the promise of a whole new host of opportunities that will come their way, they anxiously look forward to the day they get their tattoo. Not so for Nina.
Read more ›
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews