Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world—even the most predatory of men—that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past—one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.
Review: I loved this book! There is no other way to put it. At first I was a little wary of the whole "government controlling everything" concept because I've tried to read other books with that theme and I didn't really like it. But this book was nothing like I thought it would be. Although the government did control things the people still had free will on certain matters, like choosing to get their GPS removed and other things.
The characters were what really made this book. Nina was awesome. She has to be the strongest main character I've seen in YA in a long time. She was kind of forced to be strong for her sister once her mom died, but even before then she had independence and she wasn't going to be forced into something she didn't want. Wei was a great friend. She's the kind of girl who I think everyone would get along with. She's also strong willed like Nina and knows how to stick up for herself. Sal has to be the cutest guy ever. And he and Nina make the absolute sweetest couple. I felt so bad for sandy because even though she was kind of a ditz she did what she thought was the right thing based on the society she lived in. As for Ed he was a horrible man who got what he deserved.
There was never a dull moment in XVI. Even if Nina was just having a conversation or learning about her parents it was exciting. This is one book that you definitely want to pick up and read if you haven't already. And although the ending wasn't a cliffhanger it left me excited for the next one and looking forward to hopefully seeing Nina and her dad together.
Source: My personal library (e-book)
Published: January 6, 2011by Puffin/Speak