Tuesday, September 4, 2012

XVI by Julia Karr

XVI (XVI #1) by Julia Karr
Publisher:  Puffin
Publish Date:  January 6, 2011
ISBN: 978-0142417713
Pages: 325

This was a very interesting idea.  When girls reach the age of sixteen, they receive a tattoo of 'XVI' on their inner wrist.  They are expected to act and dress flirty/sexy and silly.  Unless they  want in the FeLS Program.  They only take virgins and a very small percentage of girls are accepted.

It's never really explained what FeLS is...or I missed it somehow...but it gets poor girls out of their dire circumstances and lets them travel and meet people. 

The citizens are put into Tiers - there's very few ways for a lower tiered girl to raise up higher.  One is to join FeLS and one is to get a good job, the last is to marry a higher tier man.

Right before Nina's mom dies, she gives her instructions and information.  Nina tries to figure it out and handily just happens to land in the midst of the people that have all the information. 

The writing was okay, but the story would drag over things that just didn't seem to matter much, then BAM! the important seeming parts flew by quickly and weren't really discussed or commented on.

Nina was an okay character.  She trusted people a bit easily for someone that knew she was a target.  I'm still not sure why she agreed to go see the band and have Sandy meet her there...that seemed like a completely stupid thing to do, but I guess there had to be a way to have that situation happen.

I would love to see a dystopian book that doesn't hinge on teens and their having sex or babies.  It's always the girls.  What's up with that?  In this one, if a girl is sixteen or 'sex-teen', there's no such thing as rape - she wanted it.  If she ends up hurt or dead, it's no big deal, she put herself in that position.  I get the idea behind it, I'm just a little tired of it at this point.  

I see that there is a second installment out now, I'm not sure if I'll try it or not.  It might be a good story, but the whole sex-based thing is putting me off.

1 comment:

  1. We haven't read this book yet, but we appreciate your thoughts on it. We've met the author at readings/signings a couple times and she seems really cool, so we do want to read her series. Good to know what we're in for.

    Btw, we agree that there seems to be a lot of YA books about the sexualization of teen girls. We wonder if that's because people are sensing an unease in adolescent girls about the topic, or if we are projecting our concerns backwards onto them...