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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

XVI

XVI
by Julia Karr

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. (goodreads.com)

I am always worried when I say how much I was blown away by a book that I received for review that people won’t believe me. I hope that those of my readers who have been reading me for a while know that I am a very honest blogger and if I do not like something I will say that. If I did not finish a book I will write about that too. So believe me when I tell you that I was truly, honestly, deeply blown away by this novel.

In fact I started it around 11:00 am this (Saturday) morning and was done by 3:00 pm in the afternoon. I was hooked from the first pages. That first chapter had me sitting up straighter on the couch (because for some reason I feel that helps me pay better attention? I do that when I am listening to something particularly interesting on TV or radio, too. It’s odd.). I could not put this book down and yet I needed to because I had things to do today! Guess who was not nearly as productive as she wanted to be? Also guess who read this book until the end despite the major migraine that had started around noon. (I went to take a 1.5 hour nap after I finished the story to try and dull the pain a little.)

When Penguin Canada sent out an email with “Hey, bloggers! Do any of these titles interest you?” I was drawn to the cover of XVI it reminded me of Willow with the slice-y type cover. The summary (different to the one from goodreads above) caught my interest with the whole branding of 16-year olds to let the world know they are ready for sex thing. This sort of world was one I wanted to read about and praise the gods that we’re not like that here. I was not expecting a story that takes place in 2150 and just doesn’t seem like a very nice time to be living.

Nina was such a great protagonist. I loved her from the start and I even liked her little sister Dee (which is very rare that I like anyone’s little sibling in a book!). Her grandparents were pretty cool characters too but I think the second favourite character next to Nina was her new friend Wei. I don’t know why, but I just connected with her.

This book makes me think of The Handmaid’s Tale which I always wish I was able to finish. I was supposed to have read it for a Lit class in CEGEP (college) but I just couldn’t handle the entire story. I did that thing where you read the first 1/3 of a book, read a chapter in the middle and then read the last two chapters. Heh. Then I bluffed my way through my analysis paper and didn’t do so good. I actually blame the poor mark on the fact that I just couldn’t understand what was going on and I was bored by the story. Thing is, Margaret Atwood is Canadian and I have always wished I could get into her books and I can’t. Shame on me.

XVI also reminds me a little of Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien. It’s another story where the children grow up thinking the world they live in is better now until their eyes are opened to what’s really going on. I was captivated by the horror of each of these “New Worlds” and thank my lucky stars that as sucky as it is sometimes, at least I don’t have to be forced to have sex with people and have babies for them. *shudder*

I like when I discover a book, adore it and then realize it can be used for a challenge I am doing. Wooty woot! This here novel is a Debut for 2011 and therefore I am adding it to my list right now!

I also read today, over on James’ blog, that there are plans for a sequel, which makes me happy as well!

Yes, this makes two reviews posted in one day, but I couldn’t resist. I finished both books today and I couldn’t wait to write about either of them!

XVI series

  1. XVI
  2. Truth

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