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.
This is probably a book I would have never have picked up considering what it's themes are. But even though it sounds like something that could be bad to read for a Christian, it's actually a pretty good book.
Living in a world where everything is about sex and looking good, Nina Oberon is one of the only people who disagree. Being raised by a mother who believes that her daughter deserves more, Nina realizes that there is more to life than boys and doing "it".
This book tackles some strong issues I think, and I think that the author was brave to write a book dealing with sensitive issues. The book deals with murder, sex, abuse, and other things. It's about standing up for what you believe even if the world says you're wrong. About being strong even when the world around you seems to crumble and how bad things can lead to good. And about no matter how hard things get, it'll get easier in the end. And how you shouldn't believe everything you're told. Anyways, that's the message I got out of it at least.
But besides that, I thought that most of the characters were good. I didn't like Sal very much, there was something about him I just didn't like. I also thought that her relationship with him was strange. Like sometimes she'd be in love with him and other times she wouldn't. I didn't like her friend Sandy at all. Sandy was too superficial and self-centered to be a real friend. She didn't really seem to care about Nina at all. Especially after her mom died. And even after Nina repeatedly told her to stay away from Ed, she didn't. So in the end, I was sad about what happened to her but in a way I kinda thought that she deserved it.
I liked her grandparents. They were funny and amusing. Plus they were cute at times. I'm not really sure what I think about Dee. She seemed much younger than eleven at times. And Ed. I hated him. He was evil. As for Nina, I think she was a pretty good character to related to. Although at times she annoyed me. But I liked how she stuck to her morals even if no one else did. She cared very much about all of her friends and stuck by them even when they didn't really stand by her.
As for the plot I wasn't super thrilled by it. I enjoyed how Nina had to try and prove that Ed killed her mom and where her dad was or if he was even alive at all. I loved the twists that I wasn't expecting too. The only problem that I have is that I think Nina constantly trying to get Ed to leave them alone was over done and that it took up too much of the plot. While Ed is certainly the villian in this story, I would have liked to have seen Nina look for her father more.
And the very end annoyed me. I thought it was really sweet that she finally got to hear her father, but if she's never heard him speak before, than how did she know it was him speaking over the phone?
On Goodreads: XVI
Her Website: Julia Karr
So, have you ever read a book that dealt with strong/sensitive issues? Did the book bother you at all or do you think it handled that subjects well? Did you disagree or agree with the book? And have you ever picked out some themes or lessons from a story? And did those lessons affect you at all?