Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sinister Sixteen

XVI by Julia Karr

*Read via ARC from Around The World ARC Tours

This book gets a not bad 3 out of 5 gnomes it has a pretty great concept and the characters are interesting, there's just not enough answers to the main character, Nina's questions.

I was disappointed by the book not being more like its description.  The description made it sound like she'd be on the run with her sister Dee but they just end up living with her grandparents.

Nina and her best friend are very different when it comes to their society's social norms for sixteen year olds.  Nina is of the view that just because getting a XVI tattoo on your wrist is mandatory, it doesn't mean that you should go right out and have sex.  She sees the tattoo as giving people an excuse to just go out and target girls.  Sandy on the other hand is a complete sex-teen and believes all the hype of the media and what they are taught in school.  They are basically encouraged to have sex as soon as they turn sixteen.

In the future the world is pretty much run by the media and strictly controlled by the government.  Freedom of speech is laughable and surveillance is everywhere.  People fall into different tiers in society that are much like a caste system.  The lower tiers which Nina is a part of, have almost no hope of rising to the top tier.

Also just like in any good dystopian society/future there is a rebellion fighting against the repression.  After her mother is killed and before dying she gives Nina an important task and tells her to keep her sister Dee safe.

Now Nina has to worry about Ed, her Mom's abusive boyfriend/Dee's father.  She's afraid that he will take Dee away to be a servant for him.  

Nina doesn't want a boyfriend but that starts to change once Sal comes into the picture.  He's different then anyone that she's ever know and knows a lot about the resistance.

I know that Ed's a horrible guy and he does make a great bad guy for the story.  The one thing I don't understand is why Nina seems so scarred from just seeing some of Ed's pornographic vids/videos by mistake one time.  It's not very plausible to be that messed up from accidentally seeing a dirty video especially with her not wanting to talk or tell anyone about it.  In this society with everything that we know about it and how sex obsessed it seems you would think that a fifteen year old would know that videos like that exist or at least not be traumatized by seeing one.

Secrets and mysteries abound but I just wanted more answers to be given.  Towards the end of the book it looks like some major questions are going to be answered and then it just ends.  I'm looking forward to the next book to see what happens next.  After lots of time spent looking for answers there are still plenty of questions left and the story stops on a positive note.


  1. Hmmm... doesn't sound like a book for me.

  2. I've got this one and it looks like such a fun read! I do hate when the book ends without a lot of major answers being given. Thanks for the review!

  3. @Sullivan, @ajmitchell Yeah it was an okay book but I expected more from it. I'm looking forward to the next book because it seems to be where most of the answers will be given.


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