XVI (XVI, #1)
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XVI (XVI #1)

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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  5,870 ratings  ·  922 reviews
Every girl gets one.
An XVI tattoo on the wrist--sixteen.


Some girls can't wait to be sixteen, to be legal. Nina is not one of them. Even though she has no choice in the matter, she knows that so long as her life continues as normal, everything will be okay.

Then, with one brutal strike, Nina's normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believed about her li...more
Paperback, 325 pages
Published January 6th 2011 by Puffin/Speak (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Miranda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kira
This book was absurdly bad. It really was. Everything about it just bit. Oh, and don't be fooled, gentle readers; this is not a deconstruction of the sexualization of women in media. No, this is a virginity indoctrinating, weirdly preachy meandering mess. Of the hot variety.

I won't say much about it, only this: according to this book, you're a whore. You're all whores. Unless you're chaste like Nina, that is. Then you're not a godforsaken terrible whore. Then you're clean. But if you're like San...more
Phoebe
XVI is not a feminist novel.

I’m opening my review with this caveat because, as someone who owns a dog-eared copy of The Feminine Mystique, whose heroes are Margaret Atwood and Ursula Le Guin, and who has, at times, stopped shaving her armpits (sometimes one just can’t be bothered), accounts of feminist content in Julia Karr’s debut were definitely a selling point for me.

The initial premise of XVI make it sound as if it has feminist potential. In the near-future, girls are allowed to have sex on...more
Caris
Finally, a mediocre dystopian teenage girl novel. I was beginning to think I was losing my fucking mind.

This one follows a character named Nina in a future world where girls are allowed/expected to have sex once they turn sixteen, or, as the book calls it, sex-teen (this clever wordplay should really be treated as the bad pun it is, but no such luck). She (surprise!) doesn’t want to have sex.

This isn’t surprising at all for several reasons. The first is that this whole sexual exploitation of gir...more
Jillian -always aspiring-
Jan 02, 2011 Jillian -always aspiring- rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers looking for an edgy dystopian that handles real life issues and spins them to extremes
Dystopians either hook me or leave me hanging. Both The Hunger Games and Unwind terrified me and made my heart ache. The Uglies trilogy irked and annoyed me. Matched bored me. Thus, coming into XVI, I had to wonder: would this be on the high scale of dystopian (a la The Hunger Games) or the low scale (a la Matched)? I'm glad I took the gamble: this book had me hooked and sunk into the depths of its pages and plot.

In the 22nd century, sixteen has become the age of no limits for girls; now popular...more
Hannah
I hate giving a book with such a great idea only one star, but honestly, aside from the idea, there wasn’t a single aspect of the book I liked – it was executed very badly, and the plot was overdramatic and clichéd.

For one thing, there just weren’t enough explanations for the reader to really understand the world Nina lived in – we never find out how it was possible for society to change so drastically. The reader got plenty of information and explanations about minor things like how they don’t...more
Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
Weak. This could be something I can write up and man, I cannot write.
The obsession with dystopian novels at the moment is causing "authors" to come up with works that they will regret.

Some of my favourite dystopias are The GONE series by Michael Grant and The Chaos Walking Series by Patrick Ness.
Larisa Papy
I’ve felt this book kind of special. I think because it’s like in the real life. Well, maybe today the girls don’t get this tattoos , but they really behave like “sex-teens”.

I wasn’t sure about this book. I think the ideea of teenagers like “sex teens” made me read it, because it’s a near future. In XVI, Media controls the teens, and in the real life also. Maybe not so much, but definitely Media has power over them.

I can't say I had big expectations about this book but it surprised me.Well, it c...more
the golden witch.
I was born in the 80s, I grew up in the 90s, when the media market image of girls became the most sexualized it’s ever been. Flashbacks of CNN debates about the oversexing of the “desired” female image in the west came to mind when I started reading this book – not that that’s a a bad thing. This book paints a picture of what our future may be if we keep going the way we’re going.

I have to say – for a debut, I was floored by the sheer balls that Karr has for even bringing up this issue, much les...more
slayra
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margo Berendsen
This book gave me goosebumps at times, because it is just so frighteningly plausible. It's our same culture, just more extreme, with the media more powerful, a 1984-esque world masquerading as fake fun, fashion, flirtation.

There were some cool science fiction features, such as the Infinity Machine. And some very powerful writing:

I sat at the window and drew the shapes of the buildings outside. Rectangles and squares stacked side by side and up to the sky. Neat, orderly, controllable. The compl...more
Angie
It's a little bit strange, but I feel as though I've grown particularly choosy when it comes to the dystopian novels I pick up lately. I'm not sure if this is a result of the seemingly increased number of YA ones, in particular, being released. Or if it's merely that my taste is evolving somewhat over time. I did read several for the SciFi/Fantasy panel I served on for the Cybils this year. Some were good, some not so good, as is to be expected. But so often the substance fails to live up to the...more
Ruth Day
The premise was interesting and characters and plot had potential, but the potential was never reached because the writing was just BAD. About fifty pages in, something awful happened in Nina's life and I should have felt her pain, but I didn't. A lot of it had to do with the way the author worded things. Sometimes I would think, "If only she had worded this sentence this way, then it would have been so much more impactful." Also, she did something that I've been tirelessly teaching myself not t...more
Rain Misoa
Dec 08, 2013 Rain Misoa rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one but if you're curious then go ahead.
Recommended to Rain by: Library
I am going to start off by saying I couldn't even finish this book. I just couldn't. I normally try to finish every book I start, but I've gotten to the point where if I am not enjoying a book, I shouldn't force myself through it. I am just making myself miserable and ruining my reading experience. This book was the last straw. It pushed me over the edge and I just had to stop.

There is not a single thing I liked about this book. The writing is mediocre. I never once felt like I was being pulled...more
Riona
I was hoping for an explicitly feminist young adult dystopia here, maybe an updated The Handmaid's Tale for the younger crowd. Something empowering, that assured teen girls that yes, sexuality is sometimes complicated, and exploring it is okay if you want to, and waiting is just fine too. Instead, what I got was some wishy-washy future-lite with a trite love story thrown in. Ugh.

Can I just say? I am so fucking sick of love triangles. Or complex polygons, as might be more appropriate here. Maybe...more
Bettina Restrepo
The book is described as "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 breath...more
Mateja
I am now, more than ever, convinced that dystopian is my new favorite genre. I haven't read that many books of this kind, but those that I did managed to wow me. XVI is no different. I was a bit scared to read this book given the touchy subject the author focuses on. Books like that have a tendency to turn ridiculous rather than being deep and thought provoking. Though there were a few silly moments (not the good kind of silly), most of the book was simply amazing and I easily overlooked the not...more
Princess Bookie
My Thoughts: I have been reading more and more dystopian books lately huh? We are introduced to Nina who is 15 years old and fast approaching her 16 or sex-teen birthday. What does this mean? It means that basically any guy who wants to, can take advantage of her without any real rules or punishment and she can do what she basically wants sexwise. There is no law that says she can't. Most girls are looking forward to turning 16, including her best friend, because it signifies being grown up. The...more
Sesana
XVI has been billed as a feminist book, a deconstruction of rape culture. Sadly, Karr doesn't deconstruct, critique, or even give a hard look at rape culture. She simply observes it.

Let's back up to the basic premise here. On their sixteenth birthdays, all girls (and only girls) are given a XVI tattoo on their wrist, to advertise their sexual availability. Paired with the sexualization of media aimed at teens, this has (somehow) lead to a world where female consent is a given. Girls and women wh...more
Kelly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nenia Campbell


. . . Reading this book actually made me angry . I had to stop, because I found it so horrendous, so utterly offensive , that I was unable to continue. Not because of the subject matter, because sex is something that should be discussed with teenagers, but because of the execution. The women-hating, putting men on pedestals, rationalizing abuse, slut-shaming, biblical prizing of virginity, and the discrimination . . . all of this was nauseating. It was a pandora's box of anti-feminist sentiments...more
Theresa Milstein
I waffled between a 2 and 3 on this. It was an interesting premise, a world where teenage girls are super-sexualized and women have less power than they do overall in 2011. I would've liked the role of women explored more. And there really was much more thought than action. When something did happen, it was over in a flash. Then back to Nina worrying. Or people talking about what there was to worry about.

Nina is on the verge of turning 16, when girls are free to have sex. Or be asked to have sex...more
Jonathan
To put this plain and simple, Julia Karr's XVI did not meet up to my expectations.

There were many issues in this book, from the boring thoughts coming from Nina Oberon's head to the hidden lecture we get from Julia Karr herself. I'm not an avid reader, but it doesn't take one to recognize that there was something wrong with this novel.

First off, the story starts for about half the book, just listening to Nina's messed up life from her own perspective. Her father, her mother, Ginny, a mysterious...more
Angie
XVI is a gritty look at a not-so-distant future where girls are registered (aka tattooed), supposedly for their protection, at the age of 16. Julia deftly handles how the sexualization of girls might play out in this dystopia. I quite liked the main character, Nina, who reminded me of at that age. She's a jeans and t-shirt girl whose best friend sees "sex-teen" as her way out. I won't spoil it, but there are some heartbreaking moments. A great read. I highly recommend XVI!
Gemma
I read this one because I thought the premise looked… original, which is something I haven’t been seeing much of in the much diluted world of dystopian sci-fi (honestly, it’s like right after Twilight was published, when everything was vampires. But now it’s bad government systems). It was a dystopia about the sexual exploitation of women. There is so much that could be done here, considering this is actually a legitimate issue in today’s world.

Unfortunately, the execution was bad. From the des...more
Suzanne
This dystiopian offering doesn't deliver on its intriguing premise: In 2150, post-colonization of the moon and use of new fuels from Mars and other high-tech marvels has not improved many aspects of society, most notably for girls turning sixteen years old. These "sexteens" are now fair game for intercourse and can be recruited to an ill-defined government-sanctioned position in which they use their feminine charms for something. This idea of what happens to our main character Nina and her hot-t...more
Lauren
This wasn't my biggest problem with the novel, but it made me "WTF" enough that I'll bring it up first: referring to transit/transportation vehicles as "trannies." Seriously? Did no one who read or edited this book before publication think, "Hey, this might be a bad idea"? Or was it just an attempt to be "edgy"? Protip: using present-day pejoratives as futuristic slang is not edgy.

My biggest problem with this book was the shoddy worldbuilding. I had a hard time becoming emotionally invested in N...more
Allison
Jul 14, 2011 Allison rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone loving the dystopian trend
Shelves: dystopian
This book made me forget to eat, therefore it is evil! I can probably write that first sentence in Latin but that’s not the point! I went an entire day eating nothing and reading this and I didn’t know until late at night when I was so tired that I accidentally deep-fried some eggs. This book must have some magic in its spine, embedded under its inked words. Maybe the cover can perform hypnosis! Okay now that would be cool but onto me review! If I sound crazy, it’s because I am and me like it.

Th...more
Kt
Nina is different than most girls her age. Instead of looking forward to being 16 and being branded as ready for sex to all the men, she is terrified. She never bought the media's habit of shoving sexual readiness down young girl's throats. Her mother has always been right by her side doing everything she can, and sacrificing all to ensure that Nina doesn't end up like many sixteen years, dead in a gutter with no one caring one bit. However, that all changes when her mother is attacked and just...more
Kayt
I get that this is 140 years in the future, but why did this feel so dumb? For one thing, we never found out what happened to create this very superficial, tiered society. And I still find it hard to accept. It was basically government/media fear-mongering.

Where did the 16/sex-teen thing come from? Do you honestly expect us to believe that you were able to unite most of the world into large, controlled chunks? If space travel is a common thing now, how does shooting coffins into the sky *not* co...more
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“Sometimes I wish I could just be like everyone else my age and not think at all.” 46 likes
“I'd choked back so many tears, they'd become a lake of sadness in my belly.” 24 likes
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