While I really liked the whole idea of this book, I feel a little torn reviewing it. On the one hand, I really liked the way sex was portray3.5 Stars.
While I really liked the whole idea of this book, I feel a little torn reviewing it. On the one hand, I really liked the way sex was portrayed, since I'm kind of conservative. I liked that Nina was against just "doing it" like every other "sex-teen". I liked that she wasn't alone in her feelings of this, too. I also really liked the fact that the Media was totally saturated in all things sex, because, let's be honest, it's not a far fetched idea. We already live in a world where sex literally sells, so, as far as ideas are concerned, XVI had a pretty valid concept.
The problem is, as I mentioned before, I'm a pretty conservative person. I'm not a goody-two-shoes, but I felt a little...awkward with all of the sexuality. And the characters were great at combating the idea that all the sex from the Media was a good thing. I get that. But what made me uncomfortable was the pro-Media characters. Ed, in particular, was the sole reason I finished the book with goosebumps and a twisted feeling in my stomach. Sure, it's an unfortunate reality that sickos like him really do exist, but my "find-the-good-in-everyone" optimism took a flying leap off a cliff by the ending because of him. I still feel a bit sick just thinking about it...
One of the highest redeeming qualities of XVI was Nina's friends. The Jenkins family especially made me grin from ear to ear. If I were ever in need of help or security, they would be at the very top of my go-to list. Wei was one of those characters you sincerely wish were real -- 100% best friend material! I even liked Sandy to an extent because she reminded me of someone I knew. Sal, on the other hand, wasn't quite a favorite of mine. I would have liked to read more about his background, because he seemed kind of two-dimensional.
Concerning the ending, I still feel a bit torn. I want to say I was completely satisfied with it, but I felt it was left open too much. I'm guessing there will be a sequel, because there are still so many unanswered things in it.