Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Review: XVI by Julia Karr
Nina is a distraught fifteen year-old, living in the year 2150. She’s about to turn sixteen, and be branded with a tattoo on her wrist. “XVI,” a government ordered tattoo will identify her age, and signify that she is officially sexually mature. A few vaccinations to fight STD’s and these girls are let loose. Her best friend is elated, and Nina is intimidated-to say the least. Nina’s mother Ginnie has instilled in her to never buy into the government hype. She instructs Nina to “think outside of the box.” The government is listening at all times. The media, a mere tool to use for its own propaganda. When life seems like it couldn’t get any worst, it does. Ginnie, Nina’s mother is brutally murdered. The government kept her alive just long enough to tell her daughters goodbye. The machine was shut down, and Nina is filled with questions. Coming from a lower tier (class) these machines are not normally used, reserved for higher tiered citizens. Why did the government allow her mother to say goodbye? Nina is concerned about who killed her mother, but investigations are not a priority for lower tiered people. In the few minutes she had left, Ginnie asked Nina to take care of her younger sister, and get Sandy’s baby book to Nina’s father. Nina’s father was thought to have been dead since the day Nina was born. Nina is confused, frustrated and shocked. Nina’s world is turned upside down, and she endures. She is uprooted to her loving grandparents house, and is the rock for her younger sister. Can her father really be alive? Nina begins to uncovers her mother past, her parents were not the individuals they seemed. Nina uncovers her sisters past as well. Nina has a lot to tackle, and in the midst of all the mystery, she must keep her sister away from her abusive father. In the coming weeks she will be branded “XVI.”
XVI is unique, thought provoking, and very well-executed. Honestly, when I first starting reading XVI, I wasn’t automatically absorbed into the plot. It did take me a little while, but once the action began to take place, I couldn’t put the book down. It took me a little while to understand the terms that Julia Karr used, but it didn’t take me long to learn and this didn’t hinder the book, I was intrigued. The characters began to develop quickly, and the plot was not stagnant. The secondary characters were quickly introduced, and indispensable. Julia Karr creates a world that is shockingly realistic, brutal, and alarming. XVI really left me thinking, and wondering how much of this could be true in the future. Media really affects each generation, and each generation is subjected more and more to the media. I wonder how far will the media be allowed to go?