Can You Wait for XVI?

 Title:  XVI
Author:  Julia Karr
Format:  Kindle Edition
Length:  328 pages
Publisher:  Speak
Age Range:  Teen
Rating:  3 Stars

“In the year 2150, being a girl isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when your sixteenth (read sex-teenth) birthday is fast approaching. That in itself would be enough to make anyone more than a little nuts, what with the tattoo and all – but Nina Oberon’s life has taken a definite turn for the worse. Her mother is brutally stabbed and left for dead. Before dying, she entrusts a secret book to Nina, telling her to deliver it to Nina’s father. But, first Nina has to find him; since for fifteen years he’s been officially dead. Complications arise when she rescues Sal, a mysterious, and ultra hot guy. He seems to like Nina, but also seems to know more about her father than he’s letting on. Then there’s that murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and just happens to be her little sister’s dad.”

Friends...Before and After?
 This is a very difficult review to write due to the fact that overall this book is quite an enjoyable read.  The problem here  is that in order to get to the most enjoyable and well written parts of the story; readers must first muddle through unexplained acronyms, repetitively annoying one dimensional characters, and wayward plot lines.  Otherwise known as the first half of this book.

Though the main character of Nina Oberon is written to perfection.  It is her friend Sandy, and her "I'm  so sexy and stupid beyond measure, but wait I'm still a virgin.  Really!"  thing that makes one want to tear out every page on which her name appears.  If not her then Mike, the fat poor kid with the big mouth and no real prospects. (Aka friend #2) 

Derek (aka friend # 3) barely misses this list because he: manages to hook up with Wei, Nina's upper-tier friend and conspiracy partner, sings in a band, and has a brief and very awkward crush on Nina.
The thing to keep in mind here is that Sex Pot Jr., Mike, and Derek are all Nina's "poor" friends or pre- traumatic event.  The ones that she meets "post traumatic event" have a lot more money, a lot more drama and a lot more character. 
Wei and Sal (aka Bonnie and Clyde)

Wei is the cool girl who Nina relies on to help her discover her past and unravel several of the mysteries that make up the bulk of the work.  She is perfect in every way and a welcome relief from SANDY!

Sal is the cool but mysterious boy who Nina can't help but love.  He is the person that helps Nina to discover who she is in every sense of the word.  His relationship with her is the one that makes her complete.  Although all of his cloak and dagger in the beginning is nerve racking.

What's It All About?
Though the premise of this book would lead one to believe that it is modeled after 1984; the more that one reads into it, you come to realize that it is more a tale of one person's obsession, rage, manipulation, and quest for revenge with the "big brother" aspect as backdrop and one girl's search for self, love and friendship in adversity's wake.  The things that detracted from this story can all be chalked up to the news author's learning curve.  There is now a second book in this series and here's hoping that the errors of the first work will not be seen in the next.

1 comment:

  1. I loved 1984, but I really can't stand unexplained acronyms....pondering.
    When I saw the cover I thought: It seems like something I'd enjoy. Now, I'm not so sure...
    Thank you for the review.


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