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, with the government mandated 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; 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. Add to that there’s a murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and he just happens to be her little sister’s dad.
XVI takes place in a dystopian future where 16 year old girls are mandated to get tattoos on their wrists declaring that they are 16 and therefore legally able (and encouraged) to have sex. They are bombarded constantly by the media with advertisements goading these girls into becoming trampy little whores. Anyone that tries to buck the system is labeled a Non-Con by the government and is pretty much disappeared. Fortunately for Nina, her mother raised her to think for herself and question the media.
This book made me think of Fahrenheit 451. It was very similar in that the government and the media were in collusion to keep the populace as mindless sheep. In both books they talked about the constant bombardment of commercials at all times. They also both reference people having earphones (shells in 451 and PAVs in XVI) stuck in their ears almost all the time. I think it would be an interesting compare and contrast lesson for an English teacher, provided that either book could pass school board muster since 451 is often challenged and I'd suspect this one would be too.
Overall, I liked it. It was a pretty interesting read. It comes out in January so add it to your wish list. While you're waiting you can read the first chapter here.
** I received this book from International Book Tours **