Overall, I really enjoyed XVI! I had read many comments about the first half of the book being slow and readers not being able to get into it until chapters in. Well, for me it was great from the start. I was thoroughly interested and couldn’t wait to read more.
Nina Oberon is not ready to be sixteen and become an ‘adult’. She’s afraid of what that means, which is that sex is okay and happens all the time, according to the sex-teen giddy girls. But Nina’s is not okay with that! Just when she needs help with boys the most, her mom is murdered and Nina’s past is revealed in her mom’s last words. Nina is sent on a whirlwind of finding out who her father is and fending off her mother’s killer.
Nina’s grandparents take her and her little sister under their wing and Nina discovers that there are secrets her family hasn’t told her and she’s determined to find out. Nina meets a few new kids at school and not just friends, but people who can help her. Everything she discovers has its dangers and ones she may not be able to be saved from.
Nina’s best friend Sandy has joined the sex-teen bandwagon and although Nina dislikes it, she’s torn, because after all Sandy is her best girl friend. I thought Sandy was really annoying. I just wanted her to shut up and NOT act like a sex-crazed girl. I do, however, feel that Sandy brought meaning to what its like to be forced to basically be ‘branded for sex’ and if you go against everything it would make things more dangerous and I truly felt that she was just as brainwashed as the rest of the world. That’s why Nina stood out so much to me, she wasn’t just another brainwashed girl. She had feelings and thoughts of her own.
Mike and Derek, two of Nina’s closest friends, I felt weren’t a huge addition to the story, but I enjoyed their presence. Now, Sal is Mr. Hot Stuff, haha. Nina thinks she doesn’t like Sal, but I feel that it was always her being afraid. I loved that XVI didn’t have any steamy relationships, considering the overall concept of the book I thought it was just right.
This was one of my first dystopian novels and I’m glad I got into them, because this book has proven to me they are just as interesting, mysterious, and exciting as paranormal novels! XVI is a must read, so go pick it up!!