By Julia Karr
Blurb from Goodreads: "Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world—even the most predatory of men—that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past—one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer."
This was a fantastic book. Fast paced, always learning something new about the society and world, a little romance, and a young girl standing up for her rights. Wow.
Nina is an easy character to identify with. She's clever and tough, but still has a soft heart. She would, and does, do anything to protect her little sister. The world is a lot to get used to at once. Karr wastes no time with introductions, you just dive right into the world of PAV's, blasting media campaigns, and teens being portrayed as nothing more than a sex toy. That's right. I said it out loud. But Nina is different, she doesn't believe in the propaganda, and longs for a life at a slower pace.
On top of their social caste system, her mother's death, and her growing infatuation with a boy to deal with, Nina is running from a murderer and searching for the truth.
This is a page turner that you won't want to put down unfinished. Karr's writing and world gripped me from the beginning. One thing I really liked was that she doesn't waste too much time on descriptions of the world. Something is introduced, used, and we're done. I like that. I tend to, uh, skim long detailed passages, so it suited my style. It definitely gets a high recommendation from me.
Has anyone else read it yet? What did you think?