Author: Julia Karr
Publication Date: January 6, 2011
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge
Summary: 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.
Review: What a stunning book. With all the dystopian novels coming out now in YA this one definitely stands out among them. Nina is around the age were all her friends are becoming sixteen, which, in her world, means teens are ready for sex. But with her mother’s rebellious words and her mysteriously killed father Nina soon finds out that there is more to the Governing Council then everyone knows.
Julia Karr’s book takes you into a rather fearful future, where the young is marked at sixteen that they can have sex. It’s an interesting concept, one that some authors would shy away from in the YA department but Karr embraces it and uses it to her advantage. Though it is in no way what the book in centered on. It is really just the base of the corruption that is being fed into the minds of the people. And as Nina uncovers secrets from her past and new friend that share her belief she soon discovers that she may not be allow in her fight against the government.
I also really enjoyed Sal. He was a great character and his personality just entertained me. He added a lot to the story along with Nina’s other friends and the sad conclusion to the book will leave you heart broken and eager to seeing the end to the world where no one – marked or not – is safe.