XVI by Julia Karr

Nina's best friend Sandy may be excited to turn 16, and get her required tattoo that let's the world know she's officially legal to have sex...but Nina dreads it. Ginnie,her mother, always warned her to think for herself. She knows that Media twists the truth, and she fears what boys will do if she isn't willing to comply. Nina doesn't want to become a sex-teen. No thanks! She's seen first hand how getting pregnant can keep you tethered to someone. Just look at Ginnie and Ed, her younger sister Dee's father. He's already married but he still hangs around. Mostly to beat up on Ginnie. A fact that baffles Nina even more: that Ginnie stays with him.

Nina just wants to focus on moving up. Not with FeLS though-Female Liason Specialists-becoming top tier still isn't enough to make her turn her back on her family and friends for two years. Not to mention what the program actually entails...which includes dozens of girls who never returned. No, Nina wants to be a creative and protect her family. No boys allowed.

When she saves Sal in the park, she thinks he's homeless. Getting lost in his beautiful brown eyes or even running into him again were never on the agenda. When he starts showing up places, and hanging out with her friends, there isn't much she can do to avoid him. It's hard to deny the spark between them, but she has bigger issues.

Her mother...why didn't she call Ginnie "mom" more often? How can she be...gone? Everything is happening so fast. Moving in with her grandparents means moving back to their old school, but it also means dealing with Ed all on her own. Her sister never saw Ed for who he really is, and Nina fears he will want her for a "Cinderella girl" to his own family. She won't let that happen.

Nina befriends Wei, a girl from her new school whose parents also knew her parents when they were kids. As Nina gets to know her better, she learns Wei's family - and maybe hers too - are involved in some pretty dangerous stuff. The secrets keep piling up, and she doesn't know how to keep them all. The deadling of sixteen is looming over everything, getting closer every day. Can Nina survive it all? Can she keep her friends and family safe?

*Library Link*
"Sometimes I wondered if I was some kind of freak myself. Most every girl my age was getting primed for turning sex-teen. I had my reasons for never wanting to have sex. I just didn’t have anyone to talk about them with," (Karr, 2011).
If you liked this, check out:

Truth by Julie Karr (XVI, Book 2)
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Matched by Ally Condie

Karr, Julia. (2011). XVI. New York: Speak.

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