From the back cover: Every girl gets one. An XVI tattoo on the wrist--sixteen. They say they're for protection. Some girls can't wait to be sixteen, to be legal. Nina is not one of them. Even though she has no choice in the matter, she knows that so long as her life continues as normal, everything will be ok. Then, with one brutal strike, Nina's normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believed about her life is true. But there is one boy who can help--and he just may hold the key to her past. But the line between attraction and danger as thin as a whisper, one thing is for sure... for Nina, turning sixteen promises to be anything but sweet.
This book creeped me out a bit. Imagine having guys stare at you like a piece of meat and the only thing holding them back is the fact that you don't have a tattoo on your wrist proclaiming you are 16 or a 'sex-teen' as they are sometimes called. Even then, sometimes the lack of tattoo doesn't hold them back. What a horrible way to live! Nina is unlike other girls, she hasn't been brainwashed by the media into wanting sex, she feels she isn't ready and was taught by her mother to think for herself. The book starts fairly quickly, right away we are thrust into the world Nina lives in, complete with GPS trackers embedded into their skin and 'tiers' separating people in the class system. Sandy, her best friend, is the epitome of what the media is trying to create, she is eager to get her tattoo and does everything she can to get the attention of guys including flipping her hair exactly the way she read about in a magazine that, you guessed it, encourages this type of behavior. We don't get to learn much about Nina's mom Ginnie until after the incident, she is in my opinion one of the most interesting characters. The story moved at a steady pace, while there was always something happening the story did sometimes slow down as the characters did more 'everyday life' stuff. As for Sal, what an awesome guy! What did you think there was no romance? Of course there is, and I liked him. Like Nina, he isn't like the others. He is above the media, but there is something more to him... as the blurb suggests, he seems to know more about Nina's past than she herself does. The ending was both nerve-wracking and optimistic, like with all dystopain novels optimism is something I am grateful for, I don't like endings where nothing good can be expected. I cannot wait to 'meet' a certain character in the sequel to XVI, I am hoping he is everything I picture him to be!
I give this book 4 owls!