Dystopian February Kick-Off 2011 is hosted by Presenting Lenore
XVI by Julia Karr
Summary 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.
I give it a 3/5.
The plot simply didn't live up to its description.
The synopsis made it sound like it would be about Nina dealing with her upcoming 16th (or sex-teen) birthday and being tattooed and what that would mean for her by having her choices being forcibly taken away and where men held all the power and women were subjugated to their whims.
I expected to learn more about the consequences of losing her rights along the lines of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood but it never really went anywhere with it.
Instead it deals more with her mother's secrets and Nina's struggle with her mother’s abusive ex-boyfriend and his threats.
The story was rather repetitive and I could not fully engage with the main character or her plight.
It didn't end on a cliff-hanger but I was left wanting more.
Hopefully with the sequel, "The Sisterhood" and the spin-off, "Cinderella Girl" - I will find the story I was hoping to read.