XVI by Julia Karr325 pgs.
In this futuristic totalitarian world each girl upon reaching the age of sixteen gets a government issued tattoo making them available for sex. All girls are primped and primed for years from a barrage of advertisements in preparation for this moment, so much so that they can hardly think of anything as that day approaches. It’s supposed to be for their protection, but instead it turns them into targets for every sex craved individual. Nina doesn’t want to become the typical sex-teen like her best friend Sandy. Nina’s mother is attacked and reveals the shocking truth with her dying breath. Now Nina and her younger sister, Dee move in with their grandparents. As Nina searches for the truth about her father’s disappearance, she is plunged into a world of secrets. If that’s not enough she has to keep one step ahead of her mom’s killer who may be someone she knows. This book starts really slowly and includes many acronyms which are not explained. But stick with it, once it picks up you won’t be able to put it down. Clearly there is strong cautionary message about teen sex, predatory marketing, media-obsessed public and social climbing and can get a bit heavy handed. However it is well written and will provoke some good discussions. Besides you’ll want to read the sequel - see my review.