Release: Januar 2011
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.
Interesting, but not engaging
Imagine a future where every girl age sixteen or older has a tattoo on her wrist, signaling that she is ready to have sex. This is the world Nina Oberon lives in. The year is 2150, and Nina is soon going to turn sixteen and become a "sex-teen". Nina's best friend Sandy is looking forward to be what the government has labeled sexually mature, Nina is not.
This is a society where the government runs everyhing and there is a gap between citizens. People on welfare, for example, are feed non-healthy food to keep them overweight. The NonCons are trying to act against the goverment, and anyone being a NonCon can be arrested.
This book is a dystopian kind of fiction, and the main theme is sexuality and the sexual pressure teens must face. And that makes it an important and an interesting read. Unfortunately the book did not succeed in holding my interest and keeping me engage in the story. I constantly felt my thoughts straining whilst reading. The author has too much information on the future society pouring through the pages in the beginning, that I felt it hard to be engage in Nina and her story. We get a lot of descriptions about the world around her, but hardly anything about what she is feeling inside. That changes during the progress of the book, and we get a more complex picture of Nina. But sadly that was not enough for me.
I also had a hard time understanding some of the slang in this book. Maybe that is because I am Norwegian, but I would have prefered a list over unusual words and words made up for this book in the back.
I think this is a book that will be an interesting read in a class where the students may discuss the text afterwards. But I think the novel goes to too many lenghts to deem sex an evil thing that must be avoided at all costs, and some of the characters were a bit one dimensional. I mean, just being a guy does not meea your are about to have sex with every girl you see.
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