Nina’s friends can’t wait to get their XVI tattoo, showing they’re old enough for anything, but this 15 year doesn’t want to be a “sex-teen” that guys can have at will.
Her best friend Sandy might stay a virgin to get into FeLS to move up a social tier or might succumb to the constant media sexteen hype. Nina will do anything to stay out of the program, especially since her mom’s creepy married boyfriend Ed is a FeLS Chooser. If only her dad hadn’t died on the night she was born, forcing them from Tier 5 into the poverty of Cementville…
A bare wrist and implanted GPS should keep her safe in 23rd century Chicago, but Nina has seen violence against young teen girls that the Governing Council denies. Lately, there have been so many police forays looking for NonCons rebelling against the GC, sudden city-wide silences in the constant Media vid streams, heightened audio surveillance everywhere.
And now her mom has been attacked, leaving Nina to care for her little half-sister in her grandparents’ tiny welfare apartment. Mom’s last words warn her to keep Dee away from Ed and reveal that Nina’s own father might still be alive and hiding out in Chicago!
As Nina looks into her parents’ past, she meets people who knew them both in their youth and worried that their anti-GC opinions would put their lives in danger. Sal and Wei at her new school are level-headed about XVI, cautious about accepting Media news as complete truth.
Could her dad really be alive after all this time? Why did Mom want to make sure Ed never saw Dee again? Why is the GC suddenly stepping up security? What’s the truth behind FeLS?
Set in a future that divides the Haves and Have-Nots further apart with each generation, XVI considers questions of personal liberty, freedom of thought, and social justice through Nina’s eyes and heart.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.blogspot.com