Julia Karr, Penguin/Speak, $8.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-14-241771-3
Gender politics and sexual awareness play prominent roles in Karr's thought-provoking dystopian debut, set in a totalitarian future where world peace came at the cost of certain civil liberties and personal freedoms. At 16, every girl gets a XVI tattoo to signify her status as a sexually legal adult, along with a chance to join the Female Liaison Specialists (FeLS), often the only hope "low-tier" girls have of escaping poverty. Despite mounting peer pressure, Nina refuses to buy into the "sex-teen" mindset thrust on her and her friends since they were young. After her mother is murdered, Nina embarks on a hunt for the father she never knew, even as her mother's creepy boyfriend stalks her for unknown reasons. Nina may possess a key to shattering the corrupt government and the secret behind FeLS, but must decipher it before tragedy strikes again. An unusual blend of futuristic thriller and pro-abstinence advocacy, Karr's story has much to say about the increasing sexualization of teenagers. The balance between plot and preaching can be wobbly, but overall, it's a solid, enjoyable story. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-48594-1
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-48470-8
Open Ebook - 978-1-101-48532-3
Open Ebook - 978-1-101-48656-6
Show other formats
Discover what to read next