Thursday, February 23, 2012

Truth (XVI, #2) by Julia Karr

  • Title: Truth (XVI, 2)
  • Classification: Young Adult Fiction (Ages 14 and up)
  • Genre: Dystopia
  • Format: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Original edition (January 19, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0142417726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142417720

     "What is the importance of the XVI tattoo? And you should know this, since I see you now have yours."...
     "The XVI tattoo is a government-mandated brand designed for easy identification of females who are sixteen and legally old enough to be sexually active. Even though it fades away in about six years, when girls get it they become immediately vulnerable to unwanted sexual advances and easy targets for rape. A crime that is rarely, if ever prosecuted because--"
     Mr, G's mouth dropped open; his glasses flew off his pointy nose and dangled from their silver chain. Slamming his pointer on the desk, he roared, "That is NOT an acceptable answer, Miss Oberon!"...
     Skivs! I clapped a hand over my mouth. What was I thinking? Actually, I wasn't thinking. Because of everything that had happened to me in the past few months, my real feelings were finding their voice--which wasn't necessarily a good thing. 

In XVI, we learned that the world is not as it used to be. Women's rights seem to have taken a huge step backwards and women no longer hold the status they once did. The backward society which promotes woman 16 and up to be sexual active without worrying of birth control hides ugly secrets. Nina's parents tried to unveil some of the dirty little secrets hidden from main stream society with devastating effects. Nina's father had gone into hiding while her mother, who found the most damning of information about the FeLS (Female Liasion) program, lost her life in her endeavors to get to the truth. Now Nina has decided to take up where her mom left off and finish what her mother started. She wants to get the truth out. But the scandal that is uncovered is bigger than anyone would suspect and the corruption is seemingly everywhere. Getting the word out will be difficult if not impossible. Plus, Nina now has to contend with the fact she's 16, that fatal turning point in age which makes everything more complicated and confusing. While the truth may set you free, in Nina's world, it can also get you killed ...

I really enjoyed this sequel to XVI. Nina seems to be coming into her own. She's smart and is determined to make difference. The wisdom in her helping with the cause is questioned by Sal, her boyfriend, who thinks she should stay in the background where she'll be safe. That doesn't really sit well with Nina. While she knows Sal has some role with the Resistance, she still don't know what that role exactly is. He's as mysterious as ever. Plus, another character makes his feelings for Nina known. While Sal seems to be jetting off to mysterious places when she needs him most, the potential new love interest tries to tempt her by declaring he'd be there for her. It makes things a tad more interesting.

There are still a lot of things, we readers, don't know that pertain to a man getting his XVIII year tattoo or how the US became such a backward society. I asked the author if we could expect a sequel and she informed me, "There is not a third book under contract, however, I am working on a third one. So - I am guessing it is not the end." I hope that is the case, as it seems we've only skimmed the surface of the world of XVI with Ms. Karr's first two books. Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 roses.
Ms. Karr discusses Truth (Part 1) 

(Part 2)

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