“Nina, look.” Sandy jabbed me in the ribs.

I glanced up at the AV screen expecting to see the latest vert of back-to-school fashion for sixteens.

“No, there.” Sandy jerked my arm, bringing my attention to the doorway.

Four guys approached us, lurching and swaying through the moving express. They sat across the aisle, immediately crowding together in a knot. A low buzz of unintelligible words, accompanied by the occasional rowdy snort, rose from their cluster.

“They’re eighteen,” she whispered. “I bet it’s the one in the middle’s birthday. He’s cute!” She wriggled in her seat.

By the way he kept admiring the tattoo on his wrist and fingering the Band-Aid behind his ear, where his GPS had been, I knew she was right. I involuntarily touched my own tracker. The tiny grain-sized pellet embedded beneath the skin barely registered on my fingertips. What would it be like to be able to go someplace where you were untraceable?

Before my thoughts went any further down that path, Sandy said, “They’re going into the city to celebrate. I wish–“

“No, you don’t.” My stomach turned at the thought of eighteenth celebrations. We’d heard all about them, particularly the Angel affair. I quickly blocked the images from my mind.

Excerpt © 2011 Julia Karr


About the book:

In the year 2150, being a girl isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when your sixteenth (read sex-teenth) birthday is fast approaching. That in itself would be enough to make anyone more than a little nuts, what with the tattoo and all – but Nina Oberon’s life has taken a definite turn for the worse. Her mother is brutally stabbed and left for dead. Before dying, she entrusts a secret book to Nina, telling her to deliver it to Nina’s father. But, first Nina has to find him; since for fifteen years he’s been officially dead. Complications arise when she rescues Sal, a mysterious, and ultra hot guy. He seems to like Nina, but also seems to know more about her father than he’s letting on. Then there’s that murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and just happens to be her little sister’s dad.

What people are saying:

“In her unsettling debut, Karr depicts a sex-obsessed future where women are the perpetual victims of predatory marketing, and other societal ills seen in our present…taken to terrifying ends. …there’s no doubt this well-written, accessible sci-fi thriller will provoke discussion.”–Booklist

“Gender politics and sexual awareness play prominent roles in Karr’s thoughtprovoking dystopian debut. A solid, enjoyable story.”–Publisher’s Weekly

Released: January 6, 2011 from Speak/Penguin

About the author:

Julia Karr was born in Indiana and moved to Chicago when she was fifteen. After the initial culture shock of going from quiet, small-town living to Carl Sandburg’s “stormy, husky, brawling” metropolis, she fell madly in love with the city. Her debut novel, XVI, is set in the future in the city she still loves — Chicago. Visit Julia online at http://juliakarr.com