Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Review: Truth (XVI #2) by Julia Karr

SUMMARY: Nina Oberon’s life has changed enormously in the last few months. When her mother was killed, Nina discovered the truth about her father, the leader of the Resistance. And now she sports the same Governing Council–ordered tattoo of XVI on her wrist that all sixteen-year-old girls have. The one that announces to the world that she is easy prey to predators. But Nina won’t be anyone’s stereotype. And when she joins an organization of girls working within the Resistance, she knows that they can put an end to one of the most terrifying secret programs the GC has ever conceived. Because the truth always comes out...and the consequences can be deadly.


The Short Version:
Picking up smoothly where XVI left off, but admittedly lacking in a few areas, Truth delves deeper into not only everything Nina must deal with but the bigger picture of the world she lives in. Her development expands from thef irst book, and her relationships with the other characters is one of the best aspects of this novel. Though rushed in the ending, and leaving a few things hanging, there is still a great sense of accomplishment at the end of this book.

The Extended Version:
Nina continues to have the great inner strength seen in XVI, with a perceptive look on the world that takes her far. Intelligent and creative, she has a fierce determination in her even at the roughest of moments. Though faulted in a few ways, she is still a great character to get behind overall. Her love for her family is notable and beautifully done, driving many of her actions without being her only motivation.

The rest of the cast comes and goes as needed, giving both Nina and readers a kick into motion at times and a breather at others. From her sprightly little sister to her closest friends, Nina has a lot of great people in her life. The characters drive this book, making readers care about them throughout.

The overall flow of this one had a choppy feeling, with some scenes that almost seemed to be not needed due to how short and sometimes random feeling they were. More episodic in nature, Truth almost felt as though it had too many subplots going on and not enough space to flesh them out in. Nina has a lot thrown at her in this book, almost too much considering everything that happens by the end, and the bigger focus of the book is on how she deals with it. While there is an emphasis on the truth coming out, things in the end felt almost too easy for the build up. The final ending was not quite as satisfying as this reader would have liked, and the last thirty pages of the book felt way too rushed considering the slow pacing that sometimes led there. Taking a few detours as well, some that didn't seem to add too much to the book, Truth wasn't quite the follow up this reader had hoped for.

Still, the world itself is well built and expanded, and the overall conspiracy type thing going on is delved into more. Pulling in plenty of elements from the world we know, and twisting things easily to fit her purposes, Karr doesn't stray from the world she created in XVI. While this book is called a companion rather than a sequel, readers would likely feel out of place if they didn't read the first one. With a deeper look into higher ups in the system Nina is ruled by, and coming up with new ways to get around things, there is a great sense of underground resistance throughout the book.

Source: ARC received from author/publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Puffin
Publication date: January 19, 2012

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