XVI, as part of doing the Debut Author Challenge through The Story Siren back in 2011, in fact, I think it might have been the first one I read for that challenge. The story picks back up with Nina and her sister Dee living in with their grandmother and grandfather in an apartment in Chicago. They are lower tier, but Nina is a "Creative" which means that she will have the opportunity to move up tiers later on. Nina has her XVI tattoo, and wants to be able to add a design to it, as other Creatives are allowed to. She is trying to get past what happened in the first book, meeting her father, who is a leader in the rebellion. Killing her step-father, in order to save her friend. A friend of hers from the past, Joan, who was in the FelS program has returned and is living on the streets homeless, having been turned into a sex slave and escaping. She has her boyfriend Sal, and things seem to be going great. Except, she's jealous of this girl named Paulette that works with him in the resistance group, and the fact that Sal seems to think that girls can't take care of themselves. Then, the unthinkable happens. Her grandfather, Pops, is using a scrambler while he talks to a friend, but doesn't stop talking when it quits working, and so he gets caught and arrested. When this happens their grandmother has a heart attack. She's taken to the hospital, where Nina and Dee once again are reminded of being lower class. One mother is there trying to get the police to arrest a gang of boys who raped her daughter. But because of the whole "sex-teen" image, it is not considered rape. Something that makes Nina want to join a secret group called the Sisterhood that tries to fight against this whole system even more. While they are waiting at the hospital, this one doctor wants to try an experimental treatment on her grandmother. There is something about this doctor that Nina doesn't trust, but he is one of the best, so she allows him to. When they go home to get their belongings, they find out they've been evicted from their apartment. So now Nina and Dee move in with Nina's friend Wei and her family. They are top tier, and own a building that has an extra apartment for Nina's family to live in, once they all get home. Because of Pops being arrested, they also now face the government saying that Dee isn't in a fit living situation, and trying to take her away. So now Nina has to fight for custody of her sister while her grandmother is still recovering. And not only that, Dee has a new teacher, Ms. Maldovar, who seems to be taking an unusual interest in Dee, way beyond what a teacher normally does. And from the first time Nina sees her, she doesn't trust her. Even though Ms. Maldovar does come to the custody hearing and sticks up for them. And she brings lots of Holiday gifts for both of them. During these times, Nina learns something about Ms. Maldovar, and I figured out from this tidbit just who she was. I won't give it away though.
All this is going on, plus Nina joins the Sisterhood, plus she begins to have doubts about Sal, and begins to feel something for Wei's brother Chris. She works at her job at the art gallery. She finds help in lots of situations, and does her best to help her friend Joan. All ending up with a big scare for her, as well as a cliffhanger.
Now, from the way this book is set up, and how it talks about a "companion" novel being the first one, I kind of assumed when I began the book that the whole story was going to be concluded in this book. Now, while it did leave at a sort of ending point, it left a ton unresolved, and I am so glad to see there is supposed to be a 3rd book coming out next year. Because I need more! A good book. Really suspenseful, so much happens, it keeps you reading constantly. I liked how we got a little bit more of the past history, how there was an all female government, and how some of the new laws probably stem a bit from that time when they were overthrown. I also like hearing how other parts of the world fared in the situation, and knowing where might be safe for people to get away from all this.
This was my 5th sequel as part of my September is for Sequels Challenge. So I'm glad I've passed my minimum, although I'm guessing I still won't quite reach my original goal of 8. I've chosen another shorter book to read next, hoping I can get 6, or maybe even 7 done, and get closer to my original goal. It's just that the first couple of sequels I picked were like almost 500 pages!