The XY

The XY

by Virginia Bergin


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From the author of H2O and The Storm—She's been taught to fear him. He's been taught to fear her. What if they're both wrong?

In River's world, XYs are a relic of the past, along with things like war and violence. Thanks to the Global Agreements, River's life is simple, safe, and peaceful...until she comes across a body in the road one day. A body that is definitely male, definitely still alive. River isn't prepared for this. There's nothing in the Agreements about how to deal with an XY. Yet one lies before her, sick, suffering, and at her mercy.

River can kill him, or she can save him. Either way, nothing will ever be the same.

Winner of the James Tiptree Jr. Literary Award.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492662174
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 11/06/2018
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 83,271
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 2.40(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Virginia Bergin is the author of H2O, which The Horn Book Magazine called "Inspiring." She lives in Bristol (UK). Visit her online at and on Twitter @VeeBergin.

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The XY 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
The concept of the story had me intrigued enough to buy this book off the shelf without ever hearing anything about it. I flipped through a couple of pages to check for things that are red flags for me and didn't see them - I should have looked closer. I would not recommend this book to my family or my children since we share the same values and beliefs. It is unfortunate for gender to be so de-valued as there is truly great purpose and diverse gifts in our genders - things that we are innately really good at and should be cherished, encouraged, and preserved. At times, the writing was choppy and hard to follow who was speaking to whom. The main character does have a positive character arch, which I do appreciate - and is the reason I am not giving this a single star only. For Informative purposes: Language - Strong. There are many uses of GD and Jesus as a swear word, b****, sh**, and the f-word. A lot of them are directed toward people in disrespect. Violence/Gore - Mild. There are some fighting/struggle scenes but the detail is limited. Sex - Mild/Moderate. This is a world where a boy and a girl first see each other so there is some natural mention of their physical differences. The book references the belief (from both societies) that the other gender is all about rape and violence, so this comes up many times. There is what seems to possibly be a lesbian relationship but it may be brand new and doesn't go beyond hand holding. There are a few mentions of "sex-vids". Themes/Values - Strong. This author made it very clear that she believes that "...gender [is] an entirely arbitrary concept" (Bergin, p. 326). This women's society perpetuates the stereotypes of all men being violent, angry, and sex-only minded in the two men that are characters in the story and through all of the conversation/actions of the women. Although one of these male character does seem to have the ability to adjust his behavior after many experiences with the women society. There is a list of "agreements" created by this women's society about how the world should be which appear repeatedly (many of them are altruistic and wholesome).
Bookyogi More than 1 year ago
If I could give this book 0 stars I would. I am a voracious reader, about 200 a year for the last three years and I will say, this is the worst of them all. I always finish the books I start and I am glad I finished this one, so that I can say with knowledge, that this book is awful, lacking any valuable or credible storyline. I don’t normally post such negative reviews, but I am hoping to keep others from making my mistake in buying this.
Cute_Book_Nerd More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book without knowing anything about it, the cover design attracted me immediately. It took me some time to get involved in the book but all in all it was a very well written novel that I enjoyed. My favorite thing about this book was the way in which Virginia Bergin wrote it, the way she pieces her words and sentences together is very interesting. Her book flows well and I loved the premise. It was nice to see a world in which women were the focus, although the reason was less than ideal, it was still cool to see women on top. I think this book speaks volumes when it comes to how we view the ideas of war and violence in our society, how it seems to be connected to men more than women. I think it's important that the relationship between the River and Mason turns into one of trust and an unlikely friendship because it breaks down these stereotypes we have become accustomed to. This book is great for a quick weekend read!