Lissa Price's Starters dropped on my doorstep yesterday. I disappeared. Maybe you saw me yesterday afternoon, but really? I was in a future version of southern California. I followed Callie Woodhill as she tried to "sell" her body to an elderly renter in the hopes of raising enough money to get medicine for her dangerously ill 7-year-old brother.
In this future world, many people between the ages of 25 and 75-ish were killed during the Spore Wars. Children and the elderly had been vaccinated and they survived. But lifespans have increased to upwards of 200 years so employing the young is against the law to insure that the Enders - as older people are called - can continue working. Children and teens, (Starters), who do not have older relatives to claim them become slaves to the state until they reach 19.
The chasm between the rich and employed and the unclaimed and poor is vast and ugly. Enter Prime Destinations, a company that exists under the radar of the law. Rich Enders, the really old ones, can rent the bodies of teens while the teens' brains are put to sleep. The Enders' bodies stay behind in a coma state. Callie takes a chance that Prime Destinations will keep their promises, and agrees to three rentals, each one longer than the last.
If I could give some advice to Callie here? RUN! Away! FAST! But then the story would be about surviving and possibly her brother's death and squalor, etc., etc. Callie doesn't run. When she wakes up in her renter's clothes, she starts getting telepathic messages from her renter - who has dire plans for Callie's youthful body. Dire, dreadful, dangerous, desperate plans. The plans depend on Callie's extraordinary talents as a markswoman. Not good.
Another piece of advice for Callie - stay away from rich handsome Starters. I don't think she takes that advice either. Sigh.
Expensive cars and fashions, clubs, VIPS, lifestyles of the Rich and Ender-ly, cat and mouse chases, and nasty villains combine with the mystery of just who is behind Prime Destinations to create a page turner.
This is the first in a proposed series. I have some awful suspicions about who The Old Man - Prime Destinations' founder - is. Awful, cringe-causing suspicions. So I am anxious for the next installment. Go, Callie, go. And stay away from that rich Starter! (Oh, I so hope I'm wrong.)