by Lissa Price
published by Random House Children's Books
available March 13, 2012
synopsis (from Goodreads)
HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER
Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.
He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. .
Amazing! This book is hard to describe, is it dystopian? Yes. Is it a thriller? Yes. Is it YA? Yes. It's a combo of everything.
Callie is the main protagonist of the story. A 16 year old Starter. What's a starter? Well, the US has been a victim of the Spore Wars, a biological weapon killed everyone between the ages of 20-60. The very young and old were the only citizens vaccinated against the spores. Callie's parents are dead. She is looking after her young brother Tyler while trying to survive in a strange new world.
Those over the age of 60 who lived are called the Enders, as in End of Lifers.
Callie is introduced to a buisness named Prime Directive. They 'rent' the bodies of Starters to Enders who wish to be young again. Yuck! It is done through a computer chip allowing the Ender to gain control of the young persons body. Callie sees this as the only way to protect her brother.
Well, of course things don't go as planned.
Callie is an incredible character. She is both strong and vulnerable. She is doing everything she can to protect her younger brother in a hostile world.
Some of the other characters are equally spectacular. I think the readers will like Helena and Lauren as well as Michael and Blake. Of course, there are also 'bad guys' in the book. Very bad guys, downright evil in fact.
I did enjoy the humorous reference to the border wall built between the US and Mexico to prevent infected Americans from entering Mexico- this was a laugh out loud moment for me. (not a spoiler, just a quick reference to a funny part of the book)
The book itself was a very quick read. I didn't want to put it down. When I finished, and boy what a jaw dropping finish, I felt like I'd been punched in the gut.
There is a part 2 about the Enders due in the winter of 2012.