Starters by Lissa Price

First of two, but I was delighted that it seemed like a standalone book-that the story is resolved, and then almost tacked on the stuff to show that the fight is not yet over.

For a post-apocalyptic story I thought the apocalyptic event was very believable-there was a war and the pacific countries attacked us with “spore wars”—missiles that launched spores of a deadly disease. It touches you and you’re dead in a week.  Apparently the country was somewhat prepared with a vaccine-one which was given to young people and the elderly first.  As a result everyone between 20 and 60 died.  The government stepped in and claimed the “unclaimed minors”-those whose parents and died and they didn’t have grandparents to take them in.  The unclaimed minors get sent to horrible work farm/institutions, where many of them don’t survive. Many unclaimed minors try to stay in hiding and not get caught by the marshals-they live on the streets and squat in buildings.  Callie is one and she is doing her best to protect her sickly 7 year old brother, along with her friend Michael’s help.  When Callie hears about a way to make tons of money, she decides to risk it.  The “it” is allowing her body to be used by an Elderly (oh, and old people live to about 200 years old).  The slick person at Prime persuades her that it’s as easy as falling asleep. And the first two times it is. But the third time she wakes up in her own body while the Elderly is inhabiting it.  She soon finds out that Prime is evil and a horrible plot is afoot.

This was a great adventure.  The futuristic details were completely reasonable and believable, and while this seemed like a plot I’ve read/watched before, it was still thoroughly enjoyable.  I read this entire book (save the final 20 pages) on our trip to Cape Cod.  What a delight to be able to read in the car on car trips once again! Up until now it seemed like the kids needed too much entertaining, but now they are totally caught up in a book on tape, and Paul likes to drive, which leaves me to happily read chapter after chapter.

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