Price, Lissa: Starters.
Doubleday, 2012, pp336, 9.99 [pounds sterling]
978 0 857 53135 3
Starters imagines a dystopian world after a global war in which biological weapons have killed all but the young and the old, or Enders, now a ruling elite who, thanks to medical advances, can live for as long as 250 years. For the young with no living grandparents to care for them, life is grim and often ends up in prison-like institutions. With both parents dead, 16-year old Callie is left to care for a younger brother who desperately needs a more comfortable existence if he is to survive a life-threatening illness. Callie is attracted by the prospect of easy money offered by Prime Destinations, a mysterious organisation which has developed the technology to help Enders relive their youth by temporarily borrowing the bodies of teenagers. It all goes horribly wrong when, in the third of these 'rentals', Callie awakes into the wealthy and glamorous life of her Ender, Helena, only to discover that she plans to use her donor's body to carry out a murder. As she and Helena in turns inhabit her body Callie races against the clock to prevent this and a much more horrifying plan, in which the body loans would become permanent. Meanwhile she is falling for the handsome young Blake, who lives in a world she can only dream of; but even he is not what she imagines.
The ambiguous and tantalising ending to this original and exciting story signals a sequel; thankfully it is to be published later this year, and should prove equally popular.