In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party--her body will commit murder, if her mind can't stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first--the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie's neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It's a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank's horrible plan. . . .
Newcomer Price launches a dystopian series that offers familiar elements of the genre, but also a notable command of technique. The immersive storytelling swoops along with minimal exposition. As a result, readers may initially feel as disoriented as heroine Callie Woodland. Sixteen years old and homeless in a post-plague world, Callie has a sick brother to keep safe and few choices. "The spores" wiped out most of the working-age population; the seniors who remain have developed ways to dramatically extend their life spans. To them, young people (aka "Starters") are just another resource for voracious "Enders" to consume. When Callie sells her body as a rental, to be occupied by the mind of a wealthy Ender, all she knows is that the fee will pay for a place to live afterward. She's not supposed to wake up in someone else's life or hear someone else's voice in her head. And she never imagined her body being used to implement a horrific scheme. Raising questions about class, property, and body/mind separation, Price's thriller features well-crafted tension, believable villains, and moments of stolen sweetness. Ages 12–up. Agent: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman. (Mar.)