My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What an interesting story. To be honest I would really give this book 3.5 stars. The concept of the story was really engaging and the point-of-view character was an interesting one. The idea of renting out human bodies was really creepy and the creep factor was certainly felt throughout the book, all the way to the end where you’re not quite sure whether the main character, Callie, will ever be “alone” in her head ever again. There is definitely the makings of a sequel if Ms. Price decides to write one.
This is another book I listened to as a book on tape. Usually I can’t tell much about the specific writing style of a book when I’m listening to in as an audio, because I’m so engrossed in the story that I don’t notice. But with this book I could tell that the beginning of the book was much rougher than the latter part of the book. The beginning felt clipped and stunted; somehow the reading began to smooth out as the story unfolded, becoming fluid and more interesting, perhaps the writing was maturing with the narrator. Callie’s voice was strong and believable teen from the beginning and her motivations were obvious and compelling.
The weakest part of the story to me, was the believability of the world that surrounded Callie and “the body bank.” The biological warfare was believable, the futuristic sounding equipment in the world was believable, but I don’t believe that the extension of people’s lives into 150-200 year was explained enough to make the society that had been created believable. As far as I could tell “the war” that is mentioned that killed everyone who wasn’t vaccinated only ended a year before this story takes place. That’s not enough time for society to change enough to create the situation that is the central plot of this story. The whole concept of “the body bank” would have had to have existed long before any war had occurred or killed so many. Perhaps this will be resolved in some future book, but it just seemed unreal.
The beginning was a bit rough, but the concept and characters were compelling. I give the story concept a 5 out of 5, it’s unique and certainly lends to many ethical dilemmas. I give the character development a 4 out of 5, Callie was a well-rounded character and everyone she interacted with had feeling and individuality, some may have been a little stereotypical (like the many of the workers at the body bank) but luckily those where characters that didn’t matter much. The over all execution was about a 3.5 out of 5 mostly for the inconsistencies or lack of believability in the societal changes that would need to occur in order to create the given world. It’s harsh, I know, but that’s how I feel about it. The writing was a 3 out of 5, it wasn’t amazing writing, but the story is what carried me through to the end and in the end, that’s really what matters right? 🙂