In a future in which the elderly hold all of the power, the only things left for them to take are the bodies of the young.
After a germ-warfare attack, America was only able to vaccinate high-risk groups—medically vulnerable children and senior citizens—in time, creating an age gulf and an orphaned generation. Those without guardians, like Callie and her baby brother, scavenge and sneak to survive, lest marshals catch and throw them in institutions much like prisons. Desperation leads Callie to Prime Destinations, a body-bank that circumvents laws that prohibit minors from working by allowing them to donate their bodies (to be controlled by an elderly renter through neurochips and a brain-to-computer connection) for a stipend. Only one rental away from having the money to care for her ailing brother, Callie finds her chip drastically malfunctioning during a rental, enabling her to take partial control of her body back from a renter who plans on using her for murder. In between living the high life as a socialite grandniece and ward of her wealthy renter, Callie learns of plots more dangerous than the renter's and that only she can stop them. Some exposition is clumsily dropped in through dialogue, and some plot aspects don't hold up to scrutiny, but the twists and turns come so fast that readers will stay hooked.
Constantly rising stakes keep this debut intense. (Science fiction. 12 & up)