Pills and Starships by Lydia Millet
Posted by Caitie F on June 11, 2014
Summary from pub:
In this dystopic future brought by global warming, seventeen-year-old Nat and her hacker brother Sam have come by ship to the Big Island of Hawaii for their parents’ Final Week. The few Americans who still live well also live long—so long that older adults bow out not by natural means but by buying death contracts from the corporates who now run the disintegrating society by keeping the people happy through a constant diet of “pharma.” Nat’s family is spending their pharma-guided last week at a luxury resort complex called the Twilight Island Acropolis.
Deeply conflicted about her parents’ decision, Nat spends her time keeping a record of everything her family does in the company-supplied diary that came in the hotel’s care package. While Nat attempts to come to terms with her impending parentless future, Sam begins to discover cracks in the corporates’ agenda and eventually rebels against the company his parents have hired to handle their last days. Nat has to choose a side. Does she let her parents go gently into that good night, or does she turn against the system and try to break them out?
But the deck is stacked against Nat and Sam: in this oppressive environment, water and food are scarce, mass human migrations are constant, and new babies are illegal. As the week nears its end, Nat rushes to protect herself and her younger brother from the corporates while also forging a path toward a future that offers the hope of redemption for humanity.
I keep thinking there can’t be another creative and chilling dystopian book, but they keep coming.
This one is a little bit terrifying. Global warming has brought people very close together and almost all time is spent inside. Corporations have taken over society completely. People are living for a long time and go to special retreats to die “on their own terms” and everyone is always drugged by the corporations. The whole situation is very creepy and you know there is much more going on behind closed doors. Luckily, Nat and Sam get to peek behind those doors when they go to Hawaii for their parents Final Week and see that something has to change. But it is all very scary. You do not want to be in a society like this at all.
Nat is a really great character because she is how most of us would be. She is pretty accepting at first, until things start to not add up. Her brother is more influenced by those speaking out, which is great, but Nat is really what most of us would be like. Once she is skeptical, she starts to try to find out everything she can and save those she loves. She is very bright, but not to an unrealistic extent. She is still a scared teen, but she is a scared teen who wants to make a difference.
This is not a slow book and is very hard to put down. You will want to find out more about the society and how it all happened. It will make you start thinking about corporations roles in our world and where lines need to be drawn. It reminded me a little of the Matched trilogy’s society, only creepier because it is corporations.It laso might make oyu think abotu your own energy consumption. I know I have been trying to conserve more to keep this future from happening!
I really want to read the rest of the series now!