In this richly imagined dystopian 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. This
page-turning first YA novel by critically acclaimed author Lydia Millet is
stylish and dark and yet deeply hopeful, bringing Millet’s characteristic humor
and style to a new generation of young readers. Download and start listening now!