Cheating Time (Longevity Book 1) - T. R. Graves, Cassie McCown
I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.

If you want a glimpse into what life might be like if a government had the ability to control population with a chip, then Cheating Time will give you that glimpse, and it's a scary one. For all of the good the MicroPharm chip can do, it also has dire consequences in the hands of the wrong people - people like President Barone who wants to use it to make the population younger, leaner, stronger, and smarter. Sound familiar?

Unlike Hitler, Barone is not concerned with race or religion, but he doesn't have a problem with terminating life if the fetus isn't genetically strong enough to suit his requirements. He's determined to use the MicroPharm chip to create a genetically enhanced population of people who give more to their government than they take. He's all about cutting costs at the expense of people's freedom.

In many ways the MicroPharm chip is positive and was designed by Carlie's mom to give people a longer, healthier, and happier life. I can see why it was created, and it would be great to have higher quality of life. But then of course there are also downsides to this chip, especially with the way President Barone is using it as forced population control without people's consent.

When something like this chip comes along, sometimes the bad outweighs the good. As much of a genius as Carlie's mother is, she didn't think too far ahead when she chose to have her own daughter implanted with her MicroPharm chip. By implanting the chip into her own daughter, she's given the President what he needs to blackmail her into doing whatever he wants.

My only issue with Cheating Time is that it takes a good first chunk of the book for Carlie to get to the barn after her mom wakes her up and tells her to go there. There's a lot of time spent where Carlie thinks about the multitude of feelings she has for Jayden - sometimes she hates him yet other times she's crushing on him. I wanted more action, but I also realize since this is the first book in a series, it's setting up for more action later.

Cheating Time illustrates how sometimes technology outpaces what we as a society are able to deal in terms of ethics and morality. I think this MicroPharm chip sounds like a good idea, but there are a lot of issues surrounding it as Graves as so eloquently woven into this novel.