Holds on physical items have been suspended; while the library is closed we encourage you to check out our electronic resources.

Pills and starships

Book Cover
Average Rating
New York, NY : Black Sheep, [2014].
Physical Desc:
283 pages ; 21 cm
Reading Level:
IL: MG+ - BL: 6.3 - AR Pts: 12
Lexile measure:
14 & up.
Maplewood High - Teen Fiction
Overton High - Teen Fiction

Winner of the 2015 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People

Named a 2015 Green Earth Honor Book by the Nature Generation

" Pills and Starships , the first young adult novel by Lydia Millet, offers one thrillingly scary scenario...There is much here to enjoy." -- Washington Post

Named a Best Book of 2014 by Teaching for Change

One of The Independent ''s Best Books for Children This Christmas

"A deep read, but fast; it lingers in your mind long after it''s been read." -- New York Journal of Books

"In the remaining wilderness of the Big Island, though, lurk people and terrain that may or may not spell constructive revolution and optimism for Sam, Nat and the planet''s leftovers. Risk-takers both, they have decisions to make." -- Center for Fiction , Junior edition

Named a "Book that Buzzed at ALA" by Library Journal ''s Barbara Hoffert

One of The Airship/Black Balloon Publishing ''s 50 Must-Reads for Summer!

One of Missoulian /Corridor ''s Summer Reading Guide picks!

"Millet''s dense novel has more in common with philosophy than with fantasy...Millet, never a writer to settle into predictable patterns, manages to find beauty in ugly places...this is the best thing about Millet''s work: it makes you notice the small details of the natural world, makes you recognize those details as holy." -- The Rumpus

"Lydia Millet offers a brilliant dystopian novel that eclipses all others written for Young Adults with this beautifully written, dark but ultimately hopeful tale." -- The Buffalo News

"If your summer goal is to start taking better care of the environment (a goal inspired, perhaps, by a trip to one of New York''s trash-laden beaches), grab a book that explores a world devastated by global warming: Pills and Starships by Lydia Millet." -- The Airship/Black Balloon Publishing

"Dark apocalyptic reading at its best...vivid, moving saga that will attract mature teen fans of Divergent , Hunger Games , and similar apocalyptic survival stories." -- Midwest Book Review

"The details are terrific...and as the tension mounts it becomes a real page turner." -- The Independent (UK)

In this richly imagined 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. 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.

Also in This Series
Call Number
Maplewood High - Teen Fiction
On Shelf
Overton High - Teen Fiction
On Shelf
More Like This
More Details
9781617752759 (hardcover) :, 9781617752766 (paperback)
Reading Level:
Level 6.3, 12 Points
Lexile measure:


Junior Library Guild
In a future of ecological disaster, the wealthy live so long they choose when to die. On a good-bye trip with their parents, Nat and Sam learn there is more to the world--and their family--than they knew.
Target Audience
14 & up.
Target Audience
9 & up.
Study Program Information
Accelerated Reader,ARinterest,ARreading,ARpoints,ARtest
A Junior Library Guild selection (JLG)
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.

No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!

APA Citation (style guide)

Millet, L. (2014). Pills and starships. New York, NY: Black Sheep.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Millet, Lydia, 1968-. 2014. Pills and Starships. New York, NY: Black Sheep.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Millet, Lydia, 1968-, Pills and Starships. New York, NY: Black Sheep, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Millet, Lydia. Pills and Starships. New York, NY: Black Sheep, 2014. Print.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
Staff View
Grouped Work ID:
Go To GroupedWorkView in Staff Client
Last File Modification TimeDec 18, 2019 11:32:38 PM
Last Grouped Work Modification TimeJun 18, 2020 11:22:04 PM

MARC Record

LEADER01795pam a2200469 i 4500
008131203s2014    nyu    d      000 1 eng  
010 |a  2013956781
020 |a 9781617752759 (hardcover) :|c $15.25
020 |a 9781617752766 (paperback)
039 |a 509876|c TLC
040 |a DLC|b eng|e rda|c DLC
042 |a pcc
043 |a n-us-hi
05000|a PZ7.M63923|b Pi 2014
08200|a [Fic]|2 23
092 |a F MIL
1001 |a Millet, Lydia,|d 1968-|e author.
24510|a Pills and starships /|c by Lydia Millet.
264 1|a New York, NY :|b Black Sheep,|c [2014]
300 |a 283 pages ;|c 21 cm
336 |a text|2 rdacontent
337 |a unmediated|2 rdamedia
338 |a volume|2 rdacarrier
5103 |a Junior Library Guild
520 |a In a future of ecological disaster, the wealthy live so long they choose when to die. On a good-bye trip with their parents, Nat and Sam learn there is more to the world--and their family--than they knew.
5211 |a 14 & up.
5212 |a 9 & up.
5260 |a Accelerated Reader|b ARinterest|b ARreading|b ARpoints|b ARtest
586 |a A Junior Library Guild selection (JLG)
650 7|a Dystopias|v Fiction.|2 sears
650 7|a Future, The|v Fiction.|2 sears
650 7|a Siblings|v Fiction.|2 sears
651 7|a Hawaii|v Fiction.|2 sears
650 7|a Science fiction.|2 sears
898 |a qBook
898 |a qEnglish
908 |a 17961597
910 |a CARL0000647132
949 |b A02071717|c F MIL|h 6E550|j 6E550|l YFIC|m SBK|n 002.2014|s S|p 20.00|w 0|x 20140926|t 20191218|q CNV|r JAM|v 0|y 20191213|z 0
949 |b A02120900|c F MIL|h 6F615|j 6F615|l YFIC|m SBK|s S|p 23.00|w 0|x 20141027|t 20181016|q CNV|r JAM|v 0|y 20181011|z 1
998 4|a LDR0905 20170614191739 NSCH |b LDR0905 20170614191739 NSCH