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Life First (Life First #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  281 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B00DFNWFX4.

Strong-willed Kelsey Reed must escape tonight or tomorrow her government will take her kidney and give it to someone else.

In this future forged by survivors of pandemics that wiped out 80 percent of the world's population, life is valued above all else. The government of "Life First" requires the mentally ill to be ste
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published January 15th 2014 by Amazon Digital Services LLC (first published June 15th 2013)
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Richard Bunning
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a very well written fiction story that adds interesting fuel to the debate between those that support the `rights' of the individual and those that put the rights of community ahead of those of the individuals. Should the individual be expected to suffer, even to risk life, for a common good? Should we all, ultimately, be conscript soldiers of society?
The principle character is fascinating, complex, and totally credible. Whether she is actually a hero, a coward, or a genuine conscientiou
Randi Kerr
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read it in an evening! It wasn't my intention but I couldn't put it down. I have started typing so many sentences in this review that have all been deleted. Mandatory organ donation-- there's no real way to be opposed to it without sounding a little bit like a jerk, and there were moments where I wanted Kelsey to stop bring so selfish. Until I came back to my senses. It's a book that will definitely have you arguing with yourself because it's so easy to see how horrible it would be to be force ...more
This story begins 100 years after a pandemic kills approximately 80% of the world’s population and 50 years (two-and-a-half generations) after the government of what used to be most of the United States instituted the Life First mandate. To insure the survival of what little populace remained, the government required that all persons be DNA type-matched and a GPS chip with alarm nanos be placed in all persons. The idea was that if a person became ill or had an accident, the most likely donor of ...more
Finally, a book that kept me interested! I don't know if any of you noticed what I book slump I've been in. If you read the blurb:, you can see that it contains subject matter that makes us all worry about what extremes could bring about, and how on the other extreme of not allowing for fear of the extremes is also life threatening. (In my attempt to not give spoilers I am creating very bad sentences!) It is something in our current news that keeps everyo ...more
I would like to thank author RJ Crayton and The Cover Contessa for granting me the chance to read this e-book in exchange for an honest review. Though I received the e-book for free that in no way influenced this review.

Strong-willed Kelsey Reed must escape tonight or tomorrow her government will take her kidney and give it to someone else.

In this future forged by survivors of pandemics that wiped out 80 percent of the world's population, life is valued above all else. The government of "Life F
Faith (Geeky Zoo Girl)
Review also published on my blog StudentSpyglass

Plot: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★
Readability: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★

Following a horrific pandemic which killed 80% of the global population, Life First is set in a world where the government rigidly controls everything related to health. Everyone is DNA-typed at birth so that when someone needs a new [insert organ here], the best possible match can be found quickly, and the match has to provide the organ.

When Kelsey Reed is informed she needs to donate her kid
Melinda Brasher
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is one of those novels that uses a disturbing possible future to make us think critically about our present and ourselves.

After a pandemic kills the majority of the population, life has become sacred, something to be guarded at all costs. If someone needs an new organ, for example, the huge medical database finds whoever is the best match, and that citizen must give the organ. Kelsey, marked for a kidney transplant, decides that it should be her choice, so she tries to run away before the
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book cost me an entire night’s sleep!

I’m a mom of four (including an infant, an 8 year old with autism, and two teenagers), so my reading time is both limited and precious. So is my sleeping time. And this book cost me several hour’s worth of sleep, because I just couldn’t stop reading. I literally stayed up all night to finish reading it. That’s pretty much the highest recommendation I can give a book.
I adore dystopian literature, both YA and adult – some of my favorite books include Lois
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, dystopian, series, indie, arc
A compelling read about an almost too real idea of a dystopian future. An interesting new take on the abortion and bodily autonomy debates with a flawed yet empathetic main character. I'm interested to see where the rest of the series goes.

Check out my full review. (Link will be live February 9, 2017).
*I received a free copy of this book from the author through Making Connections in exchange for an honest review*

Kelsey is young, healthy and happy until she is told that she must donate her kidney to a stranger. Scared that the procedure could disable or kill her, Kelsey decides to run away, knowing that if she is caught she will go to prison and her organs will all be harvested until she is dead.

This book turned out to be nothing like what I was expecting-in a good way. It is a story that will
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-2013
I’ve had a good run of dystopian novels lately. Life First continues that trend. A dystopia is the opposite of a utopia and typically a dystopian novel will extrapolate a current social or political movement taken to an extreme. Crayton’s extrapolated future struck me as different from most which, at the risk of getting too political, I’ll explain.

Although the future extrapolated in a dystopian novel is typically thought to be a warning against continuing in a particular direction, many are noth
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
*Received book in exchange for honest review* (review also posted on Amazon)

Kelsey Reed lives in a world where a person can be marked for organ donation by law. If they refuse, they are labeled a sociopath and are sentenced to death by donating all of their organs whenever the need arises. Kelsey Reed has been marked and is to donate a kidney to a random person. The problem is that she vehemently is against it. Her best friend was marked and went through with a bone marrow donation and was paral
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got the recommendation for this book off of one of the blogs I read, and it sounded very interesting as the premise pushes the whole "pro-life" concept to a high degree. In the world where Kelsey Reed lives, every citizen is tagged with a biometric marker, and should someone else need help, that citizen is required to provide it whether that's a piece of skin for a graft, bone marrow to treat cancer, or a kidney to replace a failed one. Once you're eighteen, you're eligible to become a donor, ...more
Masquerade Crew
Reviewer: Saffron B.

3.0 on the Masq Scale

The premise of Life First was fascinating. Is it ethical to force people to donate non-essential organs to save the lives of strangers? It made me do some serious thinking and initiated some really interesting conversations. The story idea and plot had excellent potential. "Unfortunately I don’t feel it fully delivered. The setting gives the opportunity for action-packed rebellion and anti-governmental espionage. With a sci-fi, anti-apocalyptic premise li
Brenda Perlin
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Life First by RJ Crayton is a terrifying look at organ donation on a deeper level. This facetious story really makes you think in realistic terms. A compelling mystery that grabbed me right away. This is about individual rights and freedom. Shocking how things could get so turned around. Where a government makes decisions for you even if you are against them. This is an outrageous concept but outrageous things have been known to happen. Yes, I got caught up in the plot!

First Life takes place in
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was completely intrigued by this book from the very first page. There were fairly few characters in-keeping with the story, but they were all extremely well thought out. I really think RJ Crayton should be expecting calls for film rights because this played out in my mind as I read it like a really great film.

There was something (although it has nothing to do with the writing) that kept you thinking from page to page. It gripped you like King Kong and would not let go until you had finished th
A.B. Shepherd
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given a copy of this ebook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Life First is set at some unspecified future date after the population of the USA has been decimated by pandemics, resulting in social upheaval and changes in law. The social construct now requires you to risk your health by making living donations to others. Not to do so is illegal and can result in a criminal trial and sentence of "death by donation". That is right. You are confined and your body is mined for parts until
Lynne Cantwell
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian, scifi
Life First follows the story of Kelsey Reed. Her father is a politician in this post-pandemic version of America; her mother died of pre-eclampsia while pregnant with a second child. The fetus also did not survive. In this America, where Life First is law, fetuses are never sacrificed to save the mother's life, and all good citizens are required not only to give blood, but to be organ donors whenever they are a good match for a person who needs a transplant. Refusal to donate when marked is puni ...more
Shaun McLaughlin
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life First by RJ Crayton does what all sci-fi thrillers should do: start with tension or action. The story opens with Kelsey, 23, walking down a hall with her father. An unspoken threat hangs in the air. Kelsey examines the rug and muses on how they are alike—both fakes. This set-up draws the reader in and holds you.

The novel takes place in the future after major pandemics have wiped out much of Earth’s humans. The United States has reformed into several countries. The story’s characters live in
Rabid Readers Reviews
Kelsey, as a character, is a hard read. Are we supposed to like her and admire her pluck or are we to see her as a selfish person for wanting the choice to do what she will with her body. Is this a theme meant to translate to the reader? The idealism of youth and the idea that one’s responsibility is solely to oneself. As the story develops the character blossoms and the audience is able to get to know her and identify with her to an extent. Her society is pro-life to an extreme; she’s not willi ...more
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
*A Copy of this Book Was Given To Me By The Author In Exchange For An Honest Review*

Life First is a clever and thought provoking YA read. It takes the idea that humanity should help each other to a whole new level. I was really struck by the fact that the idea in the book stemmed from a random argument made by a lawyer, and how EASILY I could see this becoming a reality. It is a frightening thought to say the least.

How far is too far when it comes to helping another to save a life? Most people w
Marta Jordon
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started this book and couldn't put it down. It seemed like every chapter, there was some new, important revelation.

The story is set in the future, where disease has killed most of the population and society is in the process of rebuilding. Now, everyone has chips implanted in their arms to help keep track of their health/location and alert the government if they become perilously ill so the government can send help. Everyone in this society is DNA typed at birth, and Kelsey has been told she's
Cathy Speight
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow.

There, that’s my review. Can I leave it at that?


Well, this was my maiden voyage into the dystopian genre. I really struggled with this book…I struggled to find the opportunity to lock myself away for half a day to read it in one sitting!

As a dystopian first-timer, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was hooked from the first page. The story is set in post-pandemic America, a hundred years in the future, in which the twenty percent of survivors are obliged to donate organs
Andreea Pausan
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Goodreads contest. It was a pleasant surprise, I very much enjoyed the style of the book: it is perfect to underline the tension throughout the book. In a not so distant future, a pandemics has wiped about 80 percent of the population. The survivors have turned back to the Puritan view of the sanctity of life above all, putting life first even before individual choice and freedom. Therefore, one someone needs a transplant, one healthy individual is chosen to donate a body pa ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crayton write a captivating book about the freedom of choice… or perhaps the lack there of, standing up for one’s beliefs, and ultimately, the consequences that we face based on the choices that we make.

Imagine being in your early twenties and being notified that you have been “marked” as the perfect match to donate a kidney to a complete stranger. The man needs your organ in order to survive but what about your chance of survival? Could this donation result in your death? If you flee and you ar
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LIFE FIRST weaves an interesting and thought provoking story of a society as it has developed after most of the world's population have been lost to pandemics. Understandably survivors have adopted "Life First" as their philosophy and while any reasonable, compassionate person can easily support it, LIFE FIRST raises several questions to agonize over.

As told by Kelsey Reed, this is a captivating tale illustrating the hypocrisy and flaws in an ideology embraced with the best of intentions. The ch
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well paced dramatic sci-fi which raises questions of social duty and morality. While I personally didn't like Kelsey much, most of the characters are admirable as they overcame obstacles they faced as a result of society. The use of present tense adds an exciting element of uncertainty to this book. This works well as a stand alone novel for young readers, but I feel as though it could have been made into a much darker, more elaborate adult novel which could have really explored the dark side ...more
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When first starting the book, I expected a more dystopian story then this one. One with more fast paced action. Instead I started reading about a court case. Needless to say, not what I expected, and very different from my typical reading norm. Yet, I found myself strangely intriguing and continued reading. While not the typical plot of a dystopian novel, this was very well written. I enjoyed it despite the times when the legal logistics seemed a little long-winded. The author wrote a creative a ...more
R. Leib
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
We have all had nightmares where things start out not so good but then get worse and worse, until we wake up. It is as if our dream world is conspiring against us. For Kelsey, there is no waking up. Her nightmare is real. R. J. Crayton takes us down to the moral depths of the hypocritical society in which Kelsey was raised as it schemes to strip her of every last bit of her identity. Finely nuanced, "Life First" anticipates every loophole the reader thinks of and deftly closes it. Will Kelsey fi ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Similar to Unwind, Never Let Me Go and The Bar Code Tattoo, Life First is the story of Kelsey, a girl who is about to become a fugitive and risks losing everything, even possibly her own life, to keep her human rights.
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RJ Crayton is the author of the three book series. The Prophecy of Light series includes Trapped, Unleashed and the soon to be released Foretold. The Virus series includes Concealed, Exposed, and Contained. The fast-paced dystopian Life First series include Life First, Second Life and Third Life:Taken. She's also author of the paranormal novel Scented and the short-story collection Four Mothers. P ...more
More about R.J. Crayton

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Life First (3 books)
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“Sometimes in life it’s easier to just move on with the results we have, not to keep going over what led us there.” 0 likes
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