Based on the summary and title, I was expecting the epidemic to be glossed over before leading to the main event: presumed orphans being kidnapped, essentially. I was pleasantly surprised to get a fair amount of backstory to both Pia and Bernice, while also gaining insight to their lives during the days of the epidemic.
Pia's dislike of close spaces and social situations was stunningly portrayed; I loved the visceral reaction that gives the reader to understand how painful these moments are for her. Our introduction to Bernice establishes her as a great novel villain: she may be slightly more of a good person than a bad one, but her negative acts take the spotlight in Pia's story. The plot is intriguing enough to overcome the somewhat simplistic tone of the book, which is also justified by Pia's age and therefore relative innocence. Connections to today were well-framed, particularly from the standpoint of who is viewed as "other" in a society and how they are treated as less than.