Feb 22, 2012

Book Review: Starters by Lissa Price

Starters by Lissa Price
(Starters, #1)
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books; 386 pages

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

I would like to thank Random House and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read STARTERS and review it.

STARTERS was good and action packed. Callie has been living on the streets for a year since her parents death and she is in charge of not only keeping herself alive but also her younger brother, Tyler, who has a lung condition.

She also picks up a boy the same age as her, Michael, who was from the same neighborhood as her. He's known her for three years and obviously there's a mutual liking going on with them but do we see these feelings bud in to something more?

There's a company, Prime Destinations, that allows a Starter (teenager/kid) to rent out his/her body to an Ender (elder/senior). It's creepy but for an unclaimed minor (one who has no living grandparents), it could mean the world to them. They could go from being homeless and always on edge about being caught by the marshals to sleeping in actual bed, having showers and blending in with all the claimed minors. It's a safer way to live or so we would assume, right?

This whole book is creepy, not in a bad way, really. All the concepts really make you think. Enders live way past what they do now (like 250 and beyond) and they basically rule the country. The middle generation, like our parents are all dead because they didn't get vaccinated but all the Starters did. Enders wants to be young again, play sports, be skinny and energetic. So, they take over a Starter's body. It's the Starters choice to rent out their body but what happens if that choice was taken away from them? Things get very real and very dangerous for Callie as she gets more involved with Prime Destinations.

I wish some of the characters were more developed. I couldn't get emotionally involved in a lot of them because I didn't connect with them. That's my only issue, really. No character really grabbed my heart and held on, you know? I have a soft spot for Michael but we hardly know anything about him. He was rarely in the book yet he's part of the love triangle (yes, there is one in this book).

I recommend this book to fans of sci-fi, dystopian/post-apocalyptic books. It's definitely a great start to a series, especially the killer cliffhanger ending. I'm excited to see what's to come in next year's ENDERS, the follow up to this book.

*highlight to view spoiler* First, how come it seems like in 95% of YA books the best friend always gets screwed over? Yet, as I was growing up I was always told your best friend can and usually does make for the perfect partner. What changed?

Second, I have this weird feeling that the 'Old Man' is her father. I don't know why but we never did find out if he dies and the voice we hear in her head at the end is her father's. We already know that the 'Old Man' has the control to talk to her through her chip, like her renter, Helena, did. I just get the feeling it's him, but I want to be wrong.

Third, why can't we have more Michael? I hardly know anything about him, but for some reason, he's one of the only characters I really like. I need more Michael, please! *spoiler*

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