Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Starters by Lissa Price - Review

Starters by Lissa Price
Published: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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. 

My Review:
Callie is an orphan who is taking care of her younger brother, who is sick. Her parents, as well as most adults, died during the spore wars. The only ones who didn't die were the very young and the very old because they were the ones seen as being the most vulnerable so they received immunizations. Callie isn't old enough to work because of a law that says anyone under 19 cannot do so, and they have no other family to "claim" them, so they end up surviving on the streets to avoid being placed in one of the terrible institutions where most unclaimed minors end up. The very old are referred to as Enders, and they have all the money and power. Enders go to Prime Destinations (or the "body bank") to rent the body of a teenager so they can experience a day, a week, a month as if they are young again. Callie goes to the body bank as a last resort to try to make things better for her younger brother. She thinks that after she does three rentals, she will be able to walk away and will have enough money to get them a house. On her third rental, something goes wrong with the chip that has been implanted inside her. She is inside her body, not the Ender that has rented her, but she is living the Ender's life. As she unravels what went wrong, she realizes that the body bank's plans are more sinister than she realized, and she must fight to save herself, her brother, and the other young orphans like her.

The cover of Starters is what initially caught my attention, but I was also intrigued by the plot. Unfortunately, it seemed that the plot details were just riddled with problems. If you can get over that and allow yourself to be pulled into the story, it does keep you engaged and moves along rather smoothly with big events happening at appropriate intervals to keep it from dragging. The suspense is the best part, and you will want to keep reading to find out what happens to Callie and what is really going on with the body bank. I was not overly thrilled that Callie so quickly falls in love with a boy she meets in a bar while she is still maintaining the facade of her rental going smoothly, especially since she is obviously in love with her friend, Michael, who helps them survive on the streets. I also was somewhat disappointed by the ending. I felt that everything just wrapped up too quickly and too conveniently with regards to the body bank and the people who ran it. However, the last couple of pages pulled me back in enough to want to read the next one in the series to find out what is going to happen. Ultimately, for me, what I was expecting from this book based on the blurb and tagline just wasn't pulled off; however, if you enjoy dystopian thrillers and can easily lose yourself in the fantasy and suspense, then you may enjoy Starters.

A copy was provided by the publisher for review.

About the author:
LISSA PRICE has studied photography and writing, but the world has turned out to be her greatest teacher.

She has walked with elephants in Botswana, swum with penguins in the Galapagos, and stood in a field at sunset amid a thousand nomads in Gujarat, India. She has been surrounded by hundreds of snorting Cape buffalo in South Africa and held an almost silent chorus with a hundred wild porpoises off the coast of Oahu. She has danced in mud huts at weddings in India and had tea with the most famous living socialite in Kyoto.

When she sat down to write, she found that the most surprising journeys were still inside her mind.

She lives in the foothills of California with her husband and the occasional deer. 

You can find Lissa on her website, Twitter, and Facebook.


  1. I had some issues with this, but overall I liked it and will read book two, great review and thanks for sharing your thoughts

  2. I too love the cover!

    Maybe it's the type of dystopian that you didn't enjoy as much.

  3. i love dystopian. maybe i'll love this book too

  4. I definitely love dystopian settings. This book sounds great to me.

  5. I loved this book! I read it in a day, and then my 13 yo daughter read it in an afternoon. She loved it too, and is so upset that we have to wait for the next in the series. Thanks for the review!



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