Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 13, 2012)
Read this if you enjoy: Under the Never Sky, Partials
In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party--her body will commit murder, if her mind can't stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first--the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie's neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It's a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank's horrible plan. . . .
My quest for a Dystopian read is ever expanding and when I first became aqainted with STARTERS by Lissa Price I knew that I would be in for a new kind of adventure. I also enjoyed the fact their are only going to be two books in this series, STARTERS and ENDERS. A refreshing change from trilogy's.
Callie and her brother are orphaned, after a virus kills their parents and anyone else who is not a child or a senior citizen. With no one to take them in they must live on the streets, but society does not want unsponsored Starters (minors) so they are always on the run and that is difficult considering that Callie's brother is very ill. So, when she is given information on a way to get money she takes a chance, and this is were the story gets interesting. Callie finds an institution that wants to use her body and pay her for her time. Suddenly she is faced with a difficult choice...continue with the status quo and have her brother get worse and possibly perish or rent out her body so that a rich Ender (senior) gets to have some fun for a bit of time. *Shudders* just the thought gives me the chills. It is obvious what choice she makes and what she believes to be a simple temporary transaction soon becomes something deceitfully sinister and she will have to fight with everything she has in order to survive.
STARTERS has a good base and it's world is well delineated. I also found this new Starters/Enders society to be original and the inception of "Prime Destinations" to be wickedly creepy. I could understand Callie's decision at committing an unthinkable act, despite the fact that it seemed like such a violation, and I was curious to see how things would work out when she discovered the truth. This story also had a few plot twists that I totally did not see coming and I really enjoyed being surprised by them and it kept my interest going.
As much as I found STARTERS to grab my interest, I found some situations a bit far fetched and unconvincing. The concept of the Enders having an exceedingly long life span? I thought I was good with numbers but some things just did not add up. I also did not care for the love triangle that came to light at the end of the story because it just seemed a bit odd. Not to mention The Old Man, who is he? and why did he have such an interest in Callie? Uggggg....I hate the suspense but I guess there has to be something to bring you back and read the next installment that is aptly named ENDERS.
In short, I found STARTERS to be a good read and I believe that fans of the Dystopian/Sci-Fi genre will enjoy this debut novel by Lissa Price. It is well paced, creepy and will keep thinking about it long after you have finished reading it.