Series: Starters #1
Author: Lissa Price
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: Hardcover; 368
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Everyone
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HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER
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. . . .
We meet Callie as she is struggling to survive in a post-war world. Biological warfare has ravaged Callie's society, and now the only people left are either very young or very old. With modern technology allowing people to live well into their triple digits, things have drastically changed. Lissa Price builds a world that pits the "Enders", or the elders, against the "Starters" or the young people. The idea of borrowing someone else's body sounds far-fetched, but Price manages to make it a reality. This concept definitely keeps the book moving.
The story line takes off at a quick pace, expertly weaving the past with the present to give the reader a bigger view of this new world. Callie isn't given a moment to rest, as she tries to unravel what Prime Destinations is really up to. As a character, Callie is just wonderful. She is the perfect mixture of a normal teenage girl, and the mother figure that her world has forced her to become. Her affection for her brother is palpable, and it made me adore her that much more. No matter what decisions Callie made, I was always right there with her. Price has created a character who is easy to fall into step with, and it makes this book that much more immersive.
I'll stop gushing for a moment to make a small announcement. I've seen other reviews that complain about the lack of character description, and unanswered questions about the past, in this book. I'll admit, it's true that some things are aren't blatantly spelled out. For me though, that was half of the magic of this book. I was given a great base world, and as I read I filled in information for myself. I was lost in creating Callie's life in my head. Building it word by word. Perhaps it's my fantasy based mind at work, but it didn't phase me at all. I'm all for literary escapism, and Starters definitely allowed me that opportunity.
So, if you couldn't tell already, I loved this book! Starters has a unique premise that makes it a deliciously quick read. By the time I reached the ending I was out of breath. I also probably had a shocked look on my face. Yes friends, there is a cliffhanger and it's a big one. Starters, and its lovely creator Lissa Price, get my highest seal of approval and adoration. I know that I'll be eagerly awaiting the next book. Hurry up and get your hands on a copy of Starters so you can join me.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.