Starters (Starters, 1) by Lissa Price, March 13, 2012. 352 pages. Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. Source: Own.
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. . . .
Enders gave me the creeps.
Well, after sitting on my unread pile for, um, three or four years I finally have gotten around to reading Starters by Lissa Price. While I did not reread the synopsis before digging into it, it was different from what I was expecting. While I remembered the gist of it, there were aspects of the story that were unexpected.
- When I mentioned that there were some aspects that were unexpected, it was more in regards to the world setting. I don't know why, but I was expecting the world to be more technologically advanced then what it was. That's not to say that it was lacking in that, more that I thought it be more science fiction-y than it was. While the setting was different from what I expected, it was really interesting to see the division between those like Callie and the Enders.
- I don't know about you, but the thought of a world where a corporation can upload minds from one body to another, especially with the underlying plan behind it, is down right creepy and unnerving!! But, what really got to me was the desperation that drove Callie to donating her body to Prime Destinations as it made me think of all those who, for various reasons, have made decisions that they knew were not necessarily right because they had no other recourse. On the flip side, you had those who were privileged and yet still joined because it would give them what they too wanted. From a historical and sociological standpoint, it brings to light the lengths that people will go through in order to survive.
- Questions, I still have a number of them-for example, the Spore Wars!! It would have been nice for how it came about to be further explored. I wanted to know more about Callie's father as well as I felt there was more to his story (one I'm hoping will be explored more in Enders...especially after the end of Starters). Even though I felt these two points could have been explored more, I thought the rest of the book was interesting enough to make up for the unanswered questions.
- While there were some things that bothered me with Starters I really did enjoy reading it. I thought Lissa Price did a wonderful job creating a creepy yet fascinating world. It was one of the more unique dystopia young adult books I've read. The concept was different and thought provoking.
Final Verdict: Starters- Eerie and thought provoking, sets this dystopia novel apart from others. A chilling look into what one would do in order to survive and care for those you love; as well as the concept of being "forever" young is really distorted.
A copy of this book was received after winning a contest. All thoughts are my own.