by Lissa Price
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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. . . .
Why I Picked This Book: The synopsis was captivating, and eerie, so how could I resist? (I received this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated in any way.)
Starters is a captivating, creepy, high-energy read that thoroughly pulled me in from page one. Price created a world that was believable, to the point that I would never want to step foot in it.
The world has ended, the whole middle age group dead, and it is just plain dangerous to be below the age of, oh say... 50. That's the world Callie lives in. She and her brother are in hiding, along with numerous other children. The older adults (now able to age well into their upper 100's) are running the world. And they tend to use the children as one main thing: slaves.
The only way Callie has left to make some money is to sign up for Prime Destinations. An underground facility that rents your body out to the Enders (the old folk.) That's right. Rents. You go to sleep, and they install their conscience into you to relive their glory days. Three rentals, and you make enough money to survive. This is working out for Callie. Until her third rental happens... and she wakes up mid-rent.
Callie was a captivating protagonist. Unlike other female leads in stories recently, she isn't night or day. She doesn't have kung-fu powers, and she isn't a sniveling girlie needing a man to always protect her. She is a teenager, struggling to survive. I loved that. Watching her grow and learn throughout the story, as she realizes the world is much worse off than she thought, was a great experience.
The world building was amazing as well. Price crafted something that I would never want to live in. It was easy to picture every aspect of this world. From the run-down apartment buildings to the sprawling mansions.
I think my only true complaint about this book is the Enders. Okay, yes. Older people are wiser. They do run our country and world. But in Starters, it seemed ALL of the Enders somehow became rich, stuck up snobs who hate children and throw tempter tantrums. While some weren't as extreme as others, it did become hard to believe that all good people stopped being good once they hit the ripe age of 50.
I think that right there is what pulled down my rating.
While the world was believeable, the story line captivating, I just couldn't fully understand a world where every old person alive acted like a teenager.
The love story part of Starters was... fast? One of those "I see you and I love you" type things. While at the ending it does make a little more sense, I still would have liked to see either more together time between the two, or less of the love all together.
My only other qualm is a spoiler. So I can't say what it is. But let's just say: I called it. And "ew."
All in all, Starters was a great read. It should quench some of that thirst for any dystopian seeker out there. I plan on snatching up book two as soon as it is out, to see where Price takes us next.
(4 out of 5 stars)