Title: Starters [Goodreads][Amazon]
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 13, 2012
In My Opinion: Must. Read. Now!
One Line: An amazingly original dystopian that will surprise and awe you.
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.
At first glance at this book, you might think the same thing I did – it looks like a book about aliens or something of that nature, not interested. Well, that’s where you’d be wrong, my friends! Starters is an insanely awesome dystopian novel with a dark and twisty plot line, very shady characters, and a dastardly, menacing villan you won’t soon forget. Lissa Price definitely knows how to shock and surprise you, and there was plenty of that going on while reading.
The book starts out very ominous with Callie visiting Prime Destinations to see what it’s all about. It’s basically a company that rents out teen bodies to really old people who want to be young and carefree again. I mean, these are really, really old people – like past 100 years old. In this world all the old people are rich and most of the teens are poor because their parents died in the Spore Wars and they’re not allowed to work until they’re 19 years old. Anyways, Prime Destinations basically puts this chip inside your head which allows an Ender’s (old person) to enter yours and control your body, while your mind is basically asleep. They rent the bodies for days, weeks, sometimes months and when the actual teen awakens, they have no memory of any it. The real problem arises when Callie’s chip acts up and she is actually in control of her body again, but the Ender who rented her, is still in her mind as well. Through all that, Callie discovers all the dark and twisted stuff that Prime Destinations is really doing and just how dangerous the Old Man really is.
There are so many secrets and lies within this book, especially since so many Enders rent out Starters, it’s hard to tell who is really who. All Callie wanted to do was earn some money for her and her brother, but once her neurochip started acting up, she became tied into this evil conspiracy to the point where it’s basically up to her to stop it all. I loved all the action, mystery, and heart-stopping moments and was very happy to see that Lissa doesn’t bore the reader with too much frivolous detail. The pace was very enjoyable and I loved the world that she created.
Probably the only thing I didn’t care about was the romance arc. There are two guys who come into play, Michael and Blake, and although there are some sweet moments, it was very minuscule and I found Callie and Blake’s relationship unbelievable. Their relationship is significant to the story, you’ll see, but their feelings towards each other didn’t do much for me. I definitely wasn’t into this book for the romance.
The Old Man is an excellent villan. Because he’s such a crazy and powerful guy with evil intentions, he never lets anyone see his face and instead wear this holographic-like mask. The effects it displays are quite twisted. He definitely presents himself with a degree of arrogance and darkness that can easily make anyone fear him. Oh, and there was one surprise at the end I totally didn’t see coming, and it kind of disgusted me in a “that is wickedly twisted, I love it” kind of way! And talk about cliffhanger endings!
If you’re a fan of dystopian novels, then you’ll definitely want to pick this one up because it is epic. Highly intriguing, mysterious, and captivating – a true must read.