Author: Lissa Price
Series: Starters, #1
Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Publisher: Delacorte (Imprint of Random House)
Date Published: March 13th, 2012
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. . . .
Starters is certainly a unique concept of sci-fi/paranormal, and while it did manage to keep me interested, unfortunately it wasn’t as good as I had been hoping it would be going into it.
My problem with the book is that it just didn’t get into depth with really anything and so many questions are left unanswered. The history of the war that killed so many, the characters, the relationships, even the reasoning behind the whole concept of “borrowing” a body. It just felt shallow and while the world is interesting, it was also confusing. It felt halfway normal at times with parties and cars. Then we would have children living in abandoned buildings and hologram phone calls. It was such a mismatch of different things.
Then there’s the “romance”, which just felt abrupt and unrealistic. I really wasn’t falling for it at all and I couldn’t feel the connection between Callie and her love interest. After going out for one date she asks him to do this huge favor for her and he obliges telling her that “he would do anything for her”…when he just met her. This about sums up their romance. Unrealistic.
Where the story was interesting though is really in the whole concept. There were times where my skin would literally crawl with how disturbing the situation was. Also just how callous and uncaring most of the people (or Enders) were about taking over another person’s body. Truly creeptastic. So that was really fascinating.
But then the story ends so strangely. I know there’s at least one more book (I think just one more), but I was so confused by the ending and how easy it was that after closing the book I had that moment of “okay, what just happened” going on.
So essentially I probably wouldn’t recommend this book. It still held my interest, but I think mostly because I kept hoping for more of an explanation of anything going on. Everything is confusing and the world and characters are very one-dimensional. The book ends as if it could be a standalone with a few mysteries hanging so I’m not entirely sure if I’ll read the next one. Maybe out of morbid curiosity to see if more things are explained, but I don’t know.