Starters is a fantastic thrill ride sure to please both teens and adults, from readers who love action to readers who love mystery to readers who love mind blowing creativity This is a can t miss read First I have to say how surprised I was to see this cover in real life It s such a reflective shiny silver white that you can see yourself in it I mean look at it I love it Inside this flashy cover, Lissa Price has written a fun, original dystopian that reminded me a bit of The Host one of my favorite books ever , and even though the world itself could use details, the story is highly entertaining.
After a war that only left children and seniors alive, Callie, orphaned, has decided to donate her body for a few weeks so she can get enough money to save her brother As you can guess, things go wrong, and Callie ends up living someone else s life This premise enticed me the second I started reading, in addition to its fast pace that turns it highly addictive Every chapter ends with such intrigue that you just Can t Stop It s also full of suspense, as you never know when Callie will lose her body to her renter again, for how long, and worst of all what she will be doing with it One thing I would have liked, would be to have gotten background details on the world itself how exactly it managed to get to this point As well as a bigger picture on the current civilization or lack thereof The story is so engaging, though, that I only cared about these sketchy details after the fact My advice just sit back and enjoy the ride Callie s voice captivated me from the start She s tough and everything she s doing is for her brother It s easy to ache for the loss of their world being thrown from a normal loving family, a great comfortable life, into this unfortunate dystopian future I loved how Callie handled herself in situations always thinking on her feet but staying smart I really had no problems connecting with her The story mainly focuses on her, but there are a few interesting side characters to fill in the space that I m hoping to get to know better in the upcoming books There is also no big love story in this novel, however we still get to enjoy a fun romance that is sure to catch everyone s attention Especially with the fascinating twists that I never saw coming The twists they re plentiful The secrets even so There is not a page in this book that didn t have me pining for answers Trying to figure out what exactly was happening what these people really have planned and the most intriguing who is this Old Man The man who s face NO one ever saw Who seems to be involved with everything, and everyone The man who knows all the tricks, and he s not afraid to use them At last, the book ends with a bang Combining mystery and excitement, Starters is a vacation from reality that will leave you captivated through to the end With the amount I ve read, I m surprised how dystopians keep being so interesting as well as original Starters is definitely on my list of recommended, and I hope it makes it on yours too For of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads 2.
5 starsThe description of Starters immediately snagged my attention teenage donor bodies, elderly renters, a vaguely sinister business commercialising on desperation, poverty and the allure of eternal youth for hire I think it s a strong idea and ripe for ethical discussion, in this case examined through the lens of a post apocalyptic dystopian world where the fallout from biological I assume warfare has rendered life precious, and youth a commodity The balance of power has been drastically shifted by removing an enormous segment of the population, and the divide between poverty and wealth is vast and unbridged Unfortunately, I can t really say that Starters delivered on my high expectations The story is told from the viewpoint of Callie, fending for herself and her younger brother on the streets, who against her better judgement accepts a contract with Prime Destinations to rent out her body, in order for the rich and old to briefly experience virtual youth What seems to be a painless means to money and security for herself and her brother goes awry when Callie wakes up in her renter s life and discovers that not all at Prime Destinations is what is seems I think I wanted a nuanced and thought provoking look at the premise of body rental, physical perfection and the ramifications thereof, when what was actually on offer was of a mystery action movie in book form And that s not a bad thing, especially when the story kicks into high gear during the final 20% or so The plot begins to twist, the pacing is genuinely gripping, and Price throws some good curveballs The lead up, however, lacked punch for me, and was riddled with plot weaknesses This is another case of an extremely improbable scenario everyone between 20 and 60 falls victim to the Spore Wars as a backdrop to a murder plot, a chance for the heroine to experience life on the other side and drive fast cars, and muse on her various romantic entanglements While I actually really quite enjoyed the final section of the book, so much of the mid section just seemed a bit ridiculous view spoiler was the Cinderella shoe scene really necessary hide spoiler A list of things I would do if I were in some one else s body Moon nun ner ies Spend a day doing nekkid per for mance art in ille gal locales Yell at peo ple ran domly that they can t han dle the truth Trick var i ous peo ple into skinny dip ping with peo ple and then steal their clothes Ran domly strip on trams and use the pole to danceA list of things old peo ple would appar ently do in my body Drink Club Sports Sex Bungee JumpingIf any thing is rep re sen ta tive of the gen er a tion gap I think that is See Dad, first I mooned the nuns while a friend took pic tures Then we uploaded the photo to fif teen dif fer ent social media sites Then we pho to shopped their faces to meme rage faces, loaded it to our blog, mon e tized it and made a for tune from all the clicks Now I ll show you how I paid my own col lege fund by reply ing to pop u lar youtube videos and turned a Repub li can candidate s name into a euphemism for some thing you ll ground me for describ ing This is how we have fun This is not a bad novel but nor is it a per fect one.
Price has strengths, which make this book an enjoy able read, but she also has marked weak nesses It is those weak nesses, unchecked, that ruin an oth er wise enjoy able tale.
The story, a futur is tic dystopian Body Snatch ers of sorts, is a fast paced, thrilling read It has a great cast of char ac ters, an inter est ing story line, and a tight plot.
Price s strengths lean toward the adrenaline pumping action, the intrigu ing plot side of things Where the novel falls apart is all related to the rela tion ships and how her char ac ters interact.
I m quite sure Michael plays some piv otal role in a future book but for this book he felt entirely unnec es sary and his rela tion ship with Car lie felt base less and meaningless.
Sim i larly, Blake s reac tions and rela tion ship with Car lie felt forced, inau then tic and com pletely unbe liev able What ever spark Price wanted us to feel, just wasn t there for me.
Per haps the biggest fac tor that crip pled the novel for me was in the M Night Shya malan like story telling Every thing was a twist When your vil lain is always one step ahead, it s fas ci nat ing and exhil a rat ing When your vil lain is 2,568 steps ahead, it starts to look a lit tle com i cal and super vil lainy with twisty mus tache included Or like the author is giv ing him inhu man pow ers of fore sight to act as a deus ex machina.
I really, really wanted to like this novel Despite the low rat ing, I would be inter ested in read ing the sequel to see where Price takes some of the themes and sto ry lines and to see if she improves on the weaker ele ments of her writing.
Until then I ll be over here plank ing, splank ing and plankouring My gen er a tion makes no sense Planks can t parkour I usually hate being wrong about a book, but right now, I m ecstatic Given the dystopia craze surrounding us, I was afraid this book wouldn t live up to my expectations, so I lowered them But after reading just a few pages, I knew I would absolutely love Starters.
In a genre that has become so popular in the last couple of years, it s only natural that some topics and tropes will be recycled and transformed , but in the end we have the same of everything In my opinion, Starters kicks its fellow dystopian books in the butt because it s a refreshing take on the genre With an original concept, excellent world building and multidimensional characters, I was instantly caught up in its world.
Plot wise, it blew my mind Lissa Price created an interesting, undesirable future that s actually feasible She interweaves history and science fiction into her world and achieves a wonderful result, making the readers aware of certain details while keeping us on edge.
Callie, the main character, is strong, determined, brave and smart and I enjoyed reading from her POV She struggled with her situation, her emotions and the discoveries she made.
AND yes There s a hint of a love triangle, but not quite I honestly don t know how to properly describe the relationships in this book but let me assure you that this is not a conventional love triangle I won t spoil it for you, but Lissa Price delivers a huge, shocking plot twist that changes everything and it made it intriguing.
The story ends with a cliffhanger and it s actually kind of cruel that we have to wait SO long to know what happens next with Callie and company If you re a fan of the dystopia genre and are looking for a compelling, original and action packed read, Lissa Price s impressive debut is the book for you Go pick it up ASAP
This was pretty entertaining, if a bit sketchy on some of the details Still, there s a very interesting twist at the end that I didn t see coming And I will definitely be reading the sequel Review to come.
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to harsh on a book you don t like than it is to write something nice about one you love I m not even sure where to start with this one I m a third of the way through and so far, I love it Have to get back and finish it.
Update I m done and feeling a bit deflated This book was so good, so exciting, so fun, that once I started turning the pages of the last few chapters I made myself slow down, I tried to really savor each moment, but there was so much going on and the ending was such a surprise that I read the last line with shock and disbelief, bummed it was over so soon and happy that the ending wasn t what I thought it would be I love a surprise.
First off, I m a sucker for quick starts This book starts with a bang as Callie enters the posh, beautiful lobby of Prime Destinations to find out how much money she can get for renting her body Yep, I did just say renting her body Callie s parents are dead and her little brother is ill, partly from living in such poor conditions with a lack of adequate food and water and she finds out from Prime destinations that just one month of her life could change their lives forever Enough money for good food and a warm, dry and clean place to live Enough money to move away from the street gangs For Callie, there isn t much of a choice, rent her body or starvation.
But the trade off, letting some old lady use her body, well, it s not only terrifying but completely repulsive.
Now, I m not going to summarize anything else about the story To say that everything doesn t turn out the way Callie expected is an understatement Her rental turns everything Callie knows about the world upside down and her life goes from hard, brutal and dangerous to downright hellish But it s the way Callie reacts to the dangers that kept me up way past my bedtime Callie is brave, but not foolish, she does what has to be done even when it is terrifying.
The evil characters in this book are beyond greedy and selfish, they truly do not see Callie or other young orphans in similar circumstances as less than human They are merely tools to be used to achieve their evil ends Coming face to face with this kind of character was a bit jarring in a teen book, but softening it would have come off weird.
During the Spore Wars, genocide spores killed every person between twenty and sixty years of age, thus reducing the population to Starters and Enders, those who were once most vulnerable Since Callie and her baby brother Tyler have no living grandparents or any other family older than sixty, they are now unclaimed and squatting in a ruined building, together with many others The only way for an unclaimed teen to earn some money is to rent their body for a month or to an Elder through a company named Prime Destinations With a sick brother and no place to go, Callie is forced to do just that But her renter isn t just an old lady looking to have some fun in a young body She is on a mission to destroy Prime Destinations and Callie has no choice but to get involved Based on the reviews I ve read so far, most people had issues with Price s worldbuilding I didn t Wiping out the entire population between twenty and sixty is, admittedly, a bold move, but if an outbreak were to happen, something similar to the described Spore Wars, we probably would inoculate children and old people first What I found harder to believe was that the society would so easily discard unclaimed minors children with no grandparents or guardians If all you had were old people and kids, you d first ensure the survival of your species by taking care of those who can actually reproduce The process of renting out teenage bodies to old people reminded me a little of that horrible movie Surrogates with Bruce Willis and that blonde actress whose name I always forget It s Radha Mitchell, I googled her If you ask me in five minutes, I probably won t be able to remember It took a while for me to think of the movie because, up until that point, I had been doing my damndest to forget I ever even saw it It wasn t until I remembered it that I realized that Price hasn t given us enough information on what happens to Elders bodies while they re renting a teen I can believe that they would stay in a chair connected to tubes and wires and surrounded by nurses for a week, but how exactly would that work long term When they started talking about a permanent arrangement, I got a mental image of an old, wrinkled body rotting and melting in a chair I ll probably need to wash my brain with soap again.
However, I think Callie was the source of most of my problems with Starters Everything she did, from going into Prime Destinations, renting her body for a limited time, to helping Helena fight the Old Man and the Senator, seemed entirely selfless And yet I never believed her It seemed awfully convenient that she would have a sick baby brother to take care of, thus making Prime Destinations her only viable option Perhaps I d have been comfortable with that if Price chose to explore their relationship a little bit I simply wasn t as emotionally invested as I should have been and I felt that first Michael, and later a complete stranger, were doing a much better job of taking care of Callie s brother than Callie ever did.
Starters was focused on the technical, and less on the emotional side of the story which rarely works for me However, I have many friends who enjoyed this book If you re into dystopias with sci fi elements, I say go for it Despite the issues I ve mentioned which may not even be issues for some , Starters is a solidly written and action packed novel that will surely have a lot of fans Also posted at The Nocturnal Library
HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVERCallie 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 ManHe 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 Than Party And That Prime Destinations Plans Are Evil Than Callie Could Ever Have Imagined