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.
I have to be honest and confess that I requested Starters on NetGalley based solely on its cover. I mean how sick is this cover? I know, I know, one shouldn't judge a book my it's cover but I couldn't help but think how eery, futuristic and thrilling this story must be. Overall, I got everything I thought I would be receiving. There's been a lot of buzz around the book blogosphere comparing this novel to Suzanne Collins super popular series, Hunger Games, which got me even more excited.
For a debut author, I think that Lissa Price did an excellent job presenting a very captivating and exciting story. The premise of elders, or Enders as they're called in the novel, renting the bodies of teenagers is interesting and creepy at the same time. Interesting because who wouldn't want the opportunity to be young again. The appeal of not only feeling but looking young is highly tempting, but then when you look at it through the host's point of view, it's extremely creepy. To give someone the reigns of your body for days upon days is terrifying. All sorts of scary ideas floated through my head when I started thinking about it. You never know how creepy and demented some folks can be and for a person desperate enough to rent a teenagers body should be a sign that they might be up to no good.
The main character, Callie Woodland, is the type of protagonist you want to follow in a dystopian kind of world. She's smart, brave, self-reliant and selfless when it comes to taking care of her little brother, Tyler. Now this is where I saw the similarities with Hunger Games. In Hunger Games, Katniss did what ever she needed to do to protect her younger sister Prim and provide for her family and survive. Callie has been put in a similar situation that during desperate times, she needed to make the decision to sign up at the body bank to rent out her body in order to provide for her only living relative, Tyler. But what I loved about Callie was that she wasn't afraid of asking questions when she first arrived at the body bank. I think that a lot of kids would have just signed on the dotted line without even giving a second guessing he situation. Although not all her questions were answered Callie was brave enough to ask questions and even made the body wait for her decision.
I really loved that Starters takes place within the greater Los Angeles area. I mean what other city in the United States is so obsessed with staying and looking young, other than Los Angeles? With the majority of LA citizens being obsessed with having a knock out body and getting plastic surgery it makes sense that even in a dystopian world folks in LA would still be obsessed with staying and looking young. The story was well thought out, exhilarating and when I thought I had some things figured out Lissa Price threw in a few unexpected curve balls. I literally was screaming "WHAT?" when some secrets were revealed and wanted to know more about the antagonist, Old Man.
Starters was such an exciting journey and the ending left me wanting more of this series. With that said, this wasn't a perfect book. While reading Starters a few questions did cross my mind. The Spores War was mentioned but we never were really given a reason as to why it started. Maybe it's the hint of a history buff in me that wanted more of an explanation about how Callie and her brother came to be in this post war era. Also it's mentioned that Enders could live up to 200+ years old. When and how did this happen? Did the mysterious virus that wiped out all folks between 20-60 also happen to lengthen the lives of those over 60? I think if those questions were answered within this novel, I might have given it a 4.5/5 rating. But I've got my fingers crossed that we learn more in the sequel, Enders, due to come out later this year.
About the Author: Lissa Price