Friday, March 2, 2012

Starters by Lissa Price

Book : Starters
Author : Lissa Price
Date : March 13, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young People
Source: Netgalley
My grade: A


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. . . .

My Review

Holy dystopian books, Batman! This was a great read!

Now, I admit that I’m starting to get skeptical about dystopians. I mean, I knew there would be a ton of them after the success of the Hunger Games. Just like with Twilight, when a whole bunch of mediocre vampire books managed to get published. Some of those vampire books were sooooooo bad, I don’t know what the publishers were thinking!

I’ve been waiting for that to happen with dystopian novels. And so far, so good! I haven’t really read that many that were just bad. Now, most of them don’t reach the level of the Hunger Games, but they are still darn good books!

This book is one of the better ones, in my opinion.

At first, it felt a little bit like The Host by Stephenie Meyer with that whole person within a person sort of thing with the host and other person communicating. But it didn’t take long before I just got over that feeling all together.

This is one of those books that you don’t want to put down. It is non-stop action and totally unpredictable. Down to the very last part. Yeah, she totally threw me a curve ball at the end. Several curve balls, in fact. Also, I think the premise of this book is so unusual. What would it be like in a society where only teens and senior citizens lived? And where life could be extended to seemingly unattainable lengths? Just thinking about that is mind-boggling, so seeing that experience put into a book is just incredible.

I loved the character of Callie. I was really able to empathize with her. She was a wonderful sister and friend, caring so much for her brother. I really felt for her when she ended up making the decision to go with Prime Destination. Even though I knew it was a bad decision, and she probably did too, I totally understood her motivation.

I think this may be the first time I’ve ever grown to love a character that I never even met really. Even though Helena is never really shown as a “person”, I grew to think a lot of her, sort of the way Callie grew to trust her and like her.

This is a dystopian that also deals with a lot of ethical issues. I think it would be a fun book to read with Unwind by Neal Shusterman. I could totally see my students discussing the many moral and ethical implications of these books. It really provides a lot of food for thought on many different topics.

I will admit that the cover, for me, was a little off-putting. Of course, after reading the book, I understand the cover. But the girl looks a lot younger than a 16 year old and it was sort of creepy to look at. I’m glad I didn’t judge the book by its cover in this case.

My grade for this book is an A. I loved it! I’m so glad that I read it. I can’t wait to read the second book, Enders.

Thank you to Delacorte Books and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.  I received no compensation for this review.

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