By Lissa Price
Publication date: March 13, 2012
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 336 pages
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. . .
— Goodreads.com description
I love the concept behind Starters by Lissa Price, but I’m not sure I loved where it ended up.
I mean, the story idea here is just brilliant. It’s post-apocalyptic, it’s sci-fi: How can you not love this?
And, to start, I really enjoyed Callie as a main character. I love reading about fierce girls who will do anything to protect the people they love!
(MINOR SPOILERS HERE) But as the story progressed, I lost some of my link to her. Why does she give up on Michael so quickly? And why is she so attracted to Blake? They have nothing in common! How is she not more freaking disturbed by some of the surprises revealed at the end of the book? (‘Cause those surprises were GROSS!)
I also felt we were left hanging when it came to world-building. Who was the war with? What did the spores do exactly? Why do the Enders live so long? I was too distracted by the unknowns of the story’s past to follow along with the story’s present.
All in all, Starters made for an interesting read, and I’d happily check out Lissa Price’s work in the future. And perhaps it’s good to have so many questions at the start of the series. But, ultimately, I just couldn’t keep up with the storyline, so was a little disappointed.