Friday, March 9, 2012

Starters by Lissa Price

Starters by Lissa Price
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
Release Date: 3-13-2012
ARC received from Delacorte Press
The Sisters Say:  Seismic, Shocking, and Spine-tingling


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. . .

When I first sat down to read this book, I had my doubts because it looked very sci-fi like—which can be hit and miss for me; however, I love dystopian novels, so I figured I’d give this one a try.  I’m certainly glad I did!  Reminiscent of Dollhouse that aired on Fox, in Starters, a super secret organization called Prime Destinations employs starters (those under 19 in the futuristic society) to rent out their bodies to enders (people over 60).  Most everyone between those ages is dead because of the Spore Wars (WW3 which ended in biological attacks on the US).  The elderly and the young were vaccinated because they were vulnerable so when the attack came, anyone without the vaccine quickly died.

Callie is put in a no win situation—she has a very sick little brother Tyler and no money to get him medicine and no home to keep him safe, so she signs up with Prime.  It was very easy to get to know her and relate to her as she began finding herself in treacherous situations.  I felt like I was alongside her the whole way—when her heartbeat sped up, so did mine; when she smiled because of Blake (the resident cutie in the book), I smiled; and when she got curious, I got even more curious!!! 

What struck me most about this book is how our future could end up very similar.  How?

1.)    We vaccinate the old and young first as well, leaving everyone else more susceptible.

2.)    Biological weapons are a very real threat, especially if terrorists get their hands on one.

3.)    People always want what they can’t have and thus will push technology and morality to the edge.

Now, there are some areas of the book where the action drags, but that really didn’t both me that much.  The thing that bothered me was the lack of details in the Spore Wars and their society, but maybe that is something that will come in the future installments.  For example, the enders can live up to 200 years old, but all we are told is that medical advancements allowed it—I would have like more information.  I guess I’ll just have to wait in anticipation!

It’s definitely a thrill ride, and let me tell you this!

THE ENDING….OH MY GOSH….WHAT A TWIST!!!!  I finished the book last night, and I woke up this morning turning situation after situation over and over in my head trying to figure out what is going to happen in the next book and what the twist really means!!!!  Oh December….come quickly!

This would be a great book for any age!  There are a couple of scenes in a nightclub, but it’s just some dancing (and the mention of the bar), and there are a few kissing scenes (I wish they were more swoon-worthy, but Lissa Price didn’t spend much time delving into Blake and making him oh-so-dreamy…another hope for the future books).  Overall, not the greatest dystopian novel, but a definite must read for those who like this genre.