Author: Lissa Price
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published: March 13th 2012
Series: Starters #1
Source: hardcover (borrowed)
Goodreads | Amazon
Summary: 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. . . .
Review: First off, I thought this cover was ugly. The girl is creepy and it just didn't look enticing enough, which explains why it took me so long to read this. I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover. I saw the hardcover in the library and it was so SHINY! That made up for the weird looking girl on the cover.
The premise reminded me so much of Dollhouse and I loved that show so much. Another huge reason why I liked it was because it was a breath of fresh air in the dystopian genre. In all the recent dystopia books I have read ie. Insurgent, Bumped, The Hunger Games, The Killables, Uglies etc. it is all about the government body being in control and forcing its citizens to do things. Starters on the other hand shows that even in a dystopian world, one still has choices and could still lead his/her own life. I guess I was just sick of reading about how things had to be done in a certain way because the government says so or something to that effect. I liked how Callie could make her own decision to become a part of Prime Destinations although things with the government starts to change towards the end of the book.
The pacing of Starters was to-die-for! As I mentioned in my review of The Killables, I was getting really sick of dystopian books and was planning to take a break from them but I had to return this book. So for me to have finished Starters in 2 days really speaks a lot for itself. There were so many twists, some shocking, some predictable and it was a good balance. World building was average, there were missing details here and there but I felt that Starters was more Sci-Fi than dystopian so that didn't really bother me all that much. (I think this was one of the problems many people had when reading this book.)
The ending seemed a bit rushed and nothing was explained well. (From the part where everyone came to plan/help, it was wayyy too chaotic and felt forced.) Another major problem I had with Starters was the weak character development, I just didn't really care about anyone. I was more focused on what was happening. Overall, I felt that this book would have done so much better as Science Fiction rather than Dystopian.
Recommended for sci-fi and Dollhouse lovers!