Starters By Lissa Price
Series: Starters #1
Series: Starters #1
Genre: Dystopian/Sci Fi Young Adult
Release: March 13, 2012
Hardcover: 352 Pages
Publisher: Delacourte Books for Young Readers
My Copy: NetGalley
Buy the Book: Amazon
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. . .
Starters had some great promise at the beginning. I liked the world Lissa Price had created and was interested in Callie’s predicament. Having lost her parents, she seeks out a living as a squatter with her younger brother and friend, Michael (for whom she has complicated feelings). But, her brother is sick and they need money. So she decides to rent her body to seniors who want to experience life as a teen again. But things go awry and Callie is thrown into a conspiracy plot.
It is at this point that the story starts to unravel. The plot takes one crazy turn after the other. Which I would have probably been ok with, except the author falls into the trap of telling, not showing. The story would have a lot more impact if the reader experienced emotions with the characters instead of being told how they felt. Because of this, the characters come off as detached and flat. I thought Callie started off interesting, but as time went on and all these crazy things were happening she seemed remarkably unfazed. And it made it hard to understand what was really driving her to do the things she was doing. This is true for other characters’ motivations as well.
Given the potential, I’m interested to see where Lissa Price goes with her story. Hopefully in the coming novels, the writing will be stronger and have more developed characters.