REVIEW: Starters (Starters, Book 1) by Lissa Price
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After the Spore Wars, the only people left living in America are those under the age of 20, and over the age of 60. Sixteen year old Callie is barely scraping by, living in abandoned buildings and taking care of her sickly younger brother, Tyler.
Until she hears about an opportunity to make a lot of sorely needed money. Callie goes to a place called Prime Destinations, and finds out she can be handsomely rewarded for the task of “renting” her body out to senior citizens (called Enders–young people are called Starters) who relish the chance to get back a taste of their youth.
With the hope of securing a better future for her little brother, Callie becomes a donor. But then during one session, something goes wrong. Callie wakes up in her own body but can communicate with her renter. And what the old woman wants her to do is unspeakable. Will Callie go through with it once she knows the truth about the body-renting operation?
I really enjoyed this book. Lissa Price has brought a great new heroine to literature in the form of Callie. She is tough and street-smart, and does what she has to in order to provide for her brother. I really appreciated the fact that even when she met a guy, she didn’t weaken and turn to mush. I thought Callie was a fantastic and likable main character.
This being a dystopian novel, the plot may be a little out there as far as the body renting, but I could see it happening. In a society where people are living well past 100 or even 150 years old, it would be all to easy to forget what being young was like…and those who have the money would probably want to experience it again.
There were only a couple of issues I had with this book that made me give it 4 (well, let’s say 4.5) stars instead of 5. First of all, the villain, “Old Man.” I felt like the story was trying a little too hard with him–his name, and the way you never saw his real face, but he had an ever-changing arsenal of digital faces. I don’t know. It irritated me for a reason I can’t really explain…maybe it felt a little too Bond-villain-y? Second, the way things fell together at the end with Blake. Without trying to give anything away, I’m just gonna say I felt like that was a little bit of a reach.
All in all, I really loved the action and mystery this book provided. I tore through it rather quickly, and I will definitely be reading the next in the series. Although I’m not entirely sure what direction it could go in–up until the book was approaching its’ last pages I thought the author had wrapped up everything nicely. We’ll just have to see what happens next!