Series: Starters #1
Also in this series: Enders
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Family, Science Fiction, Siblings, Young Adult
HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER
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. . . .
Bad things happen when you rent!
My Thoughts on Starters
I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately but… I didn’t hate this book by any stretch of the imagination but it took me a while to connect with the characters. As a general rule, I LOVE broken societies but this wasn’t one that I fell into immediately. To be honest, I wanted more Spore Wars information. Seriously, that whole thing sounds wicked crazy and I would have been ALL OVER seeing that go down.
But let’s get back to the story at hand, shall we? My biggest problem is that while I can understand what drove Callie to rent out her body in the first place, I kept getting crazy eyes and thinking “OH, THIS IS GOING TO END SO BADLY!” I thought it all in caps, too. IT WAS THAT SERIOUS! I honestly got why Callie did the things she did and I can see the logical progression of her choices but a place that puts a chip in your head so that people can pop in for a quick break from the reality of their own broken down bodies IS NEVER GOING TO END WELL. I also had a teeny, tiny issue with the idea that the Enders were okay with the state of affairs this society was in after the middle-aged peeps died. I might be crazy, but if an entire generation died out, you’d think that there’d be a whole slew of grandparent-esque folks who would be HAPPY to take in orphans who had lost their parents. But no… you had the wealthy, elite Enders, many of whom were trying to recapture their youth by renting out teenage bodies, and a big group of ragtag unclaimed minors that were starving in the streets and squatting in vacant buildings.
Now see, part of me gets that there would be some of the older folk who wanted the rush of being young again and then there’s this other part of me that is all “Umm… if most of the older peeps lost their children to the Spore Wars, wouldn’t they be trying to fill the void with all these poor kids?” Alas, that didn’t seem to be happening.
I did like unraveling the mystery of who was who and what they were trying to accomplish. If I’m going to be completely honest (and I am), whenever characters change names frequently (as one does when one is renting a body, it turns out), I have a tendency to lose the emotional connection to them. So, while I ended up enjoying Callie’s character (eventually), the secondary characters were more like background noise and, with a few exceptions, they were pretty much interchangeable. This isn’t a terribly horrific problem because the people that mattered came across as more well-rounded but it was something that I noticed.
Yeah, so I didn’t hate the book but I didn’t love the book, either. I’m a little afraid of what some of the implications of the final chapter will mean in book 2 because bad guy is bad! On the other hand, I’m totally thinking about how that last chapter is going to affect things in the next book. So, you know, well played, Lissa Price. Well played.