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. 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!!!!
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.
Who needs to rent out your house for a little extra cash when you can rent out your body? Not in that icky “escort” kind of way, but actually rent out your body by letting other people connect to your brain through a surgically implanted chip and paint the town red. That’s the concept of Lissa Price’s "Starters" where young people rent out their body to the elderly whose 100 plus year-old bodies just can’t do what they used to.
This book really made me think about how we take our bodies for granted. Until we reach those elderly years, we’ll never know what it’s like to have a body that can’t perform everyday tasks to athletic feats that we expect to be able to. Who can blame these futuristic old people for taking the one leap they can into a young’uns brain?
Obviously, I was looking forward to Starters, because it includes the magic word in its description: dystopia. However, I wasn't nearly as pumped about it as about a lot of others (The Selection for example. Why? Because the cover seriously gives me the heebie jeebies! Most dystopias go for the gorgeous covers to lure the reader in, but they definitely didn't here, even though they could have justifiably. I admire that they did their own thing here, but I still don't want to stare at this cover for too long!
Starters grabbed me from the very beginning. From the first words, both Callie and the society she's living in come alive. Callie is an amazing narrator, strong and sassy, even when completely at wit's end. Actually, all of the characters are incredibly awesome, full of depth and personality. I really like Blake, but, hey, I also love Michael. Heck, I even like Tyler, and I don't usually much like moppets.
When I first read the description above, I already knew that the book was about old people (Enders) borrowing the bodies of young people (Starters), so I was really confused about the whole Spore Wars business. I was worried it might be overkill; some dystopias try to make everything that can possibly go wrong all happen all at once, which can end up just being ridiculous. Anyway, Price builds a firm foundation for her world of Enders and Starters with the Spore Wars. Excellent world building! The one thing I would really like to know more about in particular is how the Enders are able to live so long, and also how the society still functions the same with so many people gone.
I find it really comforting that, despite the sheer mass of dystopian novels, with more on the way, authors can still find new, astounding things to do with the genre. Although Starters can definitely be compared to some other dystopian titles (Unwind for example), it definitely stands on its own two metaphorical feet as something unique. Her story is in no way just a reimagining of something extant or an awkward mishmash of several other dystopias (which Matched sort of was).
Even though I guessed some of the ending, I still loved it. Price didn't go for the easy cliffhanger; there's a resolution of sorts, although obviously there's still more to be done. Usually, a book is less fun if you figure out a twist early on, but I actually liked Starters more because of it, because the reason that I knew is that Price hid a clue. I love finding the one hint; it makes me feel so smart.
I think I may just have found a new favorite dystopia and possible new favorite author. My ARC informs me that Enders will come out in Winter 2011, but I'm assuming they meant 2012, haha. CANNOT WAIT. Okay, I should officially have been asleep for about a half hour now, but I just had to finish reading this. If you like dystopias, get this now. Actually, if you like good books of any sort get this now!
I received my ARC copy of Starters by Lissa Price from Random House Publishing as a result of being chosen as one of their Ambuzzadors through their Random Buzzers website. The following review is my honest opinion of the work.
So I was sitting in my dorm room, bored out of my mind since there are seldom any other ways of sitting in one's dorm room. My eyes were wandering around the limited space when a small stack of books caught my attention, sandwiched between my US Literature books I spied Starters by Lissa Price. I debated momentarily. My homework was done. I wasn't going to read any more Faulkner any way. I had the whole day ahead of me. It was no contest. And so I began reading.
From the first page I was drawn into the dystopian world that Lissa Price had created with no intentions of ever turning back. Talk about a page turner! Had it not been the early afternoon when I started, and only a couple hours later that I finished it, this would have been one of those books I would have pulled an all-nighter for. I couldn't set it down. I tried. Eating is important you know. But I found myself wandering around, nose buried in this book. I had to know, absolutely had to know, what was going to happen next. Would Callie figure everything out in time? I was literally on the edge of my seat.
Starters had it all. There was of course the dystopian setting that we all love, where something has drastically changed the world we live in and the main character is put in the position to do something about it but there was more. There was a mystery aspect to it, you had no idea why things were going down the way that they were but you followed Callie as she uncovered clues and tried to piece together what exactly her renter has in store for her. There's the science aspect that leads you to ponder where our scientists will take us one day, just how far can these guys go? What can science do? And of course, the one constant in the books I love best, romance. But that's all I'm going to say about that.
It had some of the same feel to it as The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson [one of my absolute favorite books, hands down, EVER] and Lauren DeStefano's Chemical Garden series. There was something medically wrong, the dystopian world had pushed science too far and now the question was where it could be stopped. Just how far is too far? I'm giving Starters by Lissa Price a four out of five stars review and crossing my fingers that when the time comes I'll be considered for an ARC of it's sequel, Enders.
I love the mystery. Starters really keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering if everything is going to work out in time.