This book def had a Dollhouse vibe going. In a world where the rich old can rent the bodies of orphaned young people, what’s to stop them from taking over good?
I truly can't wait to read the next book in this series!
Giving your young body to old people... would you do it?
First of all: I love the cover. I don't know why. It just looks so cool.
WARNING: This is not your average dystopian novel. It is a world that is not completely destroyed, but one where nothing is perfect either (duh, its a dystopian).
Callie is a teenager. This may not sound so terrifying to you, but in the world that she lives in, people get to live up to be 200. So younger people are viewed as a kind of pest. I hated the old people (or the Enders, as Callie would call them). They basically thought that young people had no rights.
So anyway, Callie has a younger brother who she would do anything for. Even rent out her body to some crazy Ender.
I loved the concept of renting out your teenage body. I think it must have been so terrifying, to trust an old person you don't even know enough to let them into your body and do whatever they want with it. It just shows what some people will do for the people they love. And the Enders aren't exactly careful with them either. It just shows that we can't treat people like they are disposable. They all have lives, and the Enders didn't see it that way. They just saw them as disposable packages, like use once and throw away things.
As I said before Callie loves her brother more than anything (she doesn't have parents). She wasn't totally obsessive over him, but everything that she did in the book was done, not with though about what would happen to her, but with thought about what would happen to her brother. She was a great protagonist.
So, we open the story with Callie, who is a street rat fighting to stay alive. She is considering joining Prime Destinations, an illegal organisation that employs teenagers to rent out their bodies to old people who want to have a bit of fun. She would get a lot of money for it, but she's not sure. And I can relate to that. After all, you wouldn't just want to randomly rent out your body without thinking about it.
Then she decides to, and she has to tell Prime Destinations what kind of skills she has (the body doesn't lose the skills). When she mentions shooting, they become quite interested. For the first couple of rent-outs, everything's fine. It's just like falling asleep and waking up a week later.
Then. Someone rents Callie's body out for the specific use of shooting. Callie is reluctant, and she would have to be away for a month this time. But something goes wrong - Callie finds herself waking up in her body when she's not supposed to, and suddenly finds herself tangled up in a murder. How will she know what to do, when she could lose control at any second?
This is everything you could want - mystery: why is she trying to murder someone? Is there something wrong with Prime Destinations (just a hint: hell yes there is!) - action: avoiding the mysterious Old Man and trying to stop herself from murdering someone before it is too late - and romance with Blake, the cute guy (no love triangle).
And OH MY GOSH that ending twist was amazing. I am definitely itching to read the next book.
Amazing concept, definitely something to give a try!
Starters come as a massive surprise. It was so much better than I expected, by a long-run. This book is a different kind of dystopian, not a perfect world, but not a completely destroyed one. This world that Callie lives in is in between, old people rule and young kids are frowned upon and are considered a type of pest.
I hated the old people (or Enders), they disgusted me, how could they think that young people had no rights and were basically not real people!? Why would the Enders think that they are the boss, and since they are old, should realize that the world was not always like this. The Enders are seriously messed up, the war must of done something to their heads. I really hated the Enders.
Now the renting. I thought that this was an amazing idea. Trusting some crazy old person who is inside you and controls your actions is pretty scary. It makes you see how desperate some people get. You would also think that the renters would have some respect for the child's body they are occupying, but they hurt them, sometimes nearly killing them, thinking that it is a toy that they can replace. But these are real humans. This concept helps you see how precious human life is, and that living forever is not the key.
I think that Callie was a strong and respectable character who had been sadly hurt by the war that happened a few years back. She is alone in the world except for her brother, and she fights to help him survive. I think that the relationship between Callie and her brother was perfect. She was not obsessing over protecting him, but most of her actions were taken with thought about the outcome for her brother. I liked Callie, she was a great character.
I think that Starters was a great book. It has everything that you'll ever want in a dystopian. There is a mystery surrounding the plot (the Old Man), action with how Callie avoids him and a little bit of romance with Blake. This book is perfect.
-I loved the whole concept, it was an amazing idea
Starters was both what I expected and a complete surprise.
I’m having some issues coming up with words today, so instead of paragraph form, we’re going to go with a list!
1. The ending. I’m not a hater of cliffhangers, but I still really appreciate a book that very nearly wraps everything up, but leaves you with just enough questions that you’re left wanting the next book.
2. Callie. She was strong and usually knew exactly what she wanted which I can really respect. She never made any decisions that made me want to shake her which is a definite plus. She loved her brother and was willing to do anything for him. Heck, she even admitted when her love life was messed up. I really respected that.
3. The Old Man. Now, I know you think he shouldn’t be in the like category, but let me explain. He was perfectly creepy and a fantastic villain and that’s why he gets to be in the Like category. I don’t actually like him, of course :P
4. Renting. This idea reminded me somewhat of the show Dollhouse, but it was still unique. I actually thought it was interesting that people thought it was such a big no-no since they weren’t supposed to do anything damaging to the bodies. Not the I condone this type of thing.
5. The world. I really liked the fact that the world had futuristic things like airscreens, but still didn’t seem too far off.
1. Blake and Callie. Upon finishing the book I can give it a little more credit, but it just felt kind of weird while I was still reading.
2. The past. I’m starting to feel like I’m never satisfied when it comes to backstory.
The Nutshell: Overall, Starters is a great dystopian with action, mystery, and just a little bit of romance. Callie is a respectable character with her love for her brother and her will to fight for what’s right. The world isn’t too heavy for those who’re wary of dystopian, but is still futuristic enough to satisfy us dystopian fanatics.
An amazingly original dystopian that will surprise and awe you
At first glance at this book, you might think the same thing I did – it looks like a book about aliens or something of that nature, not interested. Well, that’s where you’d be wrong, my friends! Starters is an insanely awesome dystopian novel with a dark and twisty plot line, very shady characters, and a dastardly, menacing villan you won’t soon forget. Lissa Price definitely knows how to shock and surprise you, and there was plenty of that going on while reading.
The book starts out very ominous with Callie visiting Prime Destinations to see what it’s all about. It’s basically a company that rents out teen bodies to really old people who want to be young and carefree again. I mean, these are really, really old people – like past 100 years old. In this world all the old people are rich and most of the teens are poor because their parents died in the Spore Wars and they’re not allowed to work until they’re 19 years old. Anyways, Prime Destinations basically puts this chip inside your head which allows an Ender’s (old person) to enter yours and control your body, while your mind is basically asleep. They rent the bodies for days, weeks, sometimes months and when the actual teen awakens, they have no memory of any it. The real problem arises when Callie’s chip acts up and she is actually in control of her body again, but the Ender who rented her, is still in her mind as well. Through all that, Callie discovers all the dark and twisted stuff that Prime Destinations is really doing and just how dangerous the Old Man really is.
There are so many secrets and lies within this book, especially since so many Enders rent out Starters, it’s hard to tell who is really who. All Callie wanted to do was earn some money for her and her brother, but once her neurochip started acting up, she became tied into this evil conspiracy to the point where it’s basically up to her to stop it all. I loved all the action, mystery, and heart-stopping moments and was very happy to see that Lissa doesn’t bore the reader with too much frivolous detail. The pace was very enjoyable and I loved the world that she created.
Probably the only thing I didn’t care about was the romance arc. There are two guys who come into play, Michael and Blake, and although there are some sweet moments, it was very minuscule and I found Callie and Blake’s relationship unbelievable. Their relationship is significant to the story, you’ll see, but their feelings towards each other didn’t do much for me. I definitely wasn’t into this book for the romance.
The Old Man is an excellent villan. Because he’s such a crazy and powerful guy with evil intentions, he never lets anyone see his face and instead wear this holographic-like mask. The effects it displays are quite twisted. He definitely presents himself with a degree of arrogance and darkness that can easily make anyone fear him. Oh, and there was one surprise at the end I totally didn’t see coming, and it kind of disgusted me in a “that is wickedly twisted, I love it” kind of way! And talk about cliffhanger endings!
If you’re a fan of dystopian novels, then you’ll definitely want to pick this one up because it is epic. Highly intriguing, mysterious, and captivating – a true must read.
"Starters" by Lissa Price is an excitingly addictive story! After the Spore War that wiped out everyone not vaccinated (everyone ages 20-60), Callie Woodland, a sixteen-year-old unclaimed orphan, is living in an abandoned office building with her younger brother, Tyler. Life is terrible--running from renegades who would kill her just for a cookie, living in a cold, abandoned office building with no clean water, heat, or food, and hiding from marshals that want to institutionalize them and the other children. Since her brother is sick, she desperately needs money...so she "donates" her body to a place called Prime Destinations, which is run by an unknown figure known as The Old Man. At Prime, elders (a.k.a. Enders) rent teens' (a.k.a. Starters) bodies! They do that by inserting a chip into the Starters' heads, and each Ender has control over the teenage body that they rent! After giving the teens a makeover, the elders live as the teens while the teens are unconscious in their own bodies. But something went wrong with Callie's chip...and she is able to gain back control over her body for short periods of time! She wakes up to a world of luxury and has a handsome boyfriend. Through the malfunction, Callie uncovers the Old Man's sinister plans! In the meantime, her renter has plans of her own, and forces Callie to help her... Can Callie stop the Enders?
Lissa Price is a newcomer who is obviously talented to write such a good book! I literally could not stop reading this story. She is truly talented!! For more information about the author, Lissa Price, you can go to www.lissaprice.com. :)
While I was reading the story, I felt like I was watching a movie and I had to find out what happened in the end! The author could have been a bit more descriptive about the characters, but because the story was so good, that didn't matter! The storyline was very thrilling and addictive, (I read the whole eBook at once!) and I think it would work out great as a movie, too! I can't wait to read the next book in the series, "Enders"! Lissa Price is now officially one of my favorite authors and I can't wait to read more books by her. :)
**I received a copy of this eBook for free from Random House Children's Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I received no other compensation.**