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Starters - Lissa Price Book Review: Starters by Lissa Price

Publication Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 9780385742375

Jacket Blurb:

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. . . .

My Review:

Billed as “A major book for spring 2012—Starters is the first in a high-concept, two-book, futuristic thriller teen project by newcomer Lissa Price—a tremendous bestselling author in the making. Every major publisher wanted this book on their list.” I can't say that I agree.

What I didn’t Like:

I found the first half of Starters to be slow. There was a lot of backstory centered around the “Spore Wars.” Although some was essential, I found this backstory bogged down the beginning of the book and could have been dispersed better throughout the storyline.

I had trouble believing that Callie would leave her brother in the deplorable conditions he was living in to join the Renters program when she could have easily had Michael do it instead.

I also found her response to hearing voices in her head a little hard to believe. Most people would be more concerned, troubled if that happened. She was a little too blasé about the whole situation.

What I liked:

Starters is a unique story and by the second half of the book, when the majority of the backstory was told, the pace picked up and I found myself drawn into the complicated plot Ms. Price weaved between the Enders, Starters, Renters and missing children. I turned pages faster; wanting to see what was going to happen next, hoping that the missing children would be found, the Old Man would be thwarted and the less than altruistic plans of Prime Destinations exposed.

While some of the ending was unbelievable – why did Helena put Callie in her will if she would most likely be killed as well? – Ms. Price was able to catch me off guard with a twist at the very end.

Bottom Line: Slow beginning but kick-ass ending. That being said, I don’t think I’ll return for the second book in the series.

Rating: Four and a half stars for slow beginning.