Monday, July 2, 2012


From Goodreads:

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 Rating: ****

I've been a lot pickier lately about which dystopians I pick up, doing a lot of vetting and reading a lot of reviews before actually requesting one from the library. As a result, they've all been really good.  Starters is original and fast-paced. I really liked the world-building. All the technology was close to what we have, just a step or two more advanced. It was all so believable.

The story really rockets along, sometimes, I thought, at the expense of character development. I wanted to get to know Tyler better (Callie's little brother) and her friend Michael. And then there was Blake, the senator's grandson. Yeah, I thought the romance was a little too "insta" with not nearly enough solid foundation. (BUT.... - spoiler: it didn't turn out well anyway. TOTALLY did not see that coming!!!! I suspected that Blake wasn't everything he appeared to be, but the truth is just too awful!!!)

But, the concept was fascinating and really well done. Even with my character development issues, I was emotionally involved in this story and it flew by. I thought there were some compelling moral and ethical issues raised and addressed. That stuff can feel heavy-handed, but the questions are raised right along with the fast-paced story and felt genuine. Bravo to Lissa Price for that.

Another thing that I liked? Did you read the summary and how it mentioned Callie's life feels almost like a fairy tale? Turns out the fairy tale thing was a reoccurring theme, with very well done lightest brushes of it here and there. Very nice!

There's just one more book in this series coming out next year called Enders. Can I just say how much I love that fact? Two book series! Instead of trying to stretch it out into a trilogy, Lissa Price has a story to tell and tells it in exactly as many books as she needs to tell it in. I'm so glad there's going to be a sequel. While I was reading it, everything seemed to be wrapping up in with a nice little bow and I didn't want it to end. Then of course there were some MAJOR and terrifying reveals at the end to throw everything in upheaval and set it up for the second book. Can't wait to read it!

Recommended for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, Partials, Legend, and it also reminded me a little bit of Stephenie Meyer's The Host, because of the whole body takeover thing.

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