Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Highlights of the Past Year: Review of Starters by Lissa Price

Starters (Starters and Enders, #1)Goodreads Book Description: 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: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review: These days it is hard to write a dystopian YA and have it stand out. Starters did not have that problem; it was impressive from start to finish.

In the first few pages, we are immersed in the dangerous world where Callie, the protagonist of the book, lives. There has been a horrible war where the US has fell victim to a terrible biological attack, where only the elderly and young have been vaccinated. Unsurprisingly, this leaves the young to fend for themselves. Callie is forced to make some tough decisions when an offer to rent her young body to an elderly person for a short time comes across the table. This money could save her little brother's life.

There are countless strengths of this novel. The key, however, is Callie. She is a terrific main character; she is strong, resourceful, intelligent and brave... but at the same time believable and utterly likeable. She will do anything to take care of her little brother. Also, this novel begins in the middle-- right in the center of the action and never lets up all the way through. I blazed through this book and couldn't put it down. The starkness and clarity of the prose really came through; it was crisply written. I loved each of the twists and did not even predict the biggest one. It's hard to do that with a seasoned YA veteran reader. Furthermore, the other characters were well developed. Probably my other favorite character was Madison- I'll leave the reader to discover her. She was an utter gem. The world that Lissa Price builds is terrible but very believable; while not entirely unique (which is pretty impossible at this point), she gave a brand-new spin in her creation of this dystopian society.

And the Old Man. There are several mysteries that I have still lingering in my mind and that will haunt me until December.

Overall, a smashing debut in a genre that is very difficult to break into. This book is in the top 5 books that I have read in the past year, and one that I believe earns its place along with Pandemonium and Divergent. Lissa Price will be one to watch.

Note: I just got a signed and personalized copy of this book-- so exciting! Lissa also agreed to host a giveaway sometime soon on my blog so tune in!

What did you think about this book? 

Current Giveaways
1. Dreaming of Books Blog Hop, Featuring J. Meyers, author of Intangible, signed copy of Intangible and signed bookmarks (INT), 1/18/13-1/24/13
Intangible Giveaway

2. Bad Boys Rehab Giveaway Hop, Featuring Jason from Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock, giveaway of signed book and bookplates,  (INT) 1/10-1/18
Hemlock Giveaway


  1. Fantastic review. I grabbed this one a month or so ago in paperback. I LOVED the cover and got the iPhone app to see it come alive, it was awesome. I haven't had a chance to start it yet, but I will be moving it up my TBR list now. Thank you.

    Katie ~ Turner’s Antics

  2. I can't believe that I STILL need to read this book! Your review, and especially how you mentioned how it earns a place with Divergent and Pandemonium, made me VERY excited for it again! Need to pick it up soon.

  3. I just finished reading this a couple of months ago and I'm glad I did! It's not one of the best I've read but it's still pretty good! And that ending! I kind of died a bit back there.