Saturday 10 March 2012

Starters by Lissa Price


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. . . 


AMAZING is the word! I didn't expect much out of Starters. I thought it would be mildly entertaining and you know, dystopian, but "mildly entertaining and dystopian" is every other YA book these days which Starters most definitely isn't! I did not expect it to be one heck of an adrenaline rush from the beginning till the very end! The twists and the turns were so unexpected as I squirmed and squealed and towards the end, shrieked with disbelief! Starters will hook you in and keep you hooked- there is no doubt about that!

Post Spore Wars, the world consists of only the elderly (or the Enders, 150-ish year olds who are survivors of the war) and Starters, children who are mostly in the streets. Since there was only time to vaccinate the children and elderly, the children are left parent-less. The Starters whose grandparents also perished are left to roam from one vacant house to another and are at the risk of being institutionalised. 

At the midst of this is an organisation called Prime Destinations that hires teens to "rent" their bodies to rich Enders who want to look and feel young again. Prime Destinations is headed by the Old Man, one of the creepiest antagonists I've ever read about! There is a ton of mystery surrounding his identity and let's just say that the climax left me so much more intrigued about him. I'm waiting for more back story about him in the next installment!

One thing that really made Starters work is the premise. It's creepier than I thought it would be. First, having an age-based divide and second, the very concept of Starters renting their bodies to Enders. The way a few Enders treated the bodies rented out made me sick! I've never felt such intense anger at a fictional premise. I loved how, despite not having as much back story about the Spore Wars, the stage was set in such a way as to make us feel involved and indignant.

Another thing was the pace. The plot was anything but slow moving! I was literally GLUED to my iPad all day; whether it was because of Callie’s insta connection with the senator’s grandson or figuring out what Helena, the Ender who was supposed to rent Callie’s body for a month, had set out to do!

Although we don’t see much of Michael, Callie’s neighbor before the Spore Wars and Tyler, Callie’s brother who has a lung infection… I have a feeling they will play a larger role in the later parts… Especially Michael! I loved them both. I loved Michael. I love how he showed his affection for Callie. Tyler was also a total sweetheart.

One tiny thing the book could’ve done with: more back story, less plot holes. Maybe a little more about the Spore Wars. What caused the Spore Wars? Why does everyone assume Callie’s father is dead when it is never explicitly confirmed?

But it is action packed and kept me at the edge of my seat. While I could’ve done with more detail and character development… it was mind blowing by itself! Callie was developed enough as a main character and the plot kept moving! And I LOVED every second of it! Plus, my mind is still reeling from the climax. It was so unexpected! I absolutely cannot wait for the next installment, Enders, to come out so that I can finally stop breaking my head about it!

Publication date: 13th March, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: NetGalley

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
'Cause it's that awesome, despite the minor issues I had with the back story/plot!


  1. Awesome review! :)
    I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I really need to get my hands on a copy of this book. I've been meaning to read it since some time now!

  2. Great review.. Let me check the availability in my friendly neighborhood library...

  3. Such a beautiful review, Ajoop! I'm really glad that you enjoyed this book! I read some reviews on this book and was mildly interested, but after reading your review, I think I'd definitely check out this book! I like the idea of waking up in different life because of malfunction. That makes me wonder where Helena's mind goes when Callie still has her mind! :)

  4. Oh WOW. Wow, wow, wow! When I first heard of this book, I have to admit that I didn't expect much but your review -- I'm honestly SO excited to get my hands on this one now! I'm glad that it's fast-paced because I've been having a lot of trouble with slower paced books lately, and the whole body-taking premise really IS creepy. I couldn't imagine lending my body to someone else. Just thinking about it gives me the shivers!

    Amazing review, Ajoop! Your enthusiasm is so contagious -- I can't wait until I can read it and love it like you did! :) <3

  5. YAY! I am so glad you enjoyed this book! You completely convinced me to get Starters! I am really intriguedd by the summary and I've watched the book trailer! Thank you so much for the awesome review, Ajoop! <3

  6. Yeah Pooja! So glad you loved this, it is my next read. I read some bad reviews in the beginning and so I didn't request it and then a bunch of good reviews popped up so I grabbed it. Glad you were GLUED to your ipad. We can compare notes when I post my review.

  7. @Nick Thanks for stopping by, Nick! Would love to hear your thoughts on it once you pick it up :)

    @Harish Thanks for stopping by :) I hope do find it when it's out! It's amazingly fast paced!

    @Hilda Exactly what I wondered while reading the blurb xD Hope you check it out, Hilda! Will be on the lookout for your review :)

    @Mimi Aww, I hope you do check it out, Mimi! It's uh-mazing! I've been having a problem with slow-paced books as well, as of late! My brain seems to do this impatient jig before I move on to something else. I guess I need some fast-paced stuff in between books that take time to build momentum!

    @Celine YAY! Looking forward to your review! I hope you love it as much as I did xD Thanks so much for stopping by, Celine <3

    @Heidi Awesomeness! Haha. Waiting for your review! Hope you like it as much xD

  8. Wowza! I didn't think this book would be that great. I admit, I totally judged the book by its cover. I hate the cover, to be frank. But I'm sooo happy to hear that you loved this book! It sounds thrilling and great, and what's the word? Oh--AMAZING. ;) I think I'll have to check this book out. Fabulous review, Ajoop! :)

  9. Thanks so much for stopping by, Sophie! The cover caught my attention, but the plot definitely surpassed expectations! I hope you do check it out XD


HI. Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment. :)