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…
I read Starters for a book club, and I’m curious to see what everyone else thought of it. The premise of the book is interesting, and the book itself isn’t half bad. One of the few problems I have with it is the Enders living to be so old that 150 is “young.” New, advanced technology of the future will lengthen lifespans by definition, but I find it a little hard to believe they’d lengthen them by that much.
The other problem I have with Starters is that it’s never really defined when the book takes place. There’s incredible technology - such as the machines used to put the Enders in charge of Starter bodies - but cars are also still a common sight. This is mostly just me being picky; it might not matter to some people.
It should be noted that despite a few bumps in the road, Starters was a pretty good read. Callie’s life on the street was gritty and real, and I felt for her. The portrayal of Prime and its workers as cunning and devious is done very well. Overall the book was a satisfying dystopia that was very well put together. I plan to read the sequel.
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