08 March 2012
Starters by Lissa Price
Book: Starters by Lissa Price
Summary: Biological warfare has wiped out all adults (as they were the last to be vaccinated) creating a society in which the haves and have nots are also mostly divided by age. Minors without a grandparent have very few options, the best of which is to scavenge on the streets in order to avoid the work camps. But Callie thinks Prime Destinations will give her better choices. They are willing to pay her a lot of money in order to allow Enders (the elderly) to rent her youthful body. But she soon finds out that Prime Destinations has bigger plans and she doesn't have much time if she decides they are worth fighting.
Characters: Callie has strong motivations. It is always clear why she makes every decision and I found it easy to root for her because her primary motivation is saving her seven-year old brother. For the most part, characters avoid cliches and create interesting situations for Callie. For example, Callie is forced to accept and respect her romantic rival, because the girl is helping to care for her brother while Callie works for Prime Destinations. Moments like these forced perspective on Callie.
I loved the relationships Callie developed with the Enders. Helena, Lauren, and Madison are so very different, but I enjoyed watching each of them develop throughout the story. Some of the villains seemed a bit one dimensional, but the ones that mattered, like Senator Harrison and The Old Man, were flushed out.
Plot/Pacing/Structure: The book jumps right into things, but I was quickly able to find my bearings. Callie goes on quite a journey and I sometimes struggled to keep up with her. There is so much going on (and so much body switching) that I am still trying to piece some things together. The end felt rushed and tied together, so while it was exciting and I enjoyed it, I also wanted more.
Moments I loved: There were a number of small details that were absolutely perfect in establishing the world. For example, Callie mentions a cosmetic surgery - rib removal - in passing... it totally creeped me out (in a good way), while also telling me a lot about the world and characters in the scene. I absolutely loved these moments.
WTF Moments: Because there is a lot of body switching in the story, there was at least one plot line that weirded me out... unfortunately, I don't want to say more than that, because it would be a spoiler and this story is way to fun to spoil. I'm trying to wait to reserve judgement until the second book. For now, I'll say this: Part of me felt like I should have seen the twist coming, but all of me is shocked by Callie's reaction to the situation.
Overall: I'm getting a little bored with dystopians, but Starters is an enjoyable and unique story. I'll absolutely be keeping an eye out for Enders.
Reading Challenges: 368 pages toward the 15,000 page challenge, e-book reading challenge.