Starters by Lissa Price
I read this via Netgalley.com
Summary: The war destroyed everyone who wasn’t vaccinated against the spores. All that were left were the Starters – children – and the Enders – the elderly. Before the war, when people realized that they could now live to age 200, they outlawed children working, and now children who had no remaining family members squat in buildings and scrounge for food, evading the marshalls who come to put them in institutions.
Callie thinks Prime Destinations is an answer to get the money she needs to care for her little brother. She gets a chip put in her head, and an Ender “rents” her body for a few days or weeks, and she gets paid lots of money, plus a free makeover. Except Callie wakes up. She can hear her renter’s voice in her head. She blacks out, she wakes up with a gun in her hand. Her renter wants someone dead – the senator, in fact. And just when Callie has struck up a relationship with his son Blake…
Don’t Judge This Book By Its Cover
I thought this was going to be an extremely cheesy addition to the glut of dystopian books, but from the first page I was hooked. Honestly I don’t know what the publishers were thinking. It looks horribly Photoshopped. My cover, if I were a graphic designer, would show a girl lifting up her hair to reveal a chip in the back of her neck. I seriously almost didn’t want to read this book because of the cover. But I kept hearing good things about it, from my friends on Goodreads and different blogger reviews, and I’m glad I decided to read it.
It’s not your usual YA book that has a full cast of senior citizens. Most Enders seemed to be longing for their youthful days by renting teen bodies, but some of them were really spunky and many of them eventually came around to understanding exactly what Prime Destinations’ ulterior motive was. Helena, Callie’s renter, seemed really cool and I wished we got to meet the real her. I wonder if my grandparents would behave the way some of the Enders did when they rented…
Read this if you liked The Hunger Games!
I would highly recommend this to any fans of The Hunger Games. The content was similar to Hunger Games as well, with little to no swearing, no sex, and even less violence. You had the kids struggling to survive, then Callie gets made over and plunged into an even more dangerous world. Gun-toting Callie was a strong character, and the secondary characters were interesting too. The plot is one of the most original I’ve read in a long time. Of course there is going to be a sequel (Enders, coming out at the end of 2012), but I think there are many unanswered questions and I’ll probably want to read it.
Team Jacob syndrome
Also, what about Callie and Blake? I won’t spoil anything but I’m entirely sure I like the idea that you could fall in love with someone in a different body, and that would work when the original person returns to the body – don’t you fall in love with their mind?
My Team Jacob syndrome (which later became Team Gale syndrome) was hard at work during this book. I kept wishing Callie and Michael were going to end up together… I may have to cough up $1.99 to read the bonus novella, Portrait of a Starter: An Unhidden Story, to get more of Callie and Michael’s relationship… Honestly, I don’t know why I am always rooting for “the other guy.”