Author: Lissa Price

Genre: Dystopian/YA

Series: Starters #1 (part of a duo; book 2 set to come out in early December)

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of 20 and 60. 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 began this book because I had been disappointed with the last two popular YA books I’d picked up, namely Cinder and Matched. Cinder was imaginative, granted, but it was also predictable and a bit slow. Matched was also predictable and frankly, so boring I couldn’t finish it. That’s why I didn’t have any really high hopes for Starters – until I began it and got sucked into the first chapter. I couldn’t put it down!

Positives: Callie goes to Prime Destinations out of love for her brother. She wants to protect and take care of him and loves him deeply, especially since her parents are dead and she’s the only one left. She always tries to do what’s right, which makes her very likeable as a heroine. Several characters show love and sacrifice for each other, even to the point of death. Family and love are strong themes.

Negatives: None, really. It is forbidden to have sex in the borrowed body of a Starter. Several renters flirt with each other, one suggestively licks Callie’s cheek (note: this grosses Callie out). Callie is a little bit torn between two different boys (I won’t give you spoilers) but not enough to be an annoying love triangle. There is violence, but none of it is graphic. A few kisses.

On the whole, I really enjoyed this book and was pleasantly surprised! I gave it to my older sister to read and she really enjoyed it, too. We’re looking forward to the sequel! Starters also earns bonus points because it’s a quick read and just LOOK at that eye-candy cover! It’s gorgeous!  I kept closing the book to stare at it! New cover crush, yes please.

Ages: 14+

4 out of 5 stars


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