Monday, January 13, 2014

Starters by Lissa Price - Paul's REVIEW

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Title: Starters
Author: Lissa Price
Year Published: 2012


Synopsis: 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. . . .


Review: This is a fun dystopian YA book, following the trend of recent years. An evil organization with a mysterious leader. An unusual government situation. A strong heroine. There are many ideas that are becoming cliche, but they are done different enough in this book. 

The country contains only Starters, the young mostly under 18, and Enders, the elderly some of which are over 150. Callie is one of these unclaimed Starters. I liked the way these two social groups are portrayed. I was confused as to why the Enders of the future have the same interests as the elderly now. Why would they like cribbage and crochet? Wouldn't they have grown up with technology? I don't think it's ever specifically said what the year is, but that was one thing that irked me. 

Although the story seems simple enough, there are many things that turn out to be more complex. A lot is revealed in the last few chapters. 

The technology in this book reminds me of Joss Whedon's tv series Dollhouse. There are many similar issues dealt with as the end of that series, but this book has a younger audience. This is just a personal qualm, but I didn't like the way the author used the word geek. 

If you can't get enough of sci-fi dystopian YA, you should pick this one up as well. It is a fun, easy read. I give this book a 3/5. I'm excited to read the sequel.


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