Author: Lissa Price
352 pages, Published by Delacorte Books For Young Readers
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Buy The Book: Amazon
Summary: In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party–her body will commit murder, if her mind can’t stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first–the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie’s neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It’s a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank’s horrible plan. . . . (Summary provided by Delacorte Books For Young Readers.)
Well kids, here it is: the next big dystopian series. That’s right. I’m calling it. Mark my words. This will be the next Hunger Games. That is, Starters by Lissa Price will be the next Hunger Games if people read it, and I sincerely hope they do. It’s great.
Starters has many elements that will grab the attention of young readers. There is a post war setting: Everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty perished during the war, and children without grandparents or guardians to watch over them must fend for themselves. The unclaimed children and teens (called “starters”) live in fear of “enders” (senior citizens) sending them to institutions that serve as work camps for unclaimed youth. There is a creepy business called Prime Destinations that allows starters a chance to make money: Prime Destinations allows teens to make money by renting their bodies out to enders. It is run by a creepy person known only as “The Old Man.” Did I mention The Old Man and Prime Destinations are creepy? Oh, I’ve said that a bunch already? Imagine if someone rented your body and you had no idea what went on while they were using it. That’s pretty creepy. There is a romantic storyline: Callie has a couple of possible romantic interests. First, there is Michael. Michael is in the same situation as Callie. He is an unclaimed minor, and he is helping Callie and her little brother survive. Callie has another romantic interest named Blake. He is a senator’s grandson and he is a hottie. I’m very much team Blake. (Yes, even though there is a disturbing revelation at the end, I am still team Blake. You have got to read this book. It’s awesome!) The romantic storyline is well written. It doesn’t over power the main storyline. There is a lot of action in this book: Starters is a thrilling and suspenseful read. I literally had no idea what was going to happen next. This book was not just another sappy info. dump. Stuff happens in it. There is a wonderful, female protagonist: The main thing that makes this book work is the protagonist Callie. She will do anything to take care of her brother. She is a likable and relatable heroine.
Starters will also appeal to teens on the younger end of the YA spectrum in addition to older teens and adults. The book does not contain cursing or sexual situations. There is just a little mild violence. So parents should feel comfortable letting preteens read it. It is a book that truly lends itself to a wide variety of readers. Run to your local bookstore and get a copy of Starters by Lissa Price today!
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