Author: Lissa Price
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Released: April 5th 2012
Pages: 336 (Paperback)
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.
I got suggested to read this book by my friend over my work experience last week, and was told that it was absolutely amazing. When I started it, I thought it was going to be a lot like The Host, a book by Meyer that I really enjoyed, despite my dislike for Twilight, and that Starters would have a lot to live up to. And it was alike in some ways - but it was oh-so-much better. This novel knocked me off of my feet.
The plot circles around this girl, Callie, who lost her parents after the Spore Wars; so she is on the run in the streets with her little brother, Tyler. But he's sick, so eventually she goes to the Body Bank, a place where young teenagers get paid a huge amount to rent their bodies out to the older generation - these are the Starters and Enders. However, when a malfunction happens that makes her regain her consciousness during her last rent, she discovers that her renter plans to assassinate someone. This realization and her further actions starts a domino change of events that completely turns her world upside-down - well, more so than it already has. Throughout the whole novel, the thickness and depth to the plot was consistent, and at some points I actually had a knot of anxiety in my stomach; I couldn't wait even just a single page to find out what happened next. It was truly gripping, and it absolutely captured my imagination.
I also liked the characters, especially Callie and Tyler. Their sibling bond came across strongly, and I could definitely relate it to mine and my own brother's relationship - it was incredibly realistic, and I really liked that the overall plot was based on her trying to protect her brother - her actions weren't caused by pride, or love, or fear. She mostly did everything for him, and I thought their whole relationship formed a major part as to why I liked the book so much. However, for the rest of the characters, their personalities and overall character wasn't too clear, and I found myself wondering how Callie came to trust Blake so much, even though they barely seemed to know each other. But that was all I found slightly off, and the next novel, Enders, could be improved by making sure that each of the main character's are properly introduced and showed off, without going over-the-top.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel, and I can't believe have to wait for about five months before the next one is out! I also can't believe this was Price's debut novel; it's absolutely breathtaking. If you've seen this in shops and haven't bought it yet, I strongly suggest that you do. If you like dystopian novels with a lot of techie stuff, then you'll love this.