Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Review: Starters by Lissa Price

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Lissa Price
Series: Starters, #1
Release date: March 13th, 2012
by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Goodreads / Purchase


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 Endersβ€”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 partyβ€”and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

*A copy was provided by Random House Canada for review purposes*

First I have to say how surprised I was to see this cover in real life. It’s such a reflective shiny silver/white that you can see yourself in it. I mean look at it -I love it!

Inside this flashy cover, Lissa Price has written a fun, original dystopian that reminded me a bit of The Host (one of my favorite books ever), and even though the world itself could use more details, the story is highly entertaining.

After a war that only left children and seniors alive, Callie, orphaned, has decided to donate her body for a few weeks so she can get enough money to save her brother. As you can guess, things go wrong, and Callie ends up living someone else’s life. This premise enticed me the second I started reading, in addition to its fast pace that turns it highly addictive. Every chapter ends with such intrigue that you just. Can’t. Stop. It’s also full of suspense, as you never know when Callie will lose her body to her renter again, for how long, and worst of all – what she will be doing with it. One thing I would have liked, would be to have gotten more background details on the world itself; how exactly it managed to get to this point. As well as a bigger picture on the current civilization – or lack thereof. The story is so engaging, though, that I only cared about these sketchy details after the fact. My advice – just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Callie’s voice captivated me from the start. She’s tough and everything she’s doing is for her brother. It’s easy to ache for the loss of their world- being thrown from a normal loving family, a great comfortable life, into this unfortunate dystopian future. I loved how Callie handled herself in situations; always thinking on her feet but staying smart. I really had no problems connecting with her. The story mainly focuses on her, but there are a few interesting side characters to fill in the space that I’m hoping to get to know better in the upcoming books. There is also no big love story in this novel, however we still get to enjoy a fun romance that is sure to catch everyone’s attention. Especially with the fascinating twists that I never saw coming.

The twists- they’re plentiful. The secrets- even moreso. There is not a page in this book that didn’t have me pining for answers: Trying to figure out what exactly was happening; what these people really have planned; and the most intriguing – who is this Old Man? The man who’s face NO one ever saw. Who seems to be involved with everything, and everyone. The man who knows all the tricks, and he’s not afraid to use them! At last, the book ends with a bang!

Combining mystery and excitement, Starters is a vacation from reality that will leave you captivated through to the end. With the amount I’ve read, I’m surprised how dystopians keep being so interesting as well as original. Starters is definitely on my list of recommended, and I hope it makes it on yours too!

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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35 Responses to “Review: Starters by Lissa Price”

  1. Amy

    So glad you really liked it too!! I thought it was very interesting. I love all the twists and surprises. Awesome review!! BTW The Host is one of my favorite books too. πŸ˜‰

  2. Maja

    Oh, my, I didn’t expect the cover to be so shiny. πŸ™‚
    I must be really tired of dystopias because this didn’t really work for me, but I’m so happy you enjoyed it. I certainly agree that it was very exciting, and the worldbuilding really made sense to me (I liked the explanation a lot), but something just didn’t click, I guess.
    Amazing review, Giselle. I hope people will give this book a chance.

  3. Giselle

    Thanks ladies!

    @Amy: Really? YAY! I love the Host but it got a lot of haters because she wrote Twilight. Which I don’t really get but yeah – I loved it! πŸ™‚

    @Vivian: Isn’t it pretty? I love it and it’s worth buying a physical instead of e-book.

  4. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    I thought the cover was beautiful seeing it on Goodreads but the hardcover is absolutely stunning! Unfortuneately this book didn’t do it for me, although I did appreciate the twists. There wasn’t enough substance for me to latch onto. Glad you enjoyed it though! Great review πŸ™‚

  5. Heather

    I’ve been hearing good things about this book from all over the net. I’ll have to check it out. Plus that cover, just wow!

  6. Rebecca

    OK, to be honest before your review I had not even thought of picking this up. I don’t know why but the cover just kind of through me off. But, now I sort of get it. I loved The Host, and with everything else you say about Starters I totally want to read this now!!!
    Thanks Giselle;)

  7. Jessirae

    Ah! So you glad you liked this one too! I thought it was awesome. I totally agree with you on the lack of info about the spore wars, but we’ll probably get more of that in book 2. Wasn’t the ending crazy insane? I always like to have theories while I’m reading and none of mine were right! I was so thrown with this book. I’ll be getting a final copy too because I can’t resist the shiny <3 Loved you review Giselle. Makes me want to relive the book all over again! πŸ™‚

  8. Danny

    I’m glad to hear you loved it so much! I saw this one around but for some readon was never really interested! But, the way you describe your reading experience makes me reconsider! I love that there is a mystery to be solved besides the obvious dystopian topic and the sound of it really is awesome!

    Oh and I LOVE this shiny hardcover, definitely something one should own πŸ™‚

  9. Katie @ BlookGirl

    Great review, Giselle! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you liked it, because it’s one of my most anticipated reads. I have heard that readers wished there were were more back-story, but that it didn’t stop them from enjoying the book.

    Can’t wait to read it! πŸ™‚

  10. Sam

    It reminded you of The Host? Sold! πŸ˜€ I LOVE that book and seriously wish more people would try it. I should be starting Starters soon! Very excited now. Awesome review, πŸ™‚

  11. Giselle

    @Sam: EEP so happy to see other Host fans. I mean it’s not incredibly similar – the plot itself is very different, but the whole sharing a body and talking to the other in your head thing, it definitely reminded me of it.

    @Jessirae: The ending was really unexpected and I’m so curious for the sequel!

    Thanks everyone! <3

  12. Amanda

    I really liked this book too, and my review will be up on Thursday. I could not agree more about the twists and turns. It kept me glued to the page.

    I found myself wanting to know more about the war too, but I’m holding out hope that more will be revealed in Enders.

    Great review!

  13. Lexie

    O_O I really must get a finished copy of this. SO SHINY. -stares-

    That aside, lovely review. It’s a shame when authors don’t flesh out the world-building enough, but if the plot, the writing, and the characters are all wonderful, the book can still be a fantastic read.

  14. Giselle

    Thanks ladies! I imagine we’ll know more about the world in Enders. In my experience book 2 has a lot more world building since the rest is already established. So we’ll see πŸ™‚

  15. kimba88

    Glad you liked this one too. I read the Arc and recently won the finished book..i love the cover..especially after reading the book.

  16. Cindy (Oodles of Books)

    Oooh, I loved The Host! That comparison alone makes me want to add this book to my TBR list. I’ve been seeing this book around, but hadn’t really read the summary or reviews. Thanks for the great review πŸ™‚

  17. Elodie

    Your review is fabulous Giselle !! If Starters is anything like The Host, I’m sure I’ll love it !!
    I’ve talked a bit with Lissa and she’s so sweet so that made me even more eager to read her book .. I’m planning to order a copy soon πŸ™‚ !! I totally see what you mean about managing to be pleasantly surprised by dystopian novels as you read a lot of them because that’s the same for me .. They’re sometimes great books that totally stand out in their genre which is great !!

  18. Heidi

    I’m glad to see others reacting so positively to this book because I loved ever freaking second of it. I couldn’t put it down. While I can usually read with the boyfriend watching TV in the same room, I had to physically remove myself to dive into this book because I was so deeply immersed I just wanted to forget the rest of the world while reading. I can’t wait to read Enders and have all of my questions answered!

  19. Rebecca (Kindle Fever)

    Ohh, I love the sound of this one. o: And reminding you of The Host?! I really loved that, so it definitely sounds promising. I guess I have another one to add to the to-read pile! Lol. You’ve made me way too curious! πŸ™‚ Great review.

  20. Tawni

    I love those strong girl characters that do what they do for family. It adds a huge emotional twist. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it and I will definitely bump it up on my list a little!

    And look at that cover on the finished copy. Its so gorgeous!

  21. Samantha Roque

    That ending was INSANE! By the way, I bought this book later than everybody else, it seems, and I got the one with the new cover. The old cover looks good though in real life. Probably because it’s flashy. And I like sparkly things.