Delacourt Press/Random House
March 13, 2012
YA Dystopia/Science Fiction
Her world is changed forever.
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 spent a while trying to figure out what kind of ranking to give Starters. It was difficult because it took me several chapters to get really invested in the story. It was one of those novels that would have benefited greatly from a prologue that described what happened before the beginning of the story, but since it lacked one, you have to piece together those events as they're given to you. (True the synopsis gives you a bit of information about the Spore Wars, but not enough to really get interested.) However, once I got into the story, I really liked it. So, I'm giving Starters a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.
What I absolutely loved about this story is that it has a great mystery and tons of action with one twist after another. That was enough for me to fall in love with this story. It was as action packed as The Hunger Games, and lacked the heavy handed use of a traditional love triangle. I loved this part of the story because it made you focus on Callie and her struggle to unwind this mystery.
Perhaps my favorite thing about the story was at the very end, on the final page. It left me with one burning question: Is the Old Man really who I think he is?