Review: Starters by Lissa Price

13 March, 2012 Reviews 4 comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Starters by Lissa PriceStarters by Lissa Price
Series: Starters #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on March 13th 2012
Pages: 352
Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository


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. . . .

A list of things I would do if I were in someone else’s body:

*Moon nunneries
*Spend a day doing nekkid performance art in illegal locales
*Yell at people randomly that they can’t handle the truth
*Trick various people into skinny dipping with people and then steal their clothes.
*Randomly strip on trams and use the pole to dance

A list of things old people would apparently do in my body:

*Bungee Jumping

If anything is representative of the generation gap – I think that is.

See Dad, first I mooned the nuns while a friend took pictures.  Then we uploaded the photo to fifteen different social media sites.  Then we photoshopped their faces to meme rage faces, loaded it to our blog, monetized it and made a fortune from all the clicks.  Now I’ll show you how I paid my own college fund by replying to popular youtube videos and turned a Republican candidate’s name into a euphemism for something you’ll ground me for describing.  This is how we have fun!

This is not a bad novel – but nor is it a perfect one.

Price has strengths, which make this book an enjoyable read, but she also has marked weaknesses.  It is those weaknesses, unchecked, that ruin an otherwise enjoyable tale.

The story, a futuristic dystopian Body Snatchers of sorts, is a fast paced, thrilling read.  It has a great cast of characters, an interesting story-line, and a tight plot.

Price’s strengths lean toward the adrenaline-pumping action, the intriguing plot side of things.  Where the novel falls apart is all related to the relationships and how her characters interact.

I’m quite sure Michael plays some pivotal role in a future book – but for this book he felt entirely unnecessary and his relationship with Carlie felt baseless and meaningless.

Similarly, Blake’s reactions and relationship with Carlie felt forced, inauthentic and completely unbelievable.  Whatever spark Price wanted us to feel, just wasn’t there for me.

Perhaps the biggest factor that crippled the novel for me was in the M. Night Shyamalan like story telling.  Everything was a twist!

When your villain is always one step ahead, it’s fascinating and exhilarating.  When your villain is 2,568 steps ahead, it starts to look a little comical and super villainy with twisty mustache included.  Or like the author is giving him inhuman powers of foresight to act as a deus ex machina.

I really, really wanted to like this novel.  Despite the low rating, I would be interested in reading the sequel to see where Price takes some of the themes and storylines and to see if she improves on the weaker elements of her writing.

Until then I’ll be over here planking, splanking and plankouring.

My generation makes no sense.  Planks can’t parkour!

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

4 Responses to “Review: Starters by Lissa Price”

  1. Lexie B.

    I can’t say I’m a fan of the villain that’s always planned for everything. It just makes everything seem so . . . contrived. And it’s not exciting, because you know that no matter what the protagonist does, the villain will have known about it and planned in advance. It takes away the thrill in guessing.

    Also, I think if you were ever in someone else’s body, many people would emerge scarred for life.

    • Kat Kennedy

      Lexie – I would purposely scar people for life.

      And yes, I think the villain becomes a dues ex machina to forward the plot whenever you need a twist without resolving the plot.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge