Author: Lissa Price
Series: Starters and Enders #1
Edition: International Edition, Paperback
Publication: March 12, 2012 by Delacorte Press
Pages: 336 pages
Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction
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 wake 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.
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Callie, together with her best friend Michael and younger sibling Tyler, is an unclaimed minor that squatters in some abandoned buildings after her parents and everybody ages from twenty to sixty were wiped out of the Spore Genocide. Tyler was very sick that though she was doubtful in signing up with Prime Destinations, she has no choice but to make ways to have a better life. Old but super wealthy people called Enders pays generously just to rent Starters' bodies (like Callie) in order to live young once more though implanted chips in their heads. The first two rents were successful until the chip in Callie's head malfunctioned and woke up realizing that her renter, Mrs, Helena Winterhill, wants to assassin a senator that has a very gruesome plan and connection with Prime Destinations.
I really love this story. Callie was indeed one of those pretty awesome protagonists I've encountered. She's brave, in fact super brave, tough, selfless and mature. She showed that no matter how grave those complexities she's facing, one could still focus. The premise focused as a thrilling dystopian and made romance just a bonus. Yes, the similarity with Avatar is quite striking but it made its identity with its twists. I felt sick to my stomach when everything was revealed and made sense at the end. Who would have taught that Callie would get much involved in bringing Prime Destinations down even after getting more than she originally have signed for? My chest tightened when some of the characters died just to make her succeed but just a question, what happens to those elders who die while renting?
Starters definitely have showed that life is hard for a lot of people and just like Katniss from The Hunger Games, the love for your family would make you do any thing at any time just to see them better. I know this series would end in December and I am so looking forward to reading the end of this audacious YA novel!
"I knew that feeling, the sense of panic that stretched time, turning seconds into years, and the deep pain that came from being hurt by not one person but many, a gang of bullies that expanded into a neighborhood and then into a community, until you questioned the whole world. And your last thought, as you stretch your arm until your fingers are inches from that lifeline, is how if you survive, you'll find a way to help fix what was broken, so you can say that yes, you want to be part of the world again."