Monday, 21 October 2013

Starters by Lissa Price

About the book
Starters is the first book in the Starters and Enders series by Lissa Price. The book was published by Corgi on 4th July 2013 and the book is 352 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.

Plot Synopsis
Since their parents died, Callie and her younger brother are constantly on the run and living as squatters. People like them don’t have homes anymore. Callie thinks that she’s find a way out of her bad situation though. The Body Bank promises cash and fast, giving her hope for the future with her brother.

While the Body Bank allows teenagers needing money to rent out their bodies to anyone wanting to know what it feels like to be young again, Callie’s experience comes at a cost. Her renter intends to use Callie’s body for things against the rules, for things other than partying, for murder…

What I thought
After being in a phase of reading a fair few New Adult books I was in the mood for something a bit different and Starters looked exactly like that kind of book.

Lissa Price has created a world where the young are cast out unless they’re rich and the old(er) have all of the luxury. One of those luxuries is being able to rent out younger bodies and relive the more fun years of their lives. The plot revolves around protagonist Callie and her need to make money, and fast. Her little brother is ill and without their parents, she’s struggling to cope. The only way she can think of for making the money she needs is by renting her body out. I really enjoyed the way in which the world was explained, and how clear it was that the young were in the worst position. It was also quite horrifying to see how badly some people were being treated and the conditions they were forced to live in.

However, as interesting as the plot sounded to begin with, I found myself losing interest as the book went on. Callie having the best possible reasons for being a body donor, annoyed the hell out of me but I’m not completely sure why. I really liked her to begin with, and thought she was extremely brave for doing what she did but that didn’t last long. I think one of the biggest problems was that I didn’t really connect with her. Maybe this was due to the body renting situation or maybe I just didn’t agree with some of her choices. However much I ended up disliking Callie, she was a pretty strong and determined character.

Except for the beginning, I found the plot to be quite the let-down. Once Callie agrees to be a body donor, I expected everything to be extremely fast paced and exciting. However, Callie’s realisation of what is really happening around her comes slowly. For various reasons, she’s able to hear the voice of the woman renting her body in her head. Her renter has reasons for renting Callie’s body and reasons strictly against the rules. I found the whole thing a bit confusing with two voices inside one head, and that’s probably why I still haven’t read The Host. I understand that this was needed in order to explain the plot but I just couldn’t get on with it.

While there are quite a few characters in this book, they all lacked depth. There is very little character development throughout Starters and this is probably a big part of why I just didn’t connect with Callie. Starters relies on its plot and while that was quite strong on its own, it just didn’t have the great characters it could have had to back up what was written. I wanted Callie to have come a long way on her journey throughout this book and while she did change a little, it wasn’t enough for me and I didn’t really feel as though her actions were so worthwhile.

So as you can probably tell, Starters was unfortunately not the book for me. 

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