Starters by Lissa Price Review and Giveaway

Book: Starters  by Lissa Price, Delacorte Press, March 13 2012

Genre/Format: YA Dystopia, Received for review, 336 pages

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

More Info: Goodreads | Amazon

Starters is a thrilling Sci-Fi dystopia debut from Lissa Price. The creepy body rental concept and plot twists got me invested in the story from the beginning and kept me up late reading.  It is fast moving and gripping and just the thing to get me excited about dystopia again.

As Starters begins, sixteen-year-old orphan Callie is struggling to survive in a near-future Los Angeles. She lost her parents to the Spore Wars, where the biological attack killed all adults aged 20-60, because there weren’t enough vaccines for them to be protected in an attack. Now Callie, and friend Michael, is responsible for her sickly little brother Tyler. Unclaimed minors like Callie (called Starters) are forbidden to have jobs, while the elderly (called Enders) live a luxury lifestyle, with job security, fancy cars, and mansions. But Starters do have something that Enders want, and that is youth, which is where Prime Destinations comes in.

With nowhere else to turn, Callie signs a contract with the body renting company Prime Destinations, run by the mysterious “Old Man.” This company rents the bodies of desirable Starters for up to a month to Enders seeking to be young again. After the Starter has fulfilled their contract by being rented 3 times, they in turn receive a big sum of money. But things don’t go as planned, and in the middle of a rental, Callie wakes up as herself in unfamiliar surroundings in the middle of a nightclub. She has to fight to keep control of her mind and body from her renter, who is cooking up a dangerous scheme.

The idea of body renting was so disturbing to me, and even though certain dangerous behavior was off limits, you never know what’s really going on.  It’s interesting to see Callie portray someone else with her own body, and befriend other elderly “renters.” She gets an inside look into how renters view the donors and the dangers involved. It’s like an undercover operation for Callie as she gets pulled into a bigger mystery. I liked Callie – she’s resourceful and strong, and it made sense to me that she signed the contract in hopes for a better life for her brother.

There are no lulls in the action in this book. Callie is always on the move, and even though she has some allies it’s hard to know whom she really can trust. There are several jaw-dropping reveals that keep the story interesting. There is not a lot of detail about what led to the current circumstances in the world such as the reasons behind the war, why teens can’t work, etc. But for me, I was entertained just the same with the multi-layered characters, the action and the suspense.

The romance does not play a starring role in this book. There are two potential love interests introduced, but it was not enough of a focus for me to be invested in either character. Am interested to see how the romance develops in the sequel though.

The ending brings a surprising cliffhanger that will leave you clamoring for the sequel. The second and final book in the series, Enders, is due out in December, but in the meantime there are some short stories planned. And there is a prequel called Portrait of a Starter, told from Michael’s POV that is available now. If you are looking for something to read after Divergent or The Hunger Games, give Starters a try.


Giveaway has ended – Congrats to Paige who has won a signed ARC of Starters.


24 thoughts on “Starters by Lissa Price Review and Giveaway

  1. Eliane T. says:

    I’ve read so many great reviews about this book. Thanks a lot for the chance to win it 🙂

  2. Lori says:

    This is on its way to me now and I’m so excited to read it! Fantastic review!

    1. Lucy says:

      Hope you enjoy Starters, Lori! I’ll look for your review.

  3. Kelsey says:

    I’m glad you liked it! I can’t wait for the next book, thanks for the giveaway too!

    1. Lucy says:

      I’m looking forward to Enders too, Kelsey. December isn’t too far away I guess 🙂

  4. BermudaOnion says:

    That cover is creepy so I’m not surprised the book is.

    1. Lucy says:

      Isn’t it creepy? That is partly what drew me to the book. It scares my daughter though.

  5. squee1313 says:

    Okay. This one’s going on my list. Like I need another book on my list.

    1. Lucy says:

      The never ending list…I know the feeling! Hope you like Starters if you get the chance to read it 🙂

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve seem mixed reviews of this, so put it to the bottom of my reading pile… guess I might actually have to read it myself to decide if it’s good or not!

    1. Lucy says:

      It does have some mixed reviews, and it’s hard to say if it will be a good fit for you. I know you like dystopian, and Starters is more scifi thriller if that helps. It’s a fun read- hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to check it out, Elizabeth.

  7. Artemis says:

    The story is so beautiful!!! Thank you for the giveaway.

  8. That last sentence has me moving this one back up the pile. Totally. Plus, I’m kind of interested in the fact that this is a duology and not a never ending series or even a trilogy.

    1. Lucy says:

      Love that word duology, Flannery. I agree it’s refreshing that it’s not a trilogy. There are definitely enough of those already. Hope I’m not over-hyping this book and that you find it a fun read.

  9. I did not know that Enders was the final book in the series!

    Yeah, the whole someone else in your body while you are passed out really skeeves me out, especially considering what those icky Enders did with some of the bodies.

    Anyways, rocking review.

    1. Lucy says:

      It’s great that the story can be told with two books. Can’t wait to read Enders!

      I know- so creepy about the body sharing. Such a desperate situation that the Starters are in to resort to that.

      1. bookgoonie says:

        Love the idea of it being a 2 book series.

  10. Rachel says:

    Fantastic Review! I’m glad this book is action filled. the idea of switching bodies strikes me weird too.
    I will definitely read this book!
    Thanks for the Giveaway!

    1. Lucy says:

      Thanks, Rachel! The action and the plot twists made the book for me. And yes the switching bodies idea is definitely weird.
      Hope you enjoy the book & good luck with the giveaway!

  11. VeganYANerds says:

    This sounds really interesting and I find the cover a bit creepy! Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  12. bookgoonie says:

    Initially I was repulsed by the idea. But it sounds so intriguing. You’ve got me really anxious about the dangerous plot. May have to move it up in my rotation, if it kept you up late reading. 😉

  13. susanbright says:

    Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed The Hunger Games, Divergent and Twilight but I have to say that I am not sure about the whole body renting stuff! I may just have to give Starters a try!

  14. […] Reviews: Lucy @ The Reading Date Maggie @ Gone Pecan Kate @ Epic Chocolate Fantasy Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLike this:LikeBe […]

  15. […] read Starters almost two years ago, and I remember the sci-fi body rental concept made an impression. The idea is […]

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