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...
How do I feel about Starters? I finished it over a week ago and I have just not wanted to write this review, not because it was a bad book, but because I had seriously mixed thoughts about this one.
Okay, so I'll start with the good because I actually thought that were a lot of good points. I loved the idea of Prime Destinations and the idea of renters and donors and I think it's definitely an idea that will cause some controversy and discussions about ethics, which is good in a book. There was also some other concepts; the idea of the old getting everything and the young getting nothing and that massive gap in the middle caused by the death of every 20-60 year old, this was a concept that I found interesting, and the idea of biological warfare itself is something that i would have liked to read more about.
The problem was that this isn't the only book that deals with gritty and controversial issues and so it couldn't just rely on that and really there was just not that much more going for it. I found Callie was such an annoying main character, she was strong-minded but did some very stupid things and after living in such a gritty world she should have had a little more common sense.
Starters was a dystopian that suffered from lack of world-building, how are we supposed to relate to her struggles if we don't know what type of place she is living in. Why were the Spore Wars started? Why couldn't the 20-60 year old people have been vaccinated? I didn't understand much so I really struggled. I also didn't understand much of the science, it either made no sense or just seemed too... convenient?
Overall, I struggled with this one. I finished it because I liked the concepts that had been tackled, but I can't say I really enjoyed it.
Overall rating: D
Book released by Delacorte books for Young Readers on March 13th 2012.
Book received for review (via NetGalley)