Wednesday, February 22, 2012
YA Sci-Fi: Starters by Lissa Price and Giveaway
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date: March 13, 2012
Acquired: from Random Buzzers' Ambuzzadors
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book in return for an honest review.)
Reading time: two days
From GoodReads: 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. . . .
My review: Starters is definitely one of the most exciting books I've read in a while. For fans of The Hunger Games, Enclave, Blood Red Road - this one's for you. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. The perfect combination of dystopia and mystery makes the plot fast-paced, exciting, and fascinating. The characters are both believable and likable. Lissa Price even manages to make the post-apocalyptic scenario realistic, a rare thing for novels hinging upon a disease that kills everyone between certain ages.
Complaints? The romance felt like it was there just to have some romance. I couldn't connect to it at all and felt like it was superfluous. There's some random bits of Cinderella retelling that didn't really fit. Oh, and the book was absolutely great - until the ending went too far. I could tell the author was desperately trying to set up a sequel, but the final events came off as ridiculously improbable, incohesive, and rushed. It almost ruined what had been, for the most part, a story on the fast track to being one of my favorite YA dystopias. Still, the excitement of the first book and the cliff-hanger of a conclusion make it impossible not to continue with the series.
Giveaway: Thanks to Random Buzzers' Ambuzzador program, I have an extra ARC to give away to one lucky winner. I'm paying shipping, so, unfortunately, the giveaway is only open to US mailing addresses. Just leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway. Following is not required but will gain an extra entry, as will tweeting about the giveaway. Ends 3/22/12.