Monday, May 7, 2012
Starters by Lissa Price
In the world of Starters, a massive plague swept throughout the world. It killed everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. The really old and really young were the ones vaccinated and therefore the ones who lived. Now, the older folks, or Enders, have taken over the country. Young people, Starters, are not allowed to work. This makes life very hard for those Starters without grandparents. Callie is one such teenager. She has to take care of her younger brother Tyler, who has a lung disorder and requires expensive medicine. They get by squatting in abandoned buildings, but times are tough.
Callie turns to Prime Destinations for help. They are a business that rents out teenagers to Enders so that they can relive their youth. After just three rentals, Callie will end up with enough money to get an apartment and take better care of Tyler. Prime Destinations has a contract forbidding the Enders from doing anything dangerous or illegal, so there is no downside. On her third and final rental, she finds herself waking up during the procedure. She lives at the client's fancy house and drives the client's fancy cars. Then after blacking out again, Callie wakes up with a gun in her hand. Something has gone very wrong with her rental. She'd go back to Prime Destinations, but a voice keeps telling her to stay away.
Some of the background details were a little vague in this book. They mentioned that a lot of the Enders were over 100 years old, some even 200. I wanted to know how that was possible, but it was never mentioned. I'm also a little suspicious that not a single person between the ages of twenty and sixty received a vaccine, but that might have another explanation altogether.
Ultimately, I really liked Starters. First of all, I really cared about Callie and Tyler. They just got to me. Second, I have met a fair share of awful old people (As well as lots of delightful old people). It's not difficult to imagine them being the opressive jerks in this book. It's an exciting adventure story, and a fairly compelling dystopian tale, though I'm hoping that the sequel will clarify the questions I have left.
I received a copy of Starters from Edelweiss first, Netgalley second, and then I ended up reading a hard copy that was sent to the bookstore. They are courtesy of Random House. The book is available now.