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Review: Starters by Lissa Price

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. . 

They say there is no stronger bond between a mother and her child. She would go to the ends of the earth to ensure their happiness, even if it causes the child to hate the mother for some reason. Mothers are willing to sacrifice everything, even their life if it ensures that the child will somehow survive. And even though Callie is not Tyler’s real mom, and he even remembers still who his mom really is, their bond still seems unbreakable. 

Callie is desperate to help Tyler get better and a better environment. He is ill, coughing through the whole night, and can no longer be staying in the dungy houses they have been if he is to survive much longer. So she does something desperate: she decides to sign up for Prime Destinations, as a host body that can be used by Enders, seniors who want to be young again.

The process seems simple: they implant a chip, and while the adolescents are asleep in their subconscious, the Ender leaves Prime Destination while their mind in the adolescent body and able to control the body for a week. However, Callie’s chip malfunctions, and she wakes up in the life of the Ender who rented her body, and she knows that malfunction trials have dangerous results…

When she realizes she can’t go back to Prime Destinations, she tries to go through the trial as quickly as possible, but she can’t help but forget her old life when a mysterious boy comes into her life, when she realizes that the Ender has more secrets than she thought, and that Prime Destinations does more than just rent bodies.

Lissa Price has created a very subtle, but gripping thriller about mind control. Callie is a very real character with real goals in mind, and you can’t help but hope that somehow she will get through the whole ordeal. You can feel her pain, and how she seems to be torn between the two worlds, and her discomfort with the whole “renting body” thing. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and can’t wait for the sequel in January.

Reviewed by Mercedes Olivas

Book Information
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: 7/23/2013
Pages: 384

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