- Publisher: Ember
- Release date: July 23, 2013
- Series/stand-alone: Starters, Book 1
- Number of pages: 336
- Format: Paperback
- Source: Bought
- Rating: 2 cookies
- Swoon spoon: Scoop of i-scream (50-75%)
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.
Callie soon discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than she could ever have imagined. . . .
Includes Portrait of a Spore, a never-before-published short story that takes place in the world of STARTERS.
Please let me mention that while I was first reading this book, I was a month or just a few weeks away from taking my board examinations in the Philippines. (Pop the champagne, because I am now entitled to elongating my name by a few very important letters!) I had to stop reading in the middle of it because this little person inside my head kept banging on the walls of my brain to start studying. I've only gotten back to reading the book seven months after I dog-eared the page I was on and put it back on my shelf.
Why did I take so long in opening the book again? I really want to say that it was because I was so scattered and my responsibilities were flying on little paper airplanes in my room then constantly hitting the middle of my forehead after every five minutes. But that's not the case. I wasn't so eager to pick up where I left off the last time. Don't get me wrong. Price has a good idea of a storyline, but between the spores, the war, being orphaned and having to rent out bodies, I was a bit overwhelmed. Some parts were at a turtle's pace, then when I got to the end, it felt a bit rushed and problems were solved all at once.
Callie is a strong character and I get that she has lots of worries for herself and for her brother. But she's only sixteen! She might have been thrust into being the mother, father, and sister all at the same time at such a tender age but, how she acts in the book was WAY too mature to be realistic. I'm sure there are a lot of brave kids out there but how she handled Every. Single. Thing, I don't know if I should commend her or be at a disbelief. It just doesn't ring teenager to me.
This book though was so full of action-packed like a fat turkey with stuffing at Thanksgiving. That's what kept me reading. And Blake too. But there was Michael. Then came Florina. And the love square/rectangle/parallelogram was born. I have to say though that Michael wasn't really a big part of the book and I was expecting a little more from him rather than just being a baby-sitter the whole time. Probably bigger parts in the next book? I don't know.
That ending, I did not expect. A bit disconcerting because the antagonists were like psychics. They'd know every step you take (every move you make...) before you even had the chance to think about it.
The thing I was most confused and a little disoriented about was the Spore wars. I could have done without reading the Portrait of a Spore, though it was an interesting take: floating and bouncing like little fluff balls; in my head, I hear them sighing like little minions. The thing is, after I finished Starters and before I read Portrait of a Spore, I felt that the book was properly completed in a sequel kind of way, but when I read that last bit I felt like the story suddenly became incomplete. It's like having two different stories in one book. It felt like the war was different from the body bank story and I was craving for much more information about the war and couldn't get any answers because I think it would have made such a big story but it was fast-forwarded to everything after.
Enders, the second installment, is tucked away with my other books waiting to be read, and I'm looking forward to how Price is going to end this.
*COVER IMAGE AND SUMMARY FROM AMAZON*