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Saturday, March 10, 2012

ARC Review and Giveaway: Starters by Lissa Price

TITLE: Starters                                      SERIES: Starters #1
AUTHOR: Lissa Price                           PUB DATE: 3/13/12
PUB: Delacorte Books                            FORMAT: ARC, 368 pgs
SOURCE: from publisher for review


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

THREE WORDS: Innovative, Captivating, Thought-Provoking

MY REVIEW: Lissa Price’s Starters is an ingeniously crafted dystopian that is as striking and startling as its wonderfully creepy (and shiny!) cover.

Teenager Callie Woodland is left to take care of her little brother after everybody between the ages of 20-60 are wiped out in the Spore Wars, including her parents. Callie, her brother Tyler and their friend Michael squat in abandoned buildings, fighting amongst other Starters (teens) for food, water and shelter, while wealthy Enders (old people) live an extravagant lifestyle. Callie learns of Prime Destinations, a company that rents out the bodies of Starters to Enders who want to feel young again. Desperate for money, Callie signs up with Prime Destinations, but something goes wrong and she wakes up in the life of her wealthy renter. Callie soon finds herself caught up in the world of rich renters and discovers that her renter has deadly motives and wants to use Callie’s body to act out these plans. She also uncovers the truth behind Prime Destination’s ultimate goal and must go up against the mysterious Old Man.

Highly original, smartly written and utterly enthralling, Starters is an incredibly impressive debut that I had me reading into the wee hours of the morning. Price offers readers an awesome mix of dystopia, sci-fi, action, mystery and even a bit of romance.

Fast paced, the story moves quickly and at times I did wish the story flowed a bit slower and was fleshed out more. Price’s world-building is great though; she has crafted a layered, believable post-war world that is equal parts startling and entrancing.  I found the whole idea of renting out bodies to be so intriguing and thought-provoking and Price develops this idea really well. The story itself has moments of edge-of-your-seat suspense, addictive mystery and gasp-worthy “OMG” revelations.

Price’s characters are wonderfully compelling. The story is told from Callie’s perspective, so it is imperative that she’s a character readers will like and connect with, and they will! She’s easy to root for and impossible not to sympathize with; I really loved getting to know her. There are several important supporting characters and they are all well developed, realistic and engaging in their own ways. And Price has crafted really layered and surprising villains.

One of the things that captivated my attention most is the relationship between Callie and Tyler. The fierce, unbreakable love between these siblings is as breathtaking as it is heartbreaking at times. Callie does have a few romantic interests, but it is her love for her brother that touched me most. But that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the romantic aspects; I did, for the most part. I don’t want to spoil anyone, but I will say that there is one Calli/? relationship that I’m rooting for and one that I’m wary of, but intrigued to see where it goes.

I do wish we were given more backstory and history on some things, especially about the Spore Wars, and I’m hoping there will be more information given in future books. The book ends with as many mysteries as it began with, and Price’s cliffhanger ending is epically awesome and frustrating.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: With a story full of moments of explosive and electric action, mystery and twists and subtle thought-provoking themes that will stay with readers long after they close the book, Lissa Price’s Starters is a fascinating and well-written debut novel that should not be missed.

4/5 Cupcakes

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon / B&N / Book Dep.
Lissa (pronounced LISS-sa) studied with Caroline Leavitt, Donald Maass and Janet Fitch, and read at the Iowa Summer Workshop. She has lived in Japan and India, but now resides in the Southern California foothills with her husband and the occasional deer.She’s a member of SCBWI, SFWA, ITW, as well as one of the Apocalypsies, a group of 2012 debut YA and MG authors. In 2012 she joined Beth Revis and the talented gang of five 2011 and five 2012 debut YA dystopian and science fiction authors at The League of Extraordinary Writers .

Win an ARC of Starters and/or a signed bookmark!
So, somehow I ended up with two ARCs, which means I have one to give away!!!
I also have a couple signed Starters bookmarks (which are really lovely) that Lissa Price was nice enough to send me. 
Giveaway will run from 3/10 - 3/17
There will be 4 winners:
One (1) ARC and signed bookmark (US/CAN only)
Three (3) signed bookmarks (INT)
Fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • One main entry(s) per person
  • Winners will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
  • I am NOT responsible for lost or damaged prizes in the mail

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jessirae said...

To be honest, I read this book already through Netgalley but I couldn't resist entering this giveaway because I want a shiny bookmark! lol :)

I absolutely love and agree with your review! I didn't know what to expect with Starters and I was more than surprised by every twist and turn! It was crazy. I also wished that there was more background with the spore wars too, but I bet we'll get more of that in the second book. Oh and that cliffhanger was intense! It really blew my mind!

Nicole Mainardi said...

I've been hearing great things about this one! I have a Netgalley copy so I'll have to start it soon. Thanks for the giveaway :)

franchie15 said...

What a nice review. I always like the first part of your review, THREE WORDS. :) Somehow, it sums up the whole book. I've been hearing nice reviews about this. I'll definitely read this. :)

Doodle said...

I've heard really good things about this book, but have been hesitant to pick it up. It has been added to my TBR list now. Thanks for the great review! I loved your Three Words!

terluon said...

This is interesting for sure. I'll love to read the book and check out your review again to see if i agree with you :)

Cassandra Geribo said...

Like everyone else has said, I've heard great things about this book.. it seems to be a real hit. I'm looking forward to reading it!

G. Donald Cribbs said...

I'm so intrigued by this premise, even though it seems we've been innundated with dystopians galore. But, I can't get enough it seems. I keep eating them all up. From what you describe, it sounds like a great read and that cover is stunning. Thank you very much for the opportunity to win this!

pandalovesyou said...

I've been hearing about this book all over the place this week. i'm really excited to read it someday!

April X said...

Great review! I've heard really good things about this book. Thanks for the giveaway :D

Jackie said...

Totally in love with the cover. I've had this book on my wishlist for a while and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. I am super excited! Thanks for the giveaway!

shorevalerie said...

great review! I'm definitely going to have to check out this book!

Unknown said...

This book is being touted all over the place. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

The Romance Bookie said...

Like Jessirae, I am going to be honest and say I already read this book too, but through e-book form. I finished it last night actually and ABSOLUTELY loved it! I thought it was such a great interesting story! And Original!!

I would LOVE to own a hard copy of this book and of course the shiny beautiful bookmark :)

Shelby Young said...

I never read the book because I haven't read many reviews on it but now I'm excited for the book! Maybe ill get on ebook if I don't win! :)

books4me said...

Finally...a book review that sounds like something my picky teen would love to read!!!

koddabear said...

Would love to read this it sounds really good

In Julie's Opinion said...

I loved your review! I'm going to be reading this book next from my NetGalley list, and I've heard such awesome things about it that I think I'm going to want a print copy as well!! Thanks so much:)

Oh! Paper Pages said...

Great giveaway! I have heard a lot of great things about this book.

deanna_boocock said...

I am so looking forward to this novel. I am putting it up there with Shatter Me, Ashes and Divergent. Can't wait and keeping my fingers crossed.

yoits330 said...

Thanks for the giveaway!! It's awesome. This book sounds so awesome, and the cover is like awesome!!

Steph said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Your review of Starters is really great and it definitely made me want to read this book even more. I've heard such great things about it!!

Books to Book said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I enjoyed reading your review and I agreed with some of them. Everyone should read this book!

Kelly said...

I am not sure what to think. So many varying reviews on this book. But I would love to read this to make up my own mind on it! Thanks for the giveaway!

aurora M. said...

I am really ready to give this book a try for my self and see what all the talk is about. Thanks for the review and chance at winning a different kind of read.

Jessica said...

I seem to be on the Dystopian rollercoaster at the moment, and I am very interested in reading Starters. I have heard great things about it so far.

Thanks for the giveaway!

SacredmOOn said...

Great review! I'm on a fence right right now about this book. I've read some great reviews like yours and some not so great ones. I would really like to get a chance to read it myself. I love the cover.
Thank you for the giveaway chance! DeAnna Schultz

Kali Skittles said...

I keep hearing things about this that make me want to read it!! And then I hear things and I'm like "oh man that would probably annoy me too..." and I'm nervous for it. I seriously love dystopia though, so no matter what I will be reading this at some point. I'm glad to hear you liked it though. Most blogs I've seen have been rating it at 2 or 3.

Thanks for the review and giveaway.

LisaILJ said...

Thanks so much for the review. I had read some not great opinions on this one, but I really like what you have to say. I always appreciate a fast paced book.

Farah said...

I love sci-fi books with some romance in it! And yes. The cover is kinda creepy. Great review!

Katrina said...

Even though that girl creeps me out and I'll probably have to leave the book upside down every time I set it down, I've been wanting to read this!!!

Vickie said...

Honestly, I was very hesitant of this book...I didn't really like the concept, although it is original. I thought it was too weird! :) But I keep hearing about this book everywhere and I read other peoples reviews and I really want to read it now! I think it was the cover that originally made me kinda avoid it. But now I can't wait to read it so thanks for the chance to win!!

Lynn K. said...

I saw the trailer it was quite unusual so I checked the book out. I can't wait for the book to be released!

Anonymous said...

The THREE WORDS: Innovative, Captivating, Thought-Provoking - u used were already a good start for me... and then I read the full review... and this creeoy cover! me wants that! <3
thx for the giveaway!

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I've had this one on my wishlist since I first saw the cover and read the blurb. Thanks for the giveaway!

nayjf said...

I need to read this book. It keeps popping up all over the internet! I swear it is haunting me!


April Yedinak said...

Ooo...sounds super creepy! My daughter would love this and I think I would, too.

Imel Cullen said...

I love book cover, I really want to read starter by Lissa Price

Ning said...

I'm not a fan of the cover, maybe that's why I've been hesitant to read this, but after seeing all the glowing reviews, I really want it! Thanks for the giveaway!

Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

Kristen said...

Thanks for the awesome review and giveaway! :))