by Lissa Price
Callie lives in a world where a plague has left most middle aged people dead, but the young (the Starters) and the old (the Enders) have survived thanks to a vaccine. There is a side effect of using the vaccine, though: everyone’s life spans have been extended well into the hundreds. In this world only the rich young kids can live a normal life. The average teen has parents who are dead and are either sent to labor camps or forced to live on the streets. The senior citizens are the ruling class and the majority.
Callie is a street kid whose parents were killed by the plague. Callie also has a younger brother who she has to support. When Callie finds out about the body bank it seems like the answer to her prayers. All she has to do is let the body bank, also known as Prime Destinations, implant a chip in her head and give her an extreme makeover. Then she agrees to let a thrill-seeking senior citizen inhabit her body, via the chip, three different times and she will be paid handsomely. The first time Callie is occupied it is easy and she just feels like she went to sleep. Her second time goes just as smoothly. During her third occupation, however, Callie unexpectedly wakes up and is thrust into the middle of a life that she does not know how to live–that of a young, rich teen. To make matters worse the Ender who was occupying her is still in her head and warning her that she is in danger…
Starters is a really cool story! This is definitely not your typical dystopia. There are no average adults in this world–only senior citizens and young people! The way that the author, Lissa Price, describes the body bank and how seniors inhabit young people is so interesting. This book also reminded me of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, because Callie goes through a complete makeover with future technologies that we cannot even imagine. This novel is definitely action-packed, since Callie is not only trying to figure out why she is in danger but she also has to make sure that no one realizes that she is not being occupied while she is still pretending to be a young, rich teen. There is a great mystery in this story and at the end of the book you see the evil plan of some of the Enders unfold. Starters is definitely a great read for any age, guy or girl, and if you want a cool spin on a dystopian world.