Book Review – ‘Starters’ by Lissa Price

A girl with a terrifying choice. Her parents? dead. Her brother? sick. Her way out? Get paid to be somebody else. Who can she trust? No one.

Callie Woodland had to make a tough decision. She was just about fed up with living the life of an unclaimed minor and wanted much more for herself and her brother. Prime Destination was her final resort. The thought of allowing someone else take control of her body detest her, but what other choice did she have? It was either this, or remain living a life of uncertainty and fear until getting institutionalized. 

What would you do to not only survive, but to give your only living relative a better chance at life? Lissa Price intrigues us with her new novel; depicting human reaction to desperation, while embarking on a scientific thrill ride that entertains and educates. Starters will certainly get your heart racing. 


This is a story about a 16 year old girl and a bunch of other characters that affect her in one way or the other. It’s a dystopian novel, as there’s mention of an undeniable advancement in technology, and there’s also descriptions of a virus war that wiped out people between the ages of 20 and 60. Apparently, the survivors had previously been vaccinated so lucky for them, they were immune to the virus. 

Since this catastrophic war, the society has fallen into classes according to the generation. The teens are called Starters, while the older people are called Enders, the latter being the ones in control of everything. Some of these teens are ‘claimed’ and belong to very wealthy households, while the others are street kids trying not get caught by marshals and thrust away to institutions, similar to prison. 

Callie, her brother and friend, Michael, are unclaimed minors since their grandparents died way before the war and they lost their parents during the horrific events. She then makes the decision to sign up with Prime Destination to allow three Enders to rent her body, giving them some spec of a youthful life once again. All was going well until her third and final rental went ‘technically’ wrong and things went downhill, still beneficial to Callie, after that.

With that said, I truly enjoyed Starters. The protagonist is a strong and determined young girl who had to become an adult so early in her life. She didn’t get the opportunity to experience normal teenage stuff, instead spent the last three years fighting for survival and going to extreme measures to take care of her younger sibling. And of course, him being sick just adds to her long list of worries. It kinda made me sympathize with her throughout it all, but in the midst I admired her for wanting to keep going and trying her hardest to recover some sort of happiness for her brother’s sake.  

Callie, in my opinion, had been through so much. She lost both of her parents in a terrible bacterial war, and was now scavaging garbage bins for left over food or other items that could possibly help her stay alive. So, you can’t really get angry at her for even considering becoming a puppet for an organization dealing with mind control in order to make money. This was sort of her only way out. And that makes you think, because in today’s society, how many of us are faced with issues that we have to make a decision not really seen as moral, but we know we have no other choice but to do it? I guess you can say there’s always a better way and choosing to give up your own free will is beyond drastic or idiotic, but think about it, what would you do if you were placed in Callie’s shoes?

At the beginning of the story, I really thought there was going to be an intense romantic development between Callie and Michael, but at the same time it just seemed too perfect, too quick, so when Blake was brought into the picture it delighted me a bit. I did not see that coming. And to be honest, that establishment at first wasn’t really connecting with me because I felt it was so rushed, but once everything started to fall in place I got warmed up to it. 

I also liked how some sequences were described. Lissa really did a good job in keeping the action so fast paced and enjoyable. The story definitely fascinated me and I can’t wait for the next. 

Overall, Starters is fantastic. Loved the ending. It felt like everything was happening in slow motion and you can instantly feel that moment of happiness and sort of a feeling of victory with Callie. It was just a wonderful read and I recommend it if you enjoy dystopian, science fiction, or if you liked the matrix.  

Rating: 5/5


Title: ‘Starters’ 

Author: Lissa Price

Publisher: Delacorte (Random House)

Release date: March 13, 2012

Purchase Starters on Amazon

Video credit: RandomBooks

One thought on “Book Review – ‘Starters’ by Lissa Price

Share your positive thoughts, not your animosity!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.