“A smart, swift, inventive, altogether gripping story.”
“Fans of The Hunger Games will love it.”
–Kami Garcia, coauthor of the bestselling BEAUTIFUL CREATURES/Caster series
“STARTERS is a compelling, pulse-pounding, exciting sci-fi adventure with a strong female lead. Don’t miss it!”
–New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr
"The only thing better than a terrific concept is one that is as well executed as Starters. Readers who have been waiting for a worthy successor to Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games will find it here. Dystopian sci-fi at its best, Starters is terrific series kickoff with a didn't-see-that-coming conclusion that will leave readers on the edges of their seats."
–Los Angeles Times
"Built up to a dramatic climax and a stunning twist, Starters is an addictive and alluring tale about human nature's darker side, and how far we'll go to get what we want. Readers everywhere will want to dive right in, and Hunger Games fans especially will find themselves hooked."
"This story of those who are not what they seem twists along with multiple-identity switcheroos and chase scenes worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster . . . The inevitable sequel can’t appear soon enough."
"Constantly rising stakes keep this debut intense."
“Newcomer Price launches a dystopian series that offers . . . a notable command of technique . . . Raising questions about class, property, and body/mind separation, Price's thriller features well-crafted tension, believable villains, and moments of stolen sweetness.”
"Intriguing, fast-paced . . . Fans of dystopian novels will be completely engaged and clamoring for the sequel."
–School Library Journal
“Hard to imagine a young adult reader who would not be interested in this book”
“The concept is compulsively gruesome. . . . Price develops her plot and characters with tight, punchy writing and a sure, confident touch.”
–The Daily Mail
“This action-packed novel is set in a twisted, hostile world and is a must-read for fans of The Hunger Games and Legend. Fast paced, romantic, and thought provoking, the jaw-dropping ending left us starving for a sequel.”
“Starters is a dystopian read you'll want to snatch up for yourself . . . With its intriguing plot-twists and dash of romance, Lissa's novel is a bona fide pageturner that proves you can't take anything—or anyone—at face value.”
–MTV.com’s Hollywood Crush Blog
“Intriguing, thought-provoking and addictive.”
“Chilling and riveting.”
In Starters, the generation gap gains new significance after biological warfare has wiped out most adults, leaving only those elderly people and children lucky enough to have been vaccinated. Like many “unclaimed” minors with no surviving adult relatives, Callie and her younger brother have taken to the streets to avoid being institutionalized, and have formed a de facto surrogate family with Michael, Callie’s friend-with-potential. Desperate to get medical help for her brother, Callie signs on with Prime Destinations, an illegal company that rents out attractive young Starters to aging Enders who want to temporarily recapture their youth by controlling their donors’ bodies. Partway through her contract, however, Callie’s connection to her renter apparently malfunctions and she must pretend to be an elderly person in her own body in order to discover Prime Destinations’s true intentions. This book’s main strength is that it offers a compelling portrayal of young people’s increasing social marginalization; not only can minors not find jobs, they are legally prohibited from working because that might take jobs away from the increasingly long-lived Enders. Although not all aspects of this future are entirely believable and many coincidences abound, Callie is satisfyingly self-reliant, the plot delivers lots of action and some nice twists, and the love triangle is not too maudlin. In addition, the author has imbued the world with interesting details and natural-sounding future idioms. Toss in the visually stunning cover, and it is hard to imagine a young adult reader who would not be interested in this book. Ages 11 to 18.
Gr 9 Up—In a future United States and following the "spore wars"—an attack by Pacific Rim countries resulting in the death of millions of Americans—the world is populated almost solely by children and teens, known as "Starters," and by adults over age 60, known as "Enders." Advances in health and technology have lengthened the average human life span to 200 years and, following the deaths of those known as "Middles," the Enders are in control. As an answer to the fantasies of rich Enders, an enterprising company is offering young bodies for rent to the elderly. Callie Woodland, who lost her parents in the spore wars, considers Prime Destinations her last chance. By offering her body for rentals, she can earn enough money to move her and her ailing brother to a safe home where they might have the chance of living normal lives without fear of the government marshals who round up unattended minors and institutionalize them. When the microchip implanted in her brain to facilitate the body-rental process malfunctions, Callie becomes privy to a Prime Destinations plot to sell young bodies to Enders, and she embarks on a plan to reveal this murderous scheme. Its generation versus generation conflict makes Price's first novel an obvious companion to The Hunger Games, and its fast pace and resourceful female protagonist extend this comparison.—Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston
In a future in which the elderly hold all of the power, the only things left for them to take are the bodies of the young. After a germ-warfare attack, America was only able to vaccinate high-risk groups--medically vulnerable children and senior citizens--in time, creating an age gulf and an orphaned generation. Those without guardians, like Callie and her baby brother, scavenge and sneak to survive, lest marshals catch and throw them in institutions much like prisons. Desperation leads Callie to Prime Destinations, a body-bank that circumvents laws that prohibit minors from working by allowing them to donate their bodies (to be controlled by an elderly renter through neurochips and a brain-to-computer connection) for a stipend. Only one rental away from having the money to care for her ailing brother, Callie finds her chip drastically malfunctioning during a rental, enabling her to take partial control of her body back from a renter who plans on using her for murder. In between living the high life as a socialite grandniece and ward of her wealthy renter, Callie learns of plots more dangerous than the renter's and that only she can stop them. Some exposition is clumsily dropped in through dialogue, and some plot aspects don't hold up to scrutiny, but the twists and turns come so fast that readers will stay hooked. Constantly rising stakes keep this debut intense. (Science fiction. 12 & up)