STARTERS by Lissa Price

Welcome welcome to the first of four very special Book Review Fridays! I know I’m not as constant with these days as I’d like to be, but rest assured if this weeks book is any indication, I’ll have no problem reading and reviewing each of these four books!

But before I tell you about STARTERS by Lissa Price, I want to remind you how I came by my signed copy.

You see, I participated in a charity auction for a set of books from authors debuting in 2012. The Apocalypsies. I know, no matter when I manage to trick the world into publishing my stuff, I will never be part of a group with as badass a name as that…

So I want to take this moment to ask you if you have a few bucks you could spare for the wonderful charity that put on this auction. Every little bit helps, folks.

They help homeless animals. Do you hate puppies so much that you can’t donate $1 on Paypal?

I didn’t think so.

Now that I’ve got you muttering profanities at me and putting in credit card information, let’s move on to the book review!

STARTERS by Lissa Price

In a future Los Angeles, becoming someone else is now possible. Sixteen-year-old Callie discovers the Body Bank where teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. But when her neurochip malfunctions, she wakes up in the mansion of her rich renter and finds she is going out with a senator’s grandson. It’s a fairy-tale new life, until she discovers her renter’s deadly plan.

So STARTERS is a dystopic tale wherein most people between the age of 20-65 have died off. I won’t tell you why. That’s half the fun! This leaves the little kids running around and the elderly scootering around. If this doesn’t sound disturbing, I assure you it quickly gets there once you start reading. If it does disturb you, I promise it’s at least ten times worse than you’re imagining.

The Mind Jumping Good

It’s very rare that a book gives me the squirmies. I like to think I’ve got a strong will when it comes to creepiness. I’ve mentioned at least one other on here with the villain(s) in BZRK by Michal Grant. STARTERS might outdo them. I mean the heebie-jeebies that crawl up your heels to your spine, across your shoulders and drills into your thinkybox. Then you have to put the book down so you don’t pee a little.

While there are a handful of specific scenes that inspired this in this book, the overall premise does it, too. Imagine willingly giving your body up for a day. A week. A month. The body you keep covered in public. The body you’ve grown fond of over the last few years. You know that weird birthmark no one knows about? How about that twitch you get if you don’t sleep just right. Remember that scar you got when you tried to make a grilled cheese for the first time? Yeah. They’re all out in the open now. Sure, you’re getting paid enough to buy a small house, but there will always be that pocket of time where you went to sleep and someone else drove you around like an remote control car. Who knows what they saw. What they did. Who they talked to.

But times is tough. There’s no chance to live off the fatta the land anymore, George. You’re homeless and there’s no work and no freedom. This is your only choice. So it’s either a life of sickness and inevitable death/imprisonment, or sacrificing your body for someone else’s pleasure.

The Reality Jarring Bad

STARTERS is a dystopia. What this inherently means, is your narrator knows the shit situation they’re in. And you need to catch up to that. So Callie, the girl put in the terrible circumstances, knows how awful things are from page one. Do you love your grandparents? I’m sure you do. But you know how they say the elderly vote in record numbers. You know how old folks are constantly complaining about “your generation”. Because, the fact is, anyone ten years younger than them is part of that generation. ‘Cause in their day people had respect!

Well, it takes a little while for you to realize just how terrifying it would be if a specific age bracket had absolute rule. It would be no better if kids were on top, to tell the truth. Whether you’re talking about age, race, gender, species, it doesn’t matter. When one group holds all the cards, things get scary for everyone involved. Because the oppressed have no chance to make their own life, and the ones on top are quickly silenced if they dissent.

And once you get to the point where you fully understand that Callie is well and truly screwed, you start staring at old folks with a certain level of unfair terror. For now…

That Perfect Line

“When hawks cry, time to fly…”

So, STARTERS gets my seal of approval. It’s got a creepy factor that ticks the top of the gauges. And a compelling narrator who, I’ll admit it, had my heart feeling fuzzy for her plight. Pick it up!

And tune in next week, same time same place for the review of THE OTHER LIFE by Susanne Winnacker!

DISCLAIMER: Book Review Friday here is an enjoyable affair. I don’t review books I don’t like. Why bother wasting -my- time typing something negative and waste your time in having to read it? I usually don’t read a book unless I have a strong feeling I’ll enjoy it. And if by chance I don’t enjoy it, you won’t be seeing a review here. That’s just how I view reading and this site. My blog library will only contain books I enjoy. I keep bad books in the cold, moldy blog garage. As a warning to future books…

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One Response to STARTERS by Lissa Price

  1. Sweet review, Ian. Made me want to get the creepy crawlies!

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