PREVIEW - Starters by Lissa Price

I had the pleasure of meeting Lissa Price at a Mysterious Galaxy meet and greet in San Diego during the World Fantasy Convention. I wasn't able to attend WFC but I had a great time at the Mysterious Galaxy store seeing Cindy Pon again and meeting TONS of other great authors. It was a wonderful experience, full of surprises. Meeting Lissa was definitely one of those surprises.

When I went to this event at the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore I hadn't been keeping up with forthcoming books so when Lissa told me she had a dystopian novel coming out I was REALLY excited. We had a great time discussing the genre and she told me to get a sample chapter booklet out of the store. The first thing that struck me about Starters was the cover. I have seen pictures of it online and it just doesn't show all the amazing detail that you can really see in person. I begged Lissa to sign it for me and she was more than happy to.

I was instantly in love. The cover was overwhelming me, Lissa was wonderful to chat with, and I could not wait to read Starters.  But I did wait. I didn't want to read the sample and be left in agony waiting to read more of the book AND I don't like to know about a book before I read it. I know I say this a lot, but the more I start thinking about the concept of a book the more expectations I start to have. Usually there is no way a book can live up to them.

But in preparation for Lenore's Dystopian February kick off TOMORROW. I have read and am presenting to you a little mini review of these sample chapters of Starters. First I need to tell you that this book would have lived up to my expectations!

Lissa did not disappoint my overpowering need for strong world building in a dystopian novel.  The first two chapters of Starters were spectacular. World building in young adult dystopias can be a tricky matter, especially when they are written in first person. Lissa did a perfect job of revealing the world through the limited perspective of first person in a completely organic way. I really hope the rest of the book lives up to these opening chapters. Lately a lot of books have disappointed me by starting off strong and tapering off.

In Lissa Price's novel there are Starters, people under 20, and Enders, people over 60.  Everyone in between is dead. Callie is trying to care for her slickly younger brother. She learns about a program that allows Enders to rent younger bodies through a company called Prime Destinations.

Rules for Renters at Prime Destinations:
  1. You may not alter the appearance of your rental body in any way, including but not limited to piercings, tattoos, hair cutting or dyeing, cosmetic contact lenses, and any surgical procedures, including augmentation.
  2. No changes to the teeth are allowed, including fillings, removal, and embedded jewelry.
  3. You must remain inside a fifty-mile perimeter around Prime Destinations. Maps are available.
  4. Any attempt to tamper with the chip will result in immediate cancellation without refund, and fines will be levied.
  5. If you have a problem with your rental body, return to Prime Destinations as soon as possible. Please treat your rental with care, remembering at all time that it is an actual young person.

The concept of this body rental is both amazing and terrifying at the same time. And is extremely effective in grabbing the reader's attention. When I think about it, I am not sure what price I could possibly accept to let someone rent my body while I basically took a nap, but I am not in a desperate situation. Callie is worried about the health and stability of her brother and after being displaced from yet another living situation she decided she HAS to "volunteer" to become a rental body for the money to give her brother a better life.

Because I have not read more of the book I wanted to give you a little summary of what was presented in the sample booklet I had.  What I found while reading it was a compelling and thought provoking beginning to the book. I am extremely curious to see where the story is going next and how it will reveal more about this future world. So far the book is laced with complex concepts, fears, and possibilities for where the story can go.

I am definitely dying to read more, and I bet you are too.
And guess what? |

Lissa has graciously offered up an ARC of Starters to the wonderful readers of my blog. To be entered all you have to do is comment on this post with some aspect of Starters that sounds good or interesting to you.  Make sure your comment is connected to a way for me to contact you or leave you email address in the comments.

For an additional entry tell me in the same comment that you've added Starters to your GoodReads to read list.

The contest ENDS February 15th, 2012 at midnight  Pacific Standard Time.

Check back later in the month for my full review. Until then be sure to check out Lenore's dystopian reviews, interviews, and giveaways happening all month long.


  1. Psh, this whole BOOK sounds amazing. <3 I mean really, it sounds great!


  2. The program definitely intrigued me right away. The cover definitely caught my eye a while ago. Absolutely everything about this sounds just EPIC. I must get my hands on this regardless of the win.
    Has been on my TBR shelf :)

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  3. It isn't often that I find a story I can sink my teeth into and read, but something about STARTERS caught my attention right away...Lissa has a unique voice and after only reading the first chapter my mind is racing with the possibilities for Callie. What makes the rental different for her, than the countless others, what goes wrong?...jaydent at epix dot net

  4. everything about the book sounds good. the whole idea of renting out bodies is definitely something i haven't read about before. i can't wait to read it! Plus just seeing the cover intrigued me :)
    i also have starters in my tbr on goodreads.

    ame1184 at gmail dot com

  5. I read the chapter sampler and I'm so excited to read this book. It reminded me a bit of the show dollhouse but instead of renting a friend or companion you are renting a body. I immediately ran to goodreads to add it and the sequel to my to read list after that. This is a great contest![query]=starters
    jamiekrakover at hotmail dot com

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Ive been eyeing this one. World building is an important part and some books just lack that. Glad to hear this one doesnt disappoint! Great Review!

  8. It sounds like fun-- definitely a strong concept. And yay, it's not in first person present tense!

    neroville (at) yahoo (dot) com

  9. I am so intrigued about this one - I picked up a chapter sampler at the Boston Book Festival this fall, and since then I've been dying to read it. Just the whole concept sounds SO interesting!

  10. There is so many aspects of this book that attract me!! Where do I start?! How about the fact that Callie seems like such a strong female lead and I love them! Second I find the concept of renting a body out creepy but also some what intriguing. I can not wait to get my hands on a copy of this book and I look forward to your review!!

  11. The concept has me intrigued - and creeped out at the same time. How cool to find a unique idea in a YA dystopian! (nnjmom at yahoo dot com)

  12. I really really want to read this book! The concept looks great and the cover gorgeous!

    email : foreverlostinbooks(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. This book sounds great! The whole thing sounds very cool...lets see the thing that interests me the most is the renting of bodies. Also I want to know more about the society in which Callie lives. I'm very interested to see where this story goes.

    I added Starters to my GR to-read list! <3

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway :-D

  14. Oh I forgot to leave my e-mail address in my previous comment!

  15. Thank you so much for this awesome possibility to get an ARC of the book.
    I'm really a lot into dystopian novels these days, so Startes sounds extremly interesting to me. I like the idea of very young and very old people living in a society, I think that makes it very hard to live as such, because there are probably a lot of conflicts just because of this situation. If I imagine for example only my siblings, me and my grandparents... I love them, but no, that wouldn't work at all.

    From what I get from your summary, Callie volunteers her body because she wants her brother to survive. I really like that about her and I think to love a book it's necessary to like the main character, so that would be a good start.

    Even though this whole body changing idea seems to be very scary for me (meaning it would be very scary if that really worked), I'd totally love to read that book and I'm going to add it to my to-read list on goodreads as soon as I've sent this comment.

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to get a free ARC copy again. Hope you're having a great day xx


  16. Ooh, the cover is so creepy! I love it!

  17. The cover itself is hauntingly beautiful, but the whole story just sounds absolutely intriguing!
    laurynweigold at gmail dot com

  18. The cover kinda creeps me out but makes me want to see it in person to have the full effect. Im interested in figuring out how every one is either under 20 or over 60.. how does one go from starter to ender if the in between is dead. Overall I'd love to read this book and can't wait.

    deltasims at hotmail dot com

  19. "Starters" sounds like a really good read. It actually reminds me a bit of the movie, "The Surrogates!" I'm excited to read the journey the main character has "living" out a life through the eyes of her elderly renter---who plans on committing murder. OMG. This sounds crazy-good! And I LOVE the cover.

    Please pick me! I want this book!!!

    Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
    email: zgarcia(dot)alvarez(at)gmail(dot)com
    On Twitter: @ZaraAlexis

  20. I met Lissa at WorldCon last year, and what intrigues me about her book is that her character is pushed to the extreme of renting out her body--that to me is more interesting that the concept that you CAN rent a body.

  21. Starters sounds like such a interesting concept. I couldn't imagine having someone else in control of my body. How weird it must be for the Enders to suddenly be in a young body. I can't wait to read this book.

    I addded it on goodreads as well.


  22. The idea of someone being able to rent your body is ever so intriguing! Sounds like an awesome book; I can't wait to read it :)

  23. Intrigued by the idea of starters and enders, and nothing in between. Love the sound of this book!

    madeofsky [at] gmail [dot] com

  24. 1) Those rules are what have me most interested so far. I'd love to see how characters respond, especially to #1 and #3, which seem so limiting. Anyway, thanks for the chance to enter. :)

    2) Added on Goodreads:

    Kristi S.

  25. I've actually read the entire book! It is beyond awesome! That's all! Of course, I added it on my Goodreads and gave it five stars but review to come! -

  26. WHY??? is everyone between 20 and 60 dead? The possibility of answering that one question is what will cause me to pick up this book and read to the end :-) STARTERS sounds amazing and I can't wait to read it.

    Thanks for offering the giveaway!

    I added on GoodReads:


  27. I find it interesing that people can rent younger bodies. I find it interesting that there are only 5 rules to renting.

    I added to my goodreads TBR shelf:

    Thanks for the giveaway.
    Tiffany P.



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