Starters (Starters and Enders, #1)

First Lines: Enders gave me the creeps.  The doorman flashed a practiced smile as he let me into the body bank.  He wasn’t that old, maybe 110, but he still made me shudder.

With two dystopia books sitting before me, I had to choose.  Starters or the other one?  I picked this because it I kind of like this cover a little better.  And this one sounded a little more interesting.

Callie has been living on the streets ever since the Spore Wars wiped out the entire population of 20-60 year olds.  Young kids, nicknamed “Starters”, have virtually no rights unless they are claimed by Enders (the older folks).  Constantly on the run from marshals and without the resources to take care of her sick little brother, Callie turns to the one job that is hiring Starters: a body rental service.  Callie rents her body out to Enders who use it for a few weeks to relive their youth and she gets paid more money than she’s ever seen.  It’s supposed to be simple…until it’s not.  Callie wakes up in the middle of a rental, in the middle of a dangerous plot that could get her killed.  What is her renter up to?  Why?

I really liked the premise.  It sounded really promising.  The body rental thing was weird, but weird in that dystopia way where it’s not actually that weird…you know?  Pretend I make sense.

In actuality, it came off really creepy.  Enders treat Starters abysmally in just about every way they can, which was a bit off-putting.  The whole body bank/rental process was also freaky and just made me super uncomfortable.  I was only able to read 20-30 pages per day until I reached about page 80.  And that’s a very slow pace for me.

I didn’t really feel a good connection with the characters either.  Callie’s really the only constant character and I just didn’t feel I had much in common with her.  Every other character you start getting attached to disappears for most of the book or you start feeling sympathetic towards only to find out they’re not the people you thought they were.  So I couldn’t really get into the book that way.

There are some pretty cool action sequences and the mystery surrounding the renter is pretty good.  If you’re not that concerned about liking the characters or forming attachments to them, give this a try.

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