Starters was a brilliant book that managed to capture my attention from the very first page and hold it until the very last page. I...more4.5 out of 5 stars
Starters was a brilliant book that managed to capture my attention from the very first page and hold it until the very last page. I was really drawn into this world that Price has created and wanted to know more all the time. It turned out to be a riveting read with many unsettling themes throughout! While I was reading the story, I felt like I was watching a movie and I had to find out what happened in the end!
The twists—they're plentiful. The secrets—even more so. There is not a page in this book that didn't have me pining for answers: Trying to figure out what exactly was happening; what these people really have planned; and the most intriguing—who is this Old Man? The man who's face NO one ever saw. Who seems to be involved with everything and everyone. The man who knows all the tricks, and he's not afraid to use them! At last, the book ends with a bang!
I think Lissa Price conceptualized a very valiant heroine in Callie. The girl never lost her focus throughout the story. She wasn't one of those gullible characters who accepted things quite easily. I loved the relationship between her and her little brother, as well the friendships she's developed in the book. There were moments when I thought her actions and thoughts were annoying, but they were scarce. Callie was an exceptional character, one that I instantly connected with. She had a ferocious need to survive and that very need of hers is what made Starters so inevitably emotionally clinging. I loved how Callie handled herself in situations; always thinking on her feet but staying smart. I really had no problems connecting with her. The story mainly focuses on her, but there are a few interesting side characters to fill in the space that I'm hoping to get to know better in the upcoming books.
There is also no big love story in this novel, however we still get to enjoy a fun romance that is sure to catch everyone's attention. Especially with the fascinating twists that I never saw coming.
The sections of the novel with Blake were truly a guilty pleasure to read; with Blake, the senator's alarmingly handsome grandson, acting the part of the heart-achingly sweet and sincere male counterpart to our heroine perfectly. However, while I liked Blake, I couldn't quite exactly understand why Callie was so drawn to him, (view spoiler)[enough to forget about Micheal, who even though they weren’t officially in a relationship, there was something there between them that both admitted to (hide spoiler)]. It's a love-hate relationship between me and the romance in the novel all-in-all, I liked it but at the same time, felt that it was off. (view spoiler)[It wasn't until the ending, with a major plot twist, that I was more accepting of the relationship between the two....well on Blake's behalf. I still felt put-off on Callie's end, even more so after the major revelation. (hide spoiler)]
Suspense and terror are built up masterfully by Lissa Price as she develops her world and her creepy elder-care characters. Additionally, the young adult characters you'll come to love; Callie, her friend Michael, and Callie's 7 year old brother, Tyler tear at your heart while they struggle alone to cull out a way to survive in a hostile environment fraught with attacks such as military-like marshals that seek out straggling children, and destroy tenement buildings in which they may be hiding. The absolutely best thing of this book was the ending. Nothing prepared me for that twist. Oh my god! The last 60 pages are pretty much the only reason I want to read the next book. It was brilliant.
There were a few things that I disliked about Starters but they weren't a huge issue for me while reading the novel, but more so they rose to the surface after I had finished it. With a lot of the dystopian novels there are certain world-building aspects that may be a little odd or unrealistic that you just have to accept before you can enjoy the novel. The key is whether you can move past it or not.
Why are there so many unclaimed minors? Think about all the people you know between the ages of 0 and 20. How many of them have a least one living relative over the age of 60 who would claim them? Imagine that people live to the age of 200. I simply find it difficult to believe that there are so many kids without a living relative to vouch for them. What exactly was the spores war? How did it truly come to pass? Honestly, why has no other country come to help out? You'd think after a few years, the other nations would have vaccinated their populations as a precaution, so they could have helped out.
One thing I would have really liked, would be to have gotten more background details on the world itself—how exactly it managed to get to this point. As well as a bigger picture on the current civilization-or lack thereof. The story is so engaging, though, that I only cared about these sketchy details after the fact.
These issues were always there in the back of my mind while reading, but I was so sucked into the story that I didn't let it bother me until after I had nothing to do but mope about the long wait for the next and final book in the series.
Overall, Starters was an amazing read that I couldn't put down. Eagerly waiting for the final novel in this series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)