Ok lets break it down.
First: Loved the cover. It not only catches your eye but it is relevant to the story. (love the different coloured eyes.)
Blurb on back of book: Hooked me like a fish. Read for yourself: "Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . ." Am I right? Makes you want to read the book.. right?
Beginning: Starts with a high octane tempo and never lets up. Nice easy flow world building without being too complicated, yet just enough information to understand the dire straits that the main characters find themselves in.
Characters: I have to admit that this is where I do think there could be some improvement. Not so much with Callie's character: she is a strong believable female lead fighting to look after her younger brother Tyler. We don't just read about her strengths, we also get to discover her vulnerabilities and flaws which keeps her real. But where character development was lacking for me was with the two main male leads. I would have liked to have known more about Michael's character. I believe that Price wanted to keep him a bit of a mystery but still I wanted to understand how Callie could feel comfortable leaving her younger brother with him and I didn't feel enough of a connection between Michael and Callie. The same can be said for Blake. I would have liked to have seen more interaction between them in order to believe her later choices. However, I do like the mystery and all around badassedness surrounding the Old Man. I have my guesses but I enjoy the fact that they are just that - guesses.
Storyline: Love it! Very unique. Great concept. Moves at high speed from start to finish and each chapter leaves the reader with a hook to keep us turning the pages. Perhaps there could have been a little more of a detailed build up. i.e. the fact that Callie is a great marksman with a rifle, seemed a little to convenient. Would have preferred to see how and why she became such a great marksman. Still not enough criticism here for me to worry about.
Ending: Just the perfect amount of closure and yet enough of a cliffhanger to make me want to buy the next book in the series and that's coming from someone who prefers stand-alone books.
Conclusion: It has to be said that this very unique, futuristic, dystopian tale can be compared to the likes of "The Hunger Games" and "The Maze Runner" series. And though it may not be at quite the same level of superb writing as Suzanne Collins - the potential is there. "Starters" will hook you and real you in and leave you wanting more.
5 MEGASTARS out of 5
The above review is for a digital ARC that I received from Netgalley for a book called "Starters" by Lissa Price.