In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

STARTERS by Lissa Price

copyright date: March 2012
primarily marketed for: young adults (12 and up)

Starters by Lissa Price tells the story of Callie, a teenager living in a world where Spore Warfare has killed off anyone who was middle-aged.  When Spore Warfare was in use, the government gave the elderly (Enders) and those under the age of twenty (Starters) priority when it came to getting vaccinated because they were most at-risk.  So, it turned out they were the only survivors. 

Now, without her parents or any surviving grandparents, Callie is left to care for herself and her sickly younger brother.  She has support from a childhood friend, Michael, but that is not enough to keep them safe and well-fed. 

Callie is tempted to earn enough money to save her brother and friend by becoming a rental Starter.  She is invited to undergo a complete makeover, and earn a large sum of money simply for signing up to rent her body three times to Enders who want to experience what it is like to be young again. 

With no other options, Callie decides to sign-up.  She will have to go to the center where her mind will “sleep” in the body of an Ender for the duration of the rental, while her body walks out of the center with the mind the Ender controlling it.  

The problem is that during one of her rentals, she wakes up.  Her first instinct is to return to the rental center to report that things have gone awry, but then she hears a voice in her head that is not her own, telling her NOT to go back to the center and that the center is dangerous.  The voice is convincing and is enough to plant doubt in her mind.   However, before she knows it, she slips into her rental sleep again.  Things really start to get crazy for Callie when she wakes up again to find her body holding a gun. 

Callie’s story is not the best dystopian story I have read lately, but that is simply because the competition in this genre is so intense.  It is a really satisfying story with a whole different twist than anything else I’ve read. And I can't forget to mention that, of course, there is some well-written intense romance intertwined amongst the suspense.

While Callie’s story seems to be wrapped up at the end of this book, plenty of intriguing information is revealed to keep me guessing enough to make me want to read the upcoming sequel, Enders, due out in December.

1 comment:

  1. I've got a sampler of this at home right now. It does sound like something I would enjoy-especially if it has a twist that's not normal! Sometimes I wonder when authors are going to run out of new ideas-EVER? :)