Starters – Lissa Price – 3.5 stars
Lissa’s debut novel centres around sixteen-year-old Callie, who donates her body to ‘Prime Destinations’ (a programme where elderly people can be temporarily ‘transferred’ into a younger body) in order to earn money to save her ill brother. Of course, things go wrong, she has to fight the system, and – wait for it – she falls in love with two people.
I would hate to suggest that this book is unoriginal, but I did wonder if Ms. Price went far enough out of her way to break the mould. ‘Starters’ – as far as YA Dystopians go – was particularly well written; I thought flashbacks were handled well, and a satisfying amount of metaphor and clever wording was thrown in alongside.
There were, unfortunately, a few things I couldn’t let slip. Before I start, can I just clarify: I think fairy tale references are wonderful. I love fairy tales. However, the clumsy, forced Cinderella parallels that kept cropping up crossed the ‘magical’ line, and were well into ‘cringe-worthy’ territory.
Concern Number Two: Sara is meant to be twelve. TWELVE. I hate to be rude, but I’ve known six year olds with a better grasp of the English language.
Third Concern: While I love surprising plot twists, I also like to be able to go back and spot tiny signs that I missed the first time – otherwise it feels like the author got bored, and tried to add a little excitement for the sake of it. I’m not saying the twists were inappropriate to the story; I just think a little foreshadowing goes a long way.
Minor Bonus Concern: That cover is terrifying. I had nightmares. You think I’m joking.
On the whole, though, I should clarify that the book really did hold my attention, and while it didn’t contain much profundity or artfulness of language, it was an entertaining read.
Have you read it? What were your thoughts?
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!