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Unique dystopian being compared to Hunger Games isn’t quite there, but still good

By Lissa Price

YA Dystopian

Content Rating: PG

Coffee Beans: 3.5/5

Spoilers: Only a little

Favorite Line: It looked like a giant dandelion breaking apart, daytime fireworks that spread and then rained. (ebook, pg 203)

Publisher’s Summary: In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party–her body will commit murder, if her mind can’t stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first–the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie’s neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It’s a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank’s horrible plan. . . .

My Review: I loved the fresh idea in this dystopian world. The fact that Enders (or really old people) rent the bodies of Starters (teenagers and younger) to live life again, is fantastic and creepy. The writing was good and the plot exciting.

There were only a couple of issues I had with what I read. And I was on the fence between being annoyed and thinking that Price was pretty stinkin clever.

Some sort of malfunction/tampering causes Callie to black out out while she’s being rented, going from being back in her real body to back at the Body Bank. Some plot holes/progression and relationship building were “fixed” this way. Almost as if the author didn’t know how to properly build the romantic relationship between Callie and Blake, so she laid its foundation when Callie was passed out and not in control. Same with a few other key plot points. It felt a little…wrong.

The end was a little too sunshine and rainbows for my liking. In dystopian tales, I like my endings more the flavor of “poetic justice” or “good enough”. The world sucks. Sunshine and rainbows shouldn’t exist.

Over all, I thought this was a very interesting and unique book with a brilliant premise. The execution was good, but the writing felt a bit lower-end YA to me. Worth my time reading it and I’ll for sure be picking up the next installment, Enders, when it comes out December 4, 2012.

Pick it up and check it out. It’s pretty dang good.

Happy reading, my friends!

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