Saturday, 21 July 2012

Starters (Starters and Enders #1) by Lissa Price

Title: Starters (Starters and Enders #1)
Author: Lissa Price
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
Rating: 3.5/5

Starters takes place in a post-apocalyptic, futuristic, dystopian world where a large part of society has been affected by a biochemical war that killed everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. Starters are children under nineteen years of age, those just starting out in life, and Enders who are over the age of sixty-one. The bridge between poverty and wealth is vast and the Starters must work hard every day in order to survive.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Callie Woodland who lives on the streets with her younger brother Tyler and friend, Michael. Against her better judgement, Callie turns to Prime Destinations to rent out her body so the rich and old can briefly experience virtual youth. However, what seems to be a painless means to gain money for a home and medical care for her brother goes astray when Callie wakes up in her renter’s life and finds out that Prime Destinations is not what it seems to be.

Callie quickly finds out that her renter, Helena Winterhill, is planning to murder someone. Terrified, Callie pretends to be her renter to avoid suspicion in order to secure her payment, but also tries to escape Helena’s plan that would surely lead to her arrest and execution.

Along the way, Callie finds herself developing a relationship with a handsome and cunning rich teen, Blake Harrison, who is the grandson of a senator.

Time is of the essence and Callie soon finds herself being pulled deeper into Helena’s scheme. Under the bright façade of Prime Destinations lies a deeper world than Callie could have ever imagined. Will Callie find herself carrying out Helena’s plan or will she stand back and let the Enders of Prime Destinations win?

Callie’s voice and strength captured me from the beginning. She has been thrown from living a normal life with her family into an unfortunate situation that she faces with great determination. Starters’ focus primarily is on Callie and Helena’s life, but not enough on the development of the other characters. I would have loved to have seen more of the Blake and the other renters.

The beginning of Starters was gripping and emotional, but fell flat in the middle. However, what I did love was the ending. It took me completely by surprise and I was in shock at how much Callie was being played and monitored.

Starters is fully entrancing and impossible to draw away from. The plot contains many twists and turns that reels you more deeply into the book and leaves you wondering will happen next.

Enders, the second and final book in this enchanting series will hit bookstores December 11, 2012. Keep an eye out for it!

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Saturday, 7 July 2012

Fated (Soul Seekers #1) by Alyson Noël

Author: Alyson Noël 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 352 (Hardcover) 
Rating: 3/5

New York Times Bestselling author of the Immortals series, Alyson Noël creates a beautiful and diverse world of the Soul Seekers. Fated, the first book in this new young-adult fantasy series, tells the story of a girl who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Daire Santos has been experiencing strange things recently. She has visions of glowing people and animals that follow her. Concerned for her mental health, Daire’s mother packs her bags and sends her daughter off to the remote town of Enchantment, New Mexico. Daire will be staying with a grandmother who she never met, and claims that she has the solution to Daire’s condition. 

During her stay, Daire meets Dace, a stunning young man with breath-taking blue eyes who Daire is certain that she has met before…in her dreams.

However, Daire’s stay will not all be fun and games. Her grandmother, Paloma, straightaway begins to teach her how to harness her spiritual powers of being a Soul Seeker, a person who can travel between the worlds of the living and the dead. Paloma and Daire must work quickly and efficiently at getting her to master her powers. If not, insanity will begin to take over and corrupt Daire’s mind, and will give Dace’s shape-shifting brother an easy opportunity to steal her powers.

Danger is in the air and Daire must welcome her destiny of being a Soul Seekers with open arms. Will Dace be the one for Daire or the one to destroy her forever?

Reading this novel was a challenge in the beginning as the book took up more of a spiritual edge and understanding their ways of culture was difficult. Moving through the book was easier said than done but Ms. Noël did finally capture my attention before I hit the middle of the book. The vivid descriptions and plot line was ingenious and I was pleasantly surprised.

Overall, Fated was an enjoyable book and a satisfying read. Be sure to check out Echo, the next book in the Soul Seekers series which hits bookstores November 13, 2012.

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