Author: Lissa Price
Publisher: Random Hous
Buy This Book: Book Depository
With the Prime Destinations body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn't want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save Callie's life - but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena's memories, too ...and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body? This is the thrilling sequel to "Starters".(Goodreads Summary)
I read and reviewed Starters and, quite frankly, didn't really enjoy it. I only continued the series because I had the ARC of Enders and would have felt bad if I didn't give it a try. I also hoped that the second book would be better than the first, but for me is wasn't.
It contained all the issues that I had with the first book and more. The first book left me thinking the sequel would contain a dreaded love triangle - between Blake and Michael, which would have been frustrating. What I wasn't expecting was the introduction of a new male character, Hyden (argh, the name!). Once again, like with Blake, their relationship just pops out of nowhere, real intense and I'm left wondering what the hell just happened. I think I would have preferred the love triangle between bland guy #1 & bland guy #2.
My main issue with both Starters and Enders is that I don't feel anything for the characters. The story rushes on and on, lots of stuff happens and the action is constant; but it left no time for you to get to know any of the characters. I don't even feel like I got to know Callie, and she's our main character. This is a big problem for me, I need to feel something, anything for my main character. It can make or break a book for me. Would I really have loved The Hunger Games as much if I wasn't made to feel so much for Katniss? Or Harry Potter if I didn't care whether any of the characters lived or died? If I'm not invested in the characters, I'm not invested in the story.
The plot is very fast-paced, and there's a lot happening but I found myself bored reading it. I had to really force myself to finish this, instead of DNFing it and moving on. I really struggled to enjoy this and it's a shame because the premise for the series is really good and I loved the sound of it. But, in the end, it just wasn't what I needed in a book. I would have taken a lot less action if it meant more character development.
This conversation happens in the book, and it accurately shows how I felt about absolutely every character death in this book and Starters:
"This is going to sound pretty insensitive, but... did anyone really like her?" Hyden asked.
"There wasn't much time to get to know here," Michael said.That's how I felt about EVERYONE, like I was given no time to actually get to know them.
I don't want to put any spoilers in, so it makes explaining my feelings about the book a little hard. There was one twist that I didn't see coming, but found completely ridiculous. This whole book was just too much for me. Too much happened, far too much and far too quickly and I didn't care about any of it.
If you enjoyed the first book than you will probably enjoy this. For me, it lacked character development and the pace was too quick. I was left feeling disconnected from every character and that made it impossible for me to enjoy the book. I almost want to give it one star, but it wasn't the worst book I've ever read.
*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.