The Body Institute
by Carol Riggs
Release Date: 09/01/15
Summary from Goodreads:
Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.
Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…
For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…
Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…
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Review: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Unique urban sci-fi with a very intriguing premise.
I was hooked the moment I read the blurb. The idea of uploading someone's mind into another's body is fascinating... it also has the implications for so much abuse. For main character Morgan, what she originally saw as a dream job turned into something all together different.
I liked Morgan. She was opinionated, and her opinions about weight and body image were made known throughout the story, especially at the beginning. As she experienced life through her obese loaner body, she began to realize how awful being overweight in a weight obsessed society could be. She stepped up when it mattered and did what she thought was right, and I admired her for it.
I could see this book really bothering some people-- even acting as a potential trigger. Those of us who have never really dealt with obesity or body image issues may not understand. But as someone who has counseled some with eating issues, I worry that Morgan's attitude might hurt. It wasn't just Morgan either. Jodine's (the loaner body) mother was a tad on the crazy side. So if weight/body issue is a potential trigger for you, I recommend staying away from this one.
The premise was fascinating-- I really wish the author had gone a bit more in depth into the science of the procedure, but that's the geek in me. While the second half of the book was fast-paced and hard to put down, I felt the first half moved a tad slow for my taste. I didn't really feel the romance at all so that was a miss for me. While I loved the fact that everything wrapped up in one book, it ended so quickly and rather conveniently as well. Given the moral and legal implications, I just wanted more.
Overall: intriguing premise, interesting main character, unique concept all wrapped up in one book. If you like urban sci-f with a bit of romance, this one is definitely different.
About the Author
I'm a YA writer represented by Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Literary. My sci-fi novel THE BODY INSTITUTE explores the themes of society, identity, and body image. I live in the beautiful, green state of Oregon and have a Studio Arts degree; I'm an SCBWI member.
You'll usually find me in my writing cave, surrounded by my dragon collection and the characters in my head. I also enjoy reading--mostly young adult novels--as well as drawing, painting, and quilting. I also attend writing conferences, walk with my husband, and enjoy music and dance of all kinds.