The Body Institute by Carol RiggseBook, English, 368 pages
Debut: September 1, 2015
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Suspense
Read First: September 4-7, 2015 | Snuck from: YA Bound Book Tours -- I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Are we our minds... or our bodies?
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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Rogue Chronicles Entry
Stumbled on this @ Yvonne's a world between folded pages
Why I picked this story up:
Are we our minds... or our bodies? A tricky question, that. It really intrigued me, and I didn't have sci-fi in a while.
What I found:
Ultimately a great story, but it failed to glue me to the pages.
I really liked the whole concept of people getting taxed if they are overweight, and the idea of the reducer program with the mind switches as an option for them to get back into shape, improve their status and their health. Like so many things, it's a great idea if not for the people who corrupt those ideals by twisting technology like the mind swap into weapons. Not that the radical protesters were any better, but that's just how humans are. We couldn't live in all-encompassing peace if the whole planet -- and every single life who inhabits it -- depended on it. And no, I don't think advancing in technology makes it any better. It solves just as much problems as it creates, and the scale just keeps getting bigger.
But this was less of a dystopia and more of a conspiracy story, which is just as effective. Carol Riggs has a clear, pleasant narrating style to get you into the world and comfortable with the technology and the characters. Morgan was a stand-up, clear-cut YA heroine who didn't feel insecure because she actually had an identity crisis, meaning it wasn't so much in her head, but she was not yet kick-ass. She reminded me of Cassia from Matched, maybe because the setting is a tad-bit similar, but I liked Morgan better. I wrinkled my nose at the insta, Riggs was a bit thick on the wording there, but after that the romance is more sweet with a splotch of tingle here and there. Maybe it's just me, but I couldn't really get into it because I didn't connect with Superguy. He was really sweet, no question, but he felt more like a sidekick than a hero to me, although he got quite a lot of quality time with Morgan.
I liked the plot, it was awesome material, but the writing style and words didn't compliment all situations. Again, her style was really pleasant to read and all, but just not gripping. The real tight situations read like... watching an explosion in slow motion and without sound. It just doesn't achieve the full boom impact. That's the sad part, because a conspiracy story that doesn't have you biting your nails, and a couple that doesn't quite get your stomach to flutter can't make it to 5 stars, no matter how much you want to love all of it. I liked the ending, though. It felt resolved, but there's also still threads left to create a second installment from.
Area Scan: Idea: 5/5 -- Style/Vocab: 4/5 -- Plot: 5/5 -- Heroine: 5/5 -- Hero: 3/5 -- Sidekicks: 4/5 -- Hearts: 3.5/5 -- Tears: 3/5 -- Thrills: 3/5 -- Laughs: 2/5
Discovered: 3+ Hoods
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.
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