Review: The Body Institute by Carol Riggs

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Synopsis: 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…

Date Finished: 8-26-15

Rating: 4/5

Thoughts:

Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an e-copy of this book!

I’ll admit that when I first saw this book, I immediately thought of Starters by Lissa Price, a book that also involves loaning out bodies for others to use… but for a completely different reason. I’m not going to compare the two books (at least not in this post!) but I will say that the two books are unique enough that you won’t be claiming plagiarism with every turn of the page. In fact, the books are very different. If you’re a fan of Starters/Enders, you should check this out, and even if you weren’t, The Body Institute might just have what the other book was lacking for you.

Now, to get into the review, let me just say that I really did like this book. There were twists that I simply didn’t expect, and there were times when I was doubting the wrong characters. I was on the edge of my seat as I hurried to finish the last half of the novel. There are plenty of supporting characters, such as Morgan’s family and friends, in addition to the characters that we meet along the way. Some are more fleshed out than others, but our protagonist, Morgan Dey, is the real shining star in this book. We actually see her change over the novel, not only in physical body due to her job, but in viewpoint as well. At the beginning of the novel, all she wants to do is help support her family, and by the end, she’s willing to break the rules. It’s really great to actually see a dynamic character like this. 🙂

Some reviewers have stated that they didn’t like the book due to the “fat-shaming” theme in the novel. In the novel’s defense, TBI is a futuristic, dystopian novel. Dystopian novels often take a stand against a current issues, and TBI, by the end of the novel, takes on a very anti-body shaming message as various truths come to life. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, or it’s initial message. Things aren’t always what they seem…. just like The Body Institute within the book. 😉

I would definitely suggest this to any science fiction/dystopian fan, and especially to fans of Starters by Lissa Price.

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