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Review: The Body Institute by Carol Riggs

The Body Institute by Carol Riggs
Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Ebook/Print (368 pages, ENTANGLED TEEN)
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...

Author Site: website

Timely, thought-provoking scifi for any reader. (5 stars)

I've read a lot of wonderful teen fiction from Entangled Teen over the years and even some that just didn't work for me. THE BODY INSTITUTE, however, is one of the most phenomenal reads I've had with the imprint to date. Not only does it touch on themes that could easily skew dystopian such as the government's control over a person's body, it also address issues of what makes a person a person. It felt much longer than it was because it packed so much into one novel.

While a romance is a part of the overall story and I found it to be very unique and enjoyable, I was considerably more swept up in the pseudo science used in the world building. If you're looking for a great book club read for teens I think this would make for excellent conversations about the factors that play a role in a person's physical, emotional, and mental well being. I feel like young women in particular would greatly benefit from reading this and discussing it's themes. It could be deemed a little controversial due to the focus on how weight and health revolve around one another but ultimately it is this that makes it interesting.

I was quite certain going into TBI that I would like it but I'd not expected to love it and want to tell everyone I know about it. While I can't imagine it every being into one, I think it would be marvelous as a film. It's everything I love in entertainment—romance, action, family, and social issues all wrapped up into one package. If you have a tween or teenage daughter I can't recommend this one enough. A RhiReading must read recommendation!

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