Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Review of The Body Institute by Carol Riggs

If only I could wake up tomorrow looking as healthy as I did a couple of decades ago... 

I struggle with my weight, so the premise of this book seems like a dream come true—letting a fit person do the work for me, returning my body to me fit and trim! I promise I would keep it that way!

This storyline is so original. How I wish I could have an athlete slide into my body and get it in shape for me, without me having to do any of the dieting and exercise! That is the objective of The Body Institute. A technological breakthrough allows brain swapping for the purpose of losing weight in a society whose health care system punishes the out-of-shape. I don’t know what I’d do if I had to pay tax penalties for every pound of extra weight I carry. Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a story if that was all there was to it. But there’s always room for conspiracy.

Though I prefer adult suspense over YA, this debut novel kept me interested. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, the story took an unexpected turn. So many times I thought, “Wow. I didn’t see that coming.” I really enjoy a book that makes me think what if…? And this book does just that. 

In a world full of body-shaming and bullying, the main character of this book gets to experience what it’s like for someone overweight to live in a health-conscious society. There are also many opportunities to reflect on moral values and ethics as they relate to advances in science. This story forces you to think about where the line should be drawn.

Riggs does a great job of painting a futuristic automated world not far from our own—aside from the brain swapping thing—with just a hint of Orwell’s 1984. The story is entertaining and very well written. Riggs adds just enough technical jargon to make the science believable. The main character, teenager Morgan Dey, is delightful. She is willing to take on the risks associated with being a reducer to help her family pay off their debt—even when it might mean risking her own life.

This was a really fun book to read. Have you read any fun sci-fi lately?

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