The Body Institute by Carol Riggs
**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**
When 17 year old Morgan Dey signed up to be a Reducer – a person who’s brainmap file, or in essence their personality, is transferred into a Loner’s body, which is a person who needs to lose weight – she never thought it would be anything but an easy way to erase some of her family’s massive debit. Boy, was she wrong!
The Body Institute is supposed to be a place for people to lose weight easily, especially for all of those that are “overweight” in the eyes of the government. But with a corrupt director and an adamant group of protesters that don’t like that the government has the say over people – fat, skinny, tall, short…they just want people to live life, happy and in their own bodies. After Morgan’s first successful Reducer job, all of her previous memories about how hard the work was are erased when her previous brainmap file is placed back inside her body that has been in stasis for the past three months. Gone is the feeling that it was not worth it, or too hard – in fact when the director of the institute Leo Behr contacts her regarding a longer, more high profile Reducer job, with her family’s debit looming and threatening to send them to live in the Commons – the slums of town. With extreme excitement at the challenge and the thought of the large pay that will help her with college and her family’s debit, Morgan decides to take on another Reducer job – for a teen girl with over 100 pounds to lose, which will take Morgan twice as long as a normal job. But throughout the new job, Morgan is constantly noticing strange inconsistencies with the Institute and the promises they make to their Reducers, Loners, and families alike – there is something not quite right about the program, and Morgan intends to find out what that is.
Morgan’s story was very interesting – I loved the sc-fi feeling of brainmapping, high tech facilities, and Morgan’s strength and smarts throughout. There were all the key points – a good cast of characters, a good story, a great premise – but it still felt like there was something missing from the narrative. Some of it felt clipped or choppy – a bit jumbled or just plain overkill of words. All in all, a good story about a strong young lady that sees changes that need to be made in the world and is brave enough to try to see them through, even if it means her life on the line.