Published by Entangeled Teen, Macmillan on September 1st 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Love & Romance
eARC provided by Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
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...
The Body Institute has a really interesting book about a society so focused on weight it goes to extreme measures. This is a fun YA science fiction read.
Morgan is a reducer. We meet up with her at the end of her first assignment. She puts her life on hold, and her mind is transported into another girls body to help her lose weight. She is so glad to be done and get home to her family and friends. The money she has just made is helping to get them out of debt, but it is not enough to keep them out of “the commons”. When the next job offer comes along, Morgan decides to do it. This isn’t going to be easy but the money is difficult to say no to. For this job, Morgan will have to work for 6 months and loose a lot more weight. In this dystopian world, The Body Institute presents society with an interesting way for people to make money getting in shape. A Loaner comes in and pays the institute to have someone get them in shape. Since Morgan doesn’t struggle with food but needs money, this is the perfect job for her. They just allowed this technology to be used on children under 18 with their parents permission. When she starts taking on her Loaner’s personality traits Morgan fears she has been misled. Maybe the technology is not as perfect as she thought. If The Body Institute lied about that, what other secrets are they keeping?
Since weight is such a real issue in society, this story might hit a nerve with some readers. The sacrifices this society is willing to make to be thinner is really sick. This dystopian society is a nightmare for anyone that struggles with obesity. The fines for being overweight are steep. You can earn extra credits by making healthy choices and doing exercises. The way Morgan is treated in her obese Loaner body is shameful and really eye opening. The concept of this story is really interesting and completely plausible, if the technology existed. Money would buy you the ideal weight without the work.
There was good pacing in the story. I found myself not wanting to stop reading this. The world building isn’t much, but the society views are clearly laid out. Obesity costs society money so people get penalized for being lazy. It does mention that those without proof of medical causes were penalized. I doubt this could actually happen, but don’t people pay to look better right now? The book brought up some food for thought, excuse the pun. Morgan becomes a Reducer. She really wants to help people be more healthy. She feels like she is changing the world one body at a time.
I found this a pretty interesting read. It kept my attention. I loved that it was a stand alone, although if it had a follow up I would probably read it. There were a few issues that were too coincidental to be plausible, mostly the love interest’s identity. I liked the slow reveal of “like” in this romance though. I also enjoyed the fact that the romance in this book wasn’t just about exterior appearances. This book isn’t all about the romance until about half way through the story. This book is more about being who you really are, no matter what you look like. I think science fiction fans will find this book a fun read.