ARC Review: The Body Institute-Carol Riggs

The Body Institute modified for Liz approvalGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBookscooltext1790897456 copyMeet 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…

cooltext1790896132 copy3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled: Teen


  • You’re into a health-conscious sci-fi world full of advocacy and violent protests
  • You like mysteries, murder, and suspense


  • There’s some serious bullying. One of the chief questions of this story is whether we are defined by our bodies or our souls, if the inside is influenced so strongly by our outside appearance that when that appearance is lost, our soul starts to wither away. The story centers around people who need to lose weight or be faced with taxes so high, they’ll likely end up in poverty. Overweight people are treated as second-class citizens. It’s repulsive, heart-breaking, and completely degrading how often the overweight people get harassed. It was hard to read. The torment and ridicule, the things the bullies say are so mean it’s a wonder how the characters aren’t severely depressed. Carol Riggs does an amazing job getting at the heart of the insecurity, the sense of aloneness and feeling of being insignificant to their peers. Even though Morgan is a fit girl, experiencing the harassment Jodine got on a fairly regular basis made her open her eyes to the cruelty and injustice around her. 
  • The concept is really intriguing, having fit people (Reducers) body swap with overweight one to help them meet weight goals and fight rising taxes seems not that far off. The activism and rights issues, the protests, the violence, and the lies all build the tension up so you’re never quite certain what’s true and fake or if the Body Institute is all its cracked up to be. 
  • Intense, shocking scenes that you’ll never see coming. Some parts were unexpected, violent, and bleak, making you doubt any chance of a happy ending. 
  • Morgan is a kind-hearted, genuine girl who wants nothing more than to help people be healthy and find happiness. She takes risks to make sure that others can find a better life post-weight loss. When things get sketchy, more so than the massive amount of money she’s making, Morgan fights for her position for the body she’s occupying. Morgan knows she can make a difference and its her giving, wholesome heart that makes her likable. Sometimes Morgan will definitely surprise you.


  • The ending was fast and easily resolved for being such a complex and highly illegal situation. After the initial fleeing for dear life and hiding, things simmer down relatively quickly, taking away from the danger and paranoia. 
  • Romance was minimal and kind of bland. The chemistry was low, their interactions were predominantly focused on exercise so that they don’t have moments where they get to know each other in a way where you feel a connection-it just sort of is. That key moment where things get fluttery and sweet was mixed in with hot and cold and then, boyfriend and girlfriend time? It was a leap for me. 
  • Secondary characters were barely in the plot and their interactions were too short to truly get a solid read on them or their relationship to Morgan besides what’s on the surface. 

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