Tuesday, September 1, 2015

"The Body Institute" by Carol Riggs

The Body Institute
by Carol Riggs

This release day blitz and giveaway for The Body Institute is brought to you by YA Bound Book Tours.

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 …

Book Video

You can read an excerpt from the first chapter here.

Praise for the Book
"The Body Institute is a roller coaster of a book. This fast-paced sci-fi thriller grapples with issues of identity and scientific technology run amok in a society only two steps ahead of our own, while scrutinizing an all-encompassing obsession with being thin which is very much part of the here and now. Readers will love the twists and turns and be prompted to question their own relationship to technology, body image and the ever-growing power of mega-corporations." ~ C.K. Kelly Martin, author of Yesterday and Tomorrow
"A fantastic and thought-provoking read! Riggs examines autonomy, ethics, politics, healthcare, complicated family dynamics, and a touch of romance in this sci-fi page turner." ~ Lydia Kang, author of Control and Catalyst
"A fascinating, page-turning novel with the perfect balance of romance and science-fiction. Readers will love Morgan and her journey as she solves the mystery of what's really going on at The Body Institute." ~ Elana Johnson, author of Possession

Interview With the Author: Weight and Body Image
Why do you think readers will like your book?
I think readers will enjoy The Body Institute because it includes the issues of appearance and body image, related to a person's weight. People often make assumptions and snap judgments based on what other people look like, and they can also be cruel and bullying. These reactions can shape someone’s personality and sense of identity. We’ve all seen this played out, whether from personal experience or someone we know.
Today, weight is a really controversial and heated topic. For instance, are some models too thin - and are others too "fat"? What message are we sending our teens when Hollywood and the modeling industry portray beauty as only belonging to slim figures?
Where did you get the idea for The Body Institute?  
The germ seed for this novel happened as I found myself wondering, "If I were in someone else's body, would I do the same things that person does?” And more specifically, "If I were in a body of someone who was overweight, could I lose weight FOR them?" I started thinking about how much appearance affects our personality.
At first I thought my mind and personality would stay the same regardless of whatever body I was in. Sure, I could lose weight for that person, easy-peasy. But upon further thought ... maybe my personality and beliefs would begin to morph once I was in that person's shoes, while experiencing all the things that affect her daily life: situations, friends, family, strangers, societal pressures. Above all, my new and heavier appearance. I was fascinated by this scenario.

Blog Post by the Author
The Science Fiction of The Body Institute
This novel is set in the near future, roughly the year 2033. Here’s some technological changes you can expect to find: 
1. EVERYONE HAS AN IDENTIFICATION CHIP. For security purposes and to prevent identity theft, everyone has an ID chip inserted into the back of his or her hand. This chip is scanned before classes, at airports, when riding buses or trains, and while entering stores or restaurants. Thus, the government knows exactly who you are and where you are at almost any time.
2. CASHLESS SOCIETY. The ID chip also serves to pay for things. No more carrying around cash, no more stolen or misplaced debit/credit cards! Your hand is simply scanned, often with a handprint added for greater security. This chip-and-handprint combination is called a "bio-ID", which is also useful for signing contracts like Morgan (main character) does when she accepts her job as a Reducer.
3. ROBOTS ARE COMMON. In this society, bell-shaped hostbots guide you through buildings. Servbots take your food and drink orders. Vacubots clean your carpets, and airbots drift overhead in office buildings or homes to purify the air. 
4. PUBLIC SECURITY CAMERAS. These monitor public places like Metro-Transit (train) shelters, streets, public parks, stores, etc. It’s similar to how Britain’s security is set up today, only in the novel it’s widespread and the norm everywhere in the world. These cameras are installed to make the city a safer place.
5. ELECTROMAGNETIC RESONANCE TRANSFER, or ERT. This ingenious procedure downloads one person’s brainmap (cluster of brainwaves) into another person’s body. The Body Institute uses this process to transfer the minds of their Reducers into the bodies of their Loaner clients to help those clients lose weight. ERT is also used to remove Loaner clients’ brainmaps from their bodies, which are then stored as datafiles while the Reducer accomplishes the weight loss. 

About the Author
I'm a YA writer represented by Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Literary. My sci-fi novel The Body Institute explores the themes of society, identity, and body image. I live in the beautiful, green state of Oregon and have a Studio Arts degree; I'm an SCBWI member.
You'll usually find me in my writing cave, surrounded by my dragon collection and the characters in my head. I also enjoy reading - mostly young adult novels - as well as drawing, painting, and quilting. I also attend writing conferences, walk with my husband, and enjoy music and dance of all kinds.

Enter the blitz-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.