Thanks to NetGalley and Diversion Publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: People would kill for her body.
Raised in an elite foster center off the California coast, sixteen-year-old Tabitha’s been sculpted into a world-class athlete. Her trainers have told her she’ll need to be in top physical condition to be matched with a loving family, even though personal health has taken a backseat outside the training facility. While Tabitha swims laps and shaves seconds off her mile time, hoping to find a permanent home, the rest of the community takes pills produced by pharmaceutical giant PharmPerfect to erase their wrinkles, grow hair, and develop superhuman strength.
When Tabitha’s finally paired, instead of being taken to meet her new parents, she wakes up immobile on a hospital bed. Moments before she’s sliced open, a group of renegade teenagers rescue her, and she learns the real reason for her perfect health: PharmPerfect is using her foster program as a replacement for their pill-addicted clients’ failing organs. And her friends from the center, the only family she’s ever known, are next to be harvested.
Determined to save them, Tabitha joins forces with her rescuers, led by the moody and mysterious Gavin Styles. As they race to infiltrate the hospital and uncover the rest of PharmPerfect’s secrets though, Tabitha finds herself with more questions than answers. Will trusting the enigmatic group of rebels lead her back to the slaughterhouse?
I was intrigued by the premise of Body Parts because it was reminiscent of Neil Shusterman’s Unwind, which I thoroughly enjoyed. While this wasn’t a perfect read, it was for the most part a fun and enjoyable one.
I really liked Tabitha, although she could be indecisive impulsive, and stubborn at times. Her loyalty to her friends, both old and new is unwavering which I found commendable. Her developing romance with Gavin is sweet and believable. The one thing that bothered though were the multiple secrets they kept from each other, which more than once put their lives and others in danger. There’s also an annoying love triangle involving Tabitha, Gavin, and Parker, who is Tabitha’s friend from the foster center. Thankfully, Parker doesn’t factor in until the last 1/3 of the book.
While not every secondary character is fully developed, several have their own interesting backstories which further flash out the plot. My one othr complaint is once again aimed at how adults are portrayed. Here, except for a couple, they’re either greedy, money grubbing psychopaths who have no problem using and raising children as spare body parts desperate buyers, or he week and ineffectual, too afraid to upset the balance. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I seem to have found an overwhelming amount of YA books where I wind up similar issues regarding the way adults are depicted. Is there a reason why they have to come across as caricatures out of a Lemony Snicket novel? It’s really getting frustrating.
The story itself is interesting and has more than a few surprises, which, when combined with its fast pace, it kept me turning the pages. I thought the ending was a little rushed, and there were a few loose threads that weren’t tied up, but it was still satisfying overall.
Body Parts is a quick read for teen and adult fans who like science fiction and are looking for a YA read that’s a little different. While the romance is G rated, because of the subject matter, I’d recommend this for older teens. As for me, I’m looking forward to future books by Jessica Kapp.