The Children’s Book Review | August 12, 2016
Written by Jessica Kapp
Age Range: 14 and up
Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: Diversion Books
What to expect: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Possibly one of the most exciting debuts this year, BODY PARTS is a gripping roller-coaster of emotions and unexpected twists and turns.
Tabitha is sixteen years old and desperate for a family. She’s living with other orphans in a facility where they train to be in top physical condition – only the best of the best will be chosen by adoptive families. So when her name is announced as the next lucky adoptee, Tabitha is thrilled. But next thing she knows, Tabitha is drugged. She awakens to find that she’s strapped to a hospital bed and being readied for surgery. Just as she’s about to be cut open, there’s an invasion of teens. They kidnap her and steal her away from certain death.
Once they’re safe in their hideout, Tabitha learns the horrible truth. Her foster center was owned by PharmPerfect, a pharmaceutical company using kids like her for parts and scientific experimentation. The world is awash with pill-addicted people ready to do almost anything for clean and perfect organs.
Can Tabitha, along with charismatic Gavin Stiles, uncover the violent truth of PharmPerfect? Tabitha is in a race against time to rescue her friends and keep herself off the chopping block. But what is Gavin hiding from her, and will it land her back on the operating table?
BODY PARTS is a provocative sci-fi novel that is truly terrifying. How far will modern medicine go to give people exactly what they want, and at what cost? Kapp is an enormously talented writer who pulls readers in to a sordid and dystopic world that seems chillingly possible.
The tension from page to page, chapter to chapter, is intense. Readers are constantly questioning character motivations. You never quite know who to trust, and that goes for good-looking but mysterious Gavin. YA readers are trained to believe in young male saviors, but Kapp keeps you in the dark as to Gavin’s intentions, constantly shifting Tabitha’s perspective of him. This, in turn, keeps us as readers hooked and the book unputdownable. And Kapp’s lyrical prose and tight pacing make sure that once you open the book, you won’t want to close it.
This is a perfect novel for fans of Neil Shusterman and his UNWIND Dystology, as well as Robison Wells’ VARIANT. Raising kids for parts is a harsh narrative, but the strength of the resistance fighters and their love and hope for their fellow teen is satisfying and heartfelt.
This is a standalone book that has a gratifying ending that keeps the novel from delving too deep into darkness. BODY PARTS is a perfect match for readers of light sci-fi and dystopias.
About the Author
Jessica Kapp loves to imagine the what-ifs of life as she writes contemporary and speculative fiction for young adults from a small farm in Washington. When she’s not reading, writing, or talking books with the barista at her favorite coffee shop, she can be found on the soccer field. Visit her webpage at w.jessicakapp.com or on Twitter at @JessKapp