Tuesday, 15 August 2017


Title: Body Parts
Author: Jessica Kapp
Genre: Mystery, Thrillers, Teens & YA
Publisher: Diversion books/Diversion Publishing
Release Date: 15th August 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
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 rescues her, and she learns the real reason for her perfect health: PharmPerfect is using her foster program as a replacement factory for their pill-addicted clients’ failing organs. And her friends from the center, the only family she’s ever known, are next in line to be harvested.

Determined to save them, Tabitha joins forces with her rescuers, led by moody and mysterious Gavin Stiles. 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?


The cover caught my eye and attention, then the blurb pulled me in even further and made it a "must read". 
The cover shows a young girl with long red hair that is twisted up off of her neck to reveal what looks like a barcode! So that had my mind curious as to what it really was for etc. The background is also kind of like a barcode in shades of blue, or could the blue represent the curtains in either the centre Tabitha lives in or the hospital she visits. Either one really fits in with the book. The cover certainly did its job making me stop scrolling and read the blurb!

This book is set in a dystopian/futuristic era on an island mostly owned by a pharmaceutical company called PharmPerfect. In this world there there is a pill for almost everything. If you want to reduce your wrinkles, grow your hair, gain extra speed or strength, all you need to do is swallow the correct pill. Sounds perfect? Well not really, as like all medications you take in our present day, the drugs produced on the island have side effects that can put certain organs under stress, for example liver,kidneys, heart and lungs. So organ replacement is a booming business. Some people buy donor organs in advance and have them specially stored for them just in case they should need them. Those that can afford the pills, and have the funds readily available just purchase them never giving a thought to where they come from.

We meet the main character Tabitha during a training session at the Centre Of Excellence. 
Tabitha is almost seventeen years old and all she can really remember are the two institutions she has been in. The Centre Of Excellence has teenagers continually training to be stronger and fitter in order to be chosen by a foster family. No one knows what happenes if you don't get fostered and reach the age of 18, it's just not talked about. In fact the teenagers have minimal contact with the outside world. They are only allowed to watch certain TV programmes deemed suitable by the Institute. Naturally the teens dream about the day they will be chosen by a family. In fact, they regularly talk about the type of family they'd like to have. Inside the institute the only family they have is each other. The Institute teaches the young adults to be disciplined and to have drive. The Institute motto that is written on the wall says "It's whats on the inside that counts".
The day we meet Tabitha she and her friend Paige are being monitored for how long they can hold their breath under water to test their lung capacity. Tabitha wins! The girls then sit at the side of the pool talking with Parker, and with Paige's twin Meghan. All the teens are instructed in ways to make sure they are both mentally and physically fit. The young adults are also taught self defense in case they should ever need it. As they have been taught that there are some weird people who would be jealous of their good health and kidnap them to sell on their organs on the black market!

That's when Ms Preen marches in with her red folder! The red folder means someone has been chosen! They all line up for Ms Preen as they are expected to, as she glances at the paperwork. Parker slips his arm around Tabitha, he really looks out for her and is one of her closest friends in the Institute.  Then without even looking straight up Ms Preen mutters "Where is the red head?" Paige is immediately irked that Ms Preen does not ask for Tabitha using her name. So much so she actually spells out Tabitha's name.
Parker squeezes Tabitha then she steps forward. There are thoughts rapidly rushing through her head. Is it really her turn? What will her new parents be like? Then she looks at her friends....her family, she can see they are both excited and disappointed. Excited for her being chosen, but disappointed it isn't them too. Tabitha has to go through a final screening to make sure she passes all the tests at 100%. Then all too quickly for Tabitha, Parker, Paige and Meghan etc it's time for them to say goodbye. The teens left behind get Tabitha to promise to visit them, which like all the other before her she agrees to. Tabitha fully intends to be the one that keeps that promise to visit her friends.

When Tabitha is in the car, Ms Preen gives her a candy which is unusual as it's very rare for Ms Preen to even be civil to them let alone kind. Tabitha takes the candy anyway. . . she begins to feel drowsy. . then everything goes black. When she awakens, Tabitha finds herself tied to a hospital examination table. Naturally she can't remember exactly how she got here, she remembers passing the receptionist at the Centre Of Excellence as she left with Ms Preen. Then there was the car journey, Ms Preen being kind, then. . .nothing until now. As Tabitha looks around two young males enter the room in a rush. They move her from the room into a van, though she can see and hear all that is happening she still hasn't got her mobility back yet. All she can do is lie where she is put, feeling scared and wondering who these adolescent males are. . . . could they be the ones the trainer once told them about? Are these people kidnapping her right now for her organs, to sell them on the black market? Tabitha begins to plan, there's no way what so ever she is going down without a fight. When the van finally stops and the back doors are open she takes her chance and hits the male that approaches her fast and hard in the nose!

So there's lots happening in this book from the first page to the very last. I truly loved it. Among my favourite characters were Tabitha, Gavin, and Mary. I enjoyed reading the interactions between Mary and the other 'renegades'. The way they can be arguing with each other, or having the worst day ever and one hug from Mary just fixes those emotional feelings. I really liked Ry, even though he insists on popping the pills himself when he knows what can happen through first hand experience with his own mother. One character with a smaller part in the book was Craig, who had been a pill popper but had ended up needing a liver, which his family paid for. At the time Craig had been oblivious to the possibilities of where and how his liver had been obtained. I also liked the bristly hairstyled and initially bristly attitude of Sasha, she is kind of like the big sister of the group and the first one the gang has had saved. Although I loved a lot of the characters I also loved hating the 'bad' characters, such as the haughty Ms Preen who thinks so little of the teens at the Centre of Excellence she doesn't even say their names. I also enjoyed hating the CEO of PharmPerfect, you'll know who I mean, and understand why when you read the book.

The book is well written, and has a fairly fast pace. The only problem I had with the book was I honestly didn't want to put it down! This book made me think of another book I have read called The Body Institute by Carol Riggs, so if you like this book I think you'd like that one too. They both have a similar society, that just takes the quick fix, rather than looking at the lifestyle they are leading first. I admit I did guess what the medication was that Tabitha had been taking for her heart condition, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book in any way. I want to talk about the book and its characters so much more but to do so would spoil things for you reading it, so I guess I've said all I can. The other thing I'll say about this book is that it is eerily realistic, in that it's not too much of a stretch of the imagination to think this could actually happen in our world. In fact who is to say some of it, ie selling organs doesn't already happen now?

My immediate thoughts upon finishing the book were; Loved it! Loved it!Loved it! I'd love for it to be the start of a series? Loved most of the characters and loved hating the others too! It does make you think where our present world is going as well as how drugs are tested. The subject is something you really don't need that much of an imagination to believe that it could happen in the present or near future even.
I definitely want to read more by this author! I've checked Goodreads but there is only this book listed, but I'm following the author so I'll know when she releases other books.


Is Body Parts the beginning of a series? (I am really, really hoping it is):
I would love to continue the story! When I wrote Body Parts, I had an idea in mind should it ever evolve into a series. The plot is bouncing around in my brain, but for now, the story is a standalone. 

What genre would you personally put Body Parts in? Is this a genre you will be writing more of?
I would put Body Parts in the thriller genre, but it certainly appeals to dystopian fans. I consider myself a writer who branches just beyond contemporary into the lighter side of speculative fiction. And YES, I will certainly be writing more in this genre! I like my worlds to be grounded with a hint of ‘what if’ and have lots of stories brewing.

Who/What/How did you get your ideas for Body Parts?
Several years ago, my husband was rushed to the hospital for sudden liver failure. At one point the doctors pulled me aside to talk about putting him on the organ transplant list. It was terrifying to think about, and awful to consider someone would have to die for my husband to get a new liver. Luckily, his health stabilized and no organs were transplanted. But it got me thinking, and shortly after we returned from a long stay at the hospital, I started writing about teens being raised for their body parts.

Did you have to any of research for Body Parts? If so what/how did you do it?
Absolutely! I wanted the science to be as authentic as possible, and I found a great geneticist who provided incredible feedback! She helped me understand more about predispositions and how people metabolize drugs differently. Her insight helped me fix plot issues and make the story stronger, and I’m forever grateful!

If you had to choose to be a character from Body Parts, which would you be and why?
Ohhhh! Great question! Let me think…
Probably Mary. She has lost so much at such a young age but she’s still an optimist, and her hope seems to be contagious. I admire that about her.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for Body Part? Who designed the Cover of your book? Do you have a lot of input into the process?
I came up with the title early on and fully expected the publisher to change it as I’d heard that 99% of author-created titles didn’t stick during the road to publication. To my surprise, Body Parts did! But the credit for the beautiful cover design goes entirely to Diversion Books. They came up with the barcode idea on Tabitha’s neck to signify the fact that she was a commodity while giving it that futuristic feel. They did such a great job, adding smart subtleties on the cover to give the book its SciFi look while grabbing a reader’s attention!

Do you basic plot/plan for each individual book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I wish I was a better plotter, but truth be told, I’m a total pantser. I start with a basic (like, REALLY basic) outline, but I like to let the story take shape on its own. Sometimes it can cause me headaches (okay, A LOT of times). For instance, when writing Body Parts, the story went an entirely different direction around chapter four. I wrote about 7,000 words before I realized I was heading in the wrong direction and needed to cut it. That always hurts, but I love letting the words flow freely. My characters are smarter than I am most of the time and seem to have a good idea about what they need to do!

How long did it take you to write Body Parts?
I wrote Body Parts in about three months and it took another few months to revise.

What can we expect from you next and in the future?

I have two stories finished and ready for revisions. One is a dual perspective contemporary—it was such a challenge to write, but I really enjoyed it! The other is a little darker and based on a real-life experience I had when I was a teenager. I also have a speculative fiction story I can’t wait to start. The characters are just as eager to get out of my head, and I’m almost ready to let them loose! 

Thank you for answering my questions, I look forward to reading more of your books in the future, and hope that Body Parts becomes a series too!

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