Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Are you tired of the stresses of everyday life? Do you wish to be able to go back to a simpler time? Well then, make an appointment at the Reverie Mental Spa. They have the finest scientists developing the latest technology that will let each patron relive their happiest day over and over again. Come on in and relax for an hour or two. Your dreams are safe in reverie.
About twenty years after the Seccessionary War, the world is at peace. Well, as peaceful as the world can get. Those who seek further escape from the stresses of everyday life can go to the Reverie Mental Spa to relive their happiest moment over and over again. Total relaxation. Ella Shepherd is interning at the spa, which features her mother’s invented technology, the reveries, as they’re called. When Ella discovers she’s able to enter other people’s reveries, it’s not long before the government comes calling and asks her to spy for them in order to root out possible terrorist cells trying to overthrow the government. Ella is all for helping out, until she starts having hallucinations featuring her dead father. When a boy named Jack—who apparently knows Ella, yet she has no recollection of him—warns her from trusting her best friend, Ella starts to question the possibility that her memories have been tampered with.
There are several classic sci-fi stories that Beth Revis pays homage to with The Body Electric. One stands out from the rest, but to tell you would be a kind of spoiler to anyone familiar with those stories already. There are ways to successfully adapt a classic story/concept, and Revis does it with such finesse (and you can truly tell she loves the source material from where some of these ideas came) that she turns around and makes the story her own.
I know oftentimes when so much of the plot is based in the theoretical, thereby forcing the reader to suspend what they believe is real along with the characters, it can be frustrating. Revis handles Ella’s situation very well in that by the beginning of the book Ella is already someone who does not trust easily. She thinks through her actions thoroughly with every decision she makes. Even if her decisions lead to more questions or are ultimately the wrong ones, I was never willing to give up on Ella and her fight to find the truth of herself. I liked going on the journey with her.
There were a few bits of info that I saw coming a mile away, but I liked going along with Ella in discovering how things ended up they way they did. I think by making some surprises easy to guess, Revis was then able to blindside me with the more surprising revelations later on.
The Body Electric is a book that will benefit from multiple readings in order to go back to pick up all the clues littered throughout. In true sci-fi fashion the ending doesn’t necessarily mean the end. Though on the surface the conclusion is solid and definite, I think there is a note of possibility, whether ominous or positive I cannot say, it’s open to the interpretations of each reader.
Sexual content: Kissing, references to sex