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I have a soft spot in my heart for Young Adult fiction. While it often entertains, I find that there is much to be gleaned about our world and our place in it.
Although I strive to read on average one book a week, I have stayed away from full-on book reviews the last few years. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy reading. Rather, doing a thoughtful review on a time schedule just takes a back seat to some of my other ventures. (I do share periodically on my Goodreads account as I track what I am reading.)
When the request to review Other Bodies came into my inbox, something about it told me to take the opportunity.
About Other Bodies
In a world where immersive VR suits distort what is real from what is not, and the AI Personhood Act blurs the lines between body and bot, the choices sixteen-year-old Hattie Martins faces are very personal.
Welcome to Hattie Martins’ dystopian Philadelphia, where everything is not as it seems…
Just as her life is looking up–a new job, new friends, a new date–Hattie discovers not all progress in her beloved, futuristic Philadelphia is for the best. Societal regrets can become personal regrets in an instant. Choices don’t always come with second chances, and when they do the cost can be unimaginable. How far will she go to undo her greatest regret? And worse yet, what will she become if it’s too late?
In a world where bots are equal to bodies, what does it mean to be alive?
What is real?
Which bodies matter?
What about the other bodies?…
In this blistering new young adult novel from the #1 bestselling author of the Meritropolis series, readers will question everything they know about life and reality in a unique dystopian adventure that is equal parts moral dilemma and romance.
*Subject matter includes references to euthanasia, abortion, and teenage pregnancy. There are NO sex scenes and NO curse words. This is a stand-alone book with a complete story from beginning to end. There are NO cliff-hangers and this is NOT a part of a series.*
About The Author: Joel Ohman
Joel is a husband and father of three who resides in Florida. He is the author of the Meritropolis series which has been described as “The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist”.
Beyond his books, he is the founder of several web startups. You can read more about him on his author page.
My Thoughts on Other Bodies
This is definitely a title that tackles some difficult topics, some of which rarely get featured. Yet, the topics of euthanasia and abortion are beginning to be more at the forefront of some channels with current legislature debates or new laws being passed in some states.
The world Hattie lives in has some of the same things we are accustomed to here in the United States. Yet, you can tell that for many the world has become a harsher place in the future.
Instead of Planned Parenthood, there is Managed Motherhood. This is where Hattie has started a new job with the hopes of better days ahead. She is lugging some serious emotional baggage and soon finds herself with a new item to stack on her shoulders. She is pregnant by a guy who used and dumped her.
Of course, the decision seems crystal clear. She can barely survive on her own. Bringing a new life into the mix seems impossible. And turned to the baby’s father isn’t something she is willing to even consider.
Throughout the story, Mr. Ohman merges the use of virtual reality to wipe out the nitty-gritty of reality with the emotional turmoil experienced by a young girl. If you can’t see or feel what is happening, did it really happen?
Some of the science seems to be a bit of a stretch. In this dystopic future, abortions are done in stages with the entire amniotic sac being removed and placed in an artificial womb. That allows them to ‘harvest’ fetal tissue on their own schedule and removes any unpleasantness for the patient to witness. The scientist in me is trying to envision that level of technology. But, I can see how engaging a patient in virtual reality could keep their mind off what is truly being done.
The emotional turmoil and regret experienced by Hattie along with her need to see what really happens behind the scenes at the clinic are believable. It is through this process that she confronts the truth behind her beloved grandfather, that she helped him to die.
Woven throughout the story are short bursts where another place is mentioned. It takes a while to realize what is going on, but this is where a Christian worldview comes into play.
Final Takeaway on Other Bodies by Joel Ohman
For entertainment value, this book is not one I’d pick up. But, to open the door to discussion with your teens or other adults, I do find extreme value.
Before reading this title, I had not heard of Mr. Ohman. But, now I am adding the Meritropolis trilogy to my reading list.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.