The Body Electric
By: Beth Revis
Published: October 6th 2014 by Scripturient Books
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.
Goodreads description--The future world is at peace.
Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.
But not all is at it seems.
Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…
Someone’s altered her memory.
Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.
So who can she trust?
I’ve heard good things about Across the Universe by Beth Revis, and I’ve had it on my TBR list for quite some time but just haven’t had the opportunity to get my hands on it yet. When I saw The Body Electric by her available for review, I jumped on the opportunity to read and review it. And by jump on it, I mean I requested it quickly. I don’t really know why I procrastinated on actually picking it up to read for so long other than maybe just because I’ve never read anything by Beth Revis before. If I have prior experience of an author then I usually feel more confident about how well I’ll like another book by that same author.
I went into The Body Electric wanting to like it. I’ve not heard much about this particular book—or well anything really. And I didn’t even remember what the description was when I finally picked it up to read. As sometimes happens, it turns out that this description isn’t quite accurate. The description says that “Ella’s dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.” Well that’s about as inaccurate as a statement can be. 1) Ella is serving her mandatory year of service as an intern at the Reverie mental spa that her mother founded. Her mother’s technology and a trip to the spa is what allows people to relive their happy memories. So I’d hardly say that Ella’s one year of interning at this mental spa is dedicating her life. 2) Ella only recently discovers her ability to connect to another person while that person is having a Reverie because she desires to help her sick mother experience her own happy memories. This isn’t something Ella’s been actively doing for her entire life. And it wasn’t even something she was sure she could do until she tried it with her mother. After that, any other time she connected to another person in this way was with an agenda, and that agenda was NOT helping them to relive their happiest memories. So yeah…this description as a whole isn’t too far off, but there are a few misleading comments.
The Body Electric was an extremely slow book for me. I thought things might pick up once Ella meets Jack, but they didn’t. And so I really began to dissect why I was having such a hard time getting into this book and connecting. And what I came up with was just that—I had trouble connecting. Ella is essentially secluded. Her best friend is on the moon serving in the military. Her father’s dead. Her mother is sick. And Jack…well as the description accurately states, she has no memory of him. She has almost zero connection to any other character around her. And while that might normally make me feel her seclusion, really I just ended up feeling like most of it was her fault. I imagine it’s difficult to believe someone who tells you that you’ve been in love while you have no memory of them at all, but Ella also made no effort to get to know Jack—even after she realized that his memories of her were true. She shied away from him at every single opportunity for them to grow closer and develop a new connection.
The big plot twist didn’t really seem like a twist at all. There were logistics that I hadn’t quite figured out, but the main villain was pretty obvious. I didn’t have everything figured out that was going on with Ella—like why she was seeing and hearing the things that she was. But when all of that was revealed, I was left thinking “is that it?” I think The Body Electric is one of those books that had such a big concept that execution got lost in translation.
All in all, The Body Electric wasn’t an awful book, but I don’t think it was for me. The pacing was slow. The characters, I couldn’t connect with. The plot twist wasn’t really a twist at all, and the big reveal left me wanting. I hate to give it such a low rating, but the truth is, I didn’t really like this one. The Body Electric is getting 2.5 Stars from me. Have you read The Body Electric? What did you think? Let me know!