Title: Skinned (#1 in Skinned Trilogy)
Author: Robin Wasserman
Publisher: Simon Pulse (US), Simon and Schuster (UK) (2009)
At first I was seriously sceptical about this book. I was a few chapters in and seriously hating Lia with a passion. Then the plot kicked in and I battled to put the book down.
Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular -- until the accident that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can't ever truly die. But she is also rejected by her friends, betrayed by her boyfriend, and alienated from her old life.
Forced to the fringes of society, Lia joins others like her. But they are looked at as freaks. They are hated...and feared. They are everything but human, and according to most people, this is the ultimate crime -- for which they must pay the ultimate price.
Skinned is simply written with complex characters who bring depth to a book that has a serious social message attached to it. It is a futuristic spin on conflict between two vastly different social groups and the struggle for acceptance through the eyes of a deeply flawed individual. It raises questions about what is really possible and if scenarios like the ones addressed in this book would really happen should we be able to download our minds into a mechanical body should our organic ones expire.
A similar idea was presented in The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson, however I enjoyed Skinned more. The story was far more captivating.
My only real issue was the abrupt ending of the book. Sure, I get that this is the first in a trilogy, but does it have to be so sudden and rushed?
I do have the next book in the series, Crashed, and hope that it continues directly where Skinned left off and deals with unanswered questions. Otherwise I will be a very upset reader. I actually hate trilogies and miss the days when a story was told in a single volume.
Otherwise, this is a good read!
The next two books in the series are linked below:
I also suggest picking up Daniel Waters' Generation Dead series for an undead approach to the theme of social acceptance.