Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 3rd August 2009
Other Titles in this Series: Crashed (US 8/9/09, UK 1/4/10)
Lia Kahn is beautiful, popular and destined for success…until a horrific accident nearly kills her.
Lia wakes up in a body that is not a body. It’s a machine, designed to look and feel human. She need never feel pain again. She will never age. And, as long as she is vigilant about backing up her memories, she need never die. For Lia is now a “mechanical” or “mech” - a living experiment.
Lia tries to return to her old life, but is shunned by her friends and boyfriend. Even her own family can’t seem to understand that underneath she’s still the same person. But is she? Can be a human without a body? And is it technically murder to “kill” a machine…?
Skinned took me by surprise. It wasn’t what I expected at all, but I really enjoyed it.
This book strongly reminded me of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. There was lots of similar technology, such as the network that everybody was connected to and lived through, in a way. The playing around with their genes and appearance also played a part in the way that they chose how the children looked and constant up-keep operations. But unlike Uglies there was no equality and control over society, in other words, a lot more similar to our world.
Even though most dystopian novels have a cataclysmic event that sets a new world in motion; the events in Skinned surprised me. All of the nuclear wars, Water Wars and lots of other types of wars made a scarily clear picture of all the plausible ways that we could destroy the world. Because they are all such real possibilities, they jumped out and scared me a little. Especially when it came up that the pollution caused by our life and wars blocked out the moon and the stars. I was kind of horrified at that.
Although I enjoyed the plot, I found the characters quite difficult to connect with. All of the girls, including Lia, were shallow and a little heartless and her sister, Zoey, was just plain horrible. It wasn’t until we were introduced to the mechs that I began to warm to Lia and the other characters. The mechs were different and, ironically, real.
I really enjoyed Skinned and I’m looking forward to reading Crashed when it’s released in the UK next April.