Skinned by Robin Wasserman Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ and a half
ISBN – 13: 978-1-416-97449-9
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.
I have to admit, I first picked this book up because of the cover – I have this thing for covers where the people have body modifications (tattoos, mech, etc). After reading the back blurb, I knew I had to pick it up since it sounded right up my alley.
I love the plot idea. Unlike other novels that revolve around artificial intelligence in robots that look like humans, the robots that look like humans in Skinned contain downloaded human minds. This opens up a whole new can of worms with the question of whether or not these people are still considered alive or even human. Lia, the main character, finds herself the recipient of a download after a horrible accident claims her life. She finds herself trying to hold on to what her life was like before the accident and the download, but she’s faced with increasing hostility from those around her, and confusion from within herself. Everything starts to change when she meets Quinn, the first Skinner.
The plot idea of Skinned is amazing, and Wasserman’s writing style is engaging and flows wonderfully. I empathized with Lia and her situation, and felt like I really got to know her character. The rest of the cast was slightly underdeveloped – especially the other Skinners – but since this is the first book in a series, I’m hoping the other characters will be developed more later on (though since the series is first-person it will be harder to get to know the others). Likewise, I felt the actual storyline for this first book was a bit of a let-down. I saw no payment of an ultimate price, or much in the way of suspense of action. Yes, there is a climax to the first book that results in Lia making a big decision, but it didn’t leave me breathless or very surprised. I’m hoping the next books will elaborate more on how the rest of society views the Skinners.
In the end, I loved the character of Lia, the plot idea and the writing style. I will definitely be buying the sequels and I can safely recommend this book – it was good.