Young Adult – Skinned

Before the accident, Lia was the envy of everyone in the school. Pretty, athletic, rich, and popular, she always knew exactly where she belonged. But then the car’s automatic sensors malfunctioned, careening her off the road. And when she woke up, she wasn’t Lia Kahn anymore.

In an effort to save her, the doctors have scanned and uploaded her brain into an android body. Lia’s a skinner now, a mechhead, a machine. The doctors assure her that this new body and new life is far better than certain death, but Lia’s not so sure. Everything is different, all of her relationships are broken, huge chunks of the population don’t believe she’s human and therefore shouldn’t be given rights. And then there are the other skinners. The ones who insist that they don’t want to be human.

Although the premise of this book is very similar to that of The Adoration of Jenna Fox, also published last year, the books have very different feels to them. Skinned is a page-turner, with lots of action to frame Lia’s bouts with self-doubt and philosophy. There are no easy answers.

The world-building was particularly well done, with hints of the ways in which the future world has developed, and a sense of a larger universe outside of Lia’s consciousness, which is going about its business even when she’s not there.

An entertaining and engaging read, this book will bring up questions of what it means to be human, to be an individual, and to be the survivor of a horrendous accident.

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