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Second Skin Paperback – July 14, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

F-list sophomore Samantha (Sam) Klein discovers the secret to popularity in Wollman's (Switched) whimsical novel. All she has to do is slip into a different skin. Literally. Sam discovers the magical "skin" when she spies her new neighbor, "it girl" Kylie, taking it off in her bedroom ("I actually saw something-something flesh-colored-slip down the perfect column of her body"). Unable to resist the temptation of usurping Kylie's social status, Sam steals the bodysuit. The first time she tries it on, it fits perfectly and Sam instantly starts feeling more confident. However, as time passes, the synthetic skin becomes increasingly restrictive, both physically and metaphorically. Sam's social climbing, which coincides with Kylie's fall, is smartly depicted, showing both the benefits of being popular (snagging a cute boy friend) and the pitfalls (being too busy to hang out with old friends). Even though the moral-being the queen bee isn't all fun and games-is predictable, the narrative and escapades depicted here are fresh enough to provide laugh-aloud fun as well as some thought-provoking moments. Ages 12-up.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Jessica Wollman works as a television producer in New York, where she lives with her husband, the writer Daniel Ehrenhaft, and a small menagerie of illbehaved pets. She is the author of Switched.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (July 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385736010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385736015
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,203,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Lauren on February 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Second Skin was an intriguing read that continually held my attention, but it was a bit.... strange and weird, at times.

Second Skin is based on the idea that every It-girl out there didn't just get that way on her on, instead she has a second skin made of polestar, which gives her the magic to be popular, loved, and envied by all. Yeah, as said above, it was certainly interesting, but strange at the same time. Though the one good thing that came from it's weirdness is that it made me constantly curious about all things evolving the skin, which made this a fast paced read.

I liked Jess in a lot in the beginning, because she was a unique girl who had her friends backs constantly. Though, as the story continued, and she got so obsessed with popularity that she did a complete 180 degree turn; she changed into someone who instead was unoriginal, annoying, and the absolute worst characteristic of all -selfish. This change lead me not to like her for most of the rest of the book because she constantly was a witch to everyone who truly cared about her instead vying for the attention of the elite. Thankfully, she did finally get her head screwed back place by the end allowing me to have a little bit of respect for her.

On the other hand, I liked her two best friends, Alex and Gwen, a lot as well as Kylie. All of them stood on there own, and I always was happy to see scenes that contained them.

Probably the most important thing that came from this book was the message that popularity truly isn't everything; instead it's better if you have a few really fantastic friends who always have your pack, not people who are constantly trying to rip you down and replace you.
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Format: Paperback
Sam Klein has always wanted to be popular. Unfortunately for her, she is one of the most unpopular students at Woodlawn High. Then, Woodlawn High's most popular student, Kylie moves next door! This is Sam's chance to become popular. Sam soon learns that Kylie's popularity is because of a magical skin. There is one skin for every high school, and the skin means popularity. Sam must steal this skin from Kylie, so she can become popular. However, is popularity really want Sam wants? Worst of all, the more Sam wears the skin, the tighter it becomes...

Second Skin is a fun and light-hearted read. The word that best describes Sam is desperate. She has two great friends, yet all she cares about is popularity. I think there is a small part in most of us that can relate to wanting to be more popular, but by no means will we do what Sam does to achieve popularity. Most people don't want to be more popular when they realize they could lose what they already have. Sam is one of those people who could care less. As desperate as Sam was though, I did not find her to be annoying. She realizes she shouldn't care about popularity, but she does. There was one thing that bothered me about Sam. She didn't realize the power of her popularity. Her parents are eco-friendly people, and one day Sam brings green bags over the one of the popular girl's house. Because of Sam's popularity, everyone loved the bag. It just seemed like she could have used her popularity to make her fake friends like her real friends. Of course, this would have ruined the story, but it slightly bothered me.

Something I did like about Second Skin was the ending. In the end, Sam got something that she wanted from the beginning, but in a way she or the readers would not have expected!
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By Darcy Wishard on July 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Appearances can be deceiving. Sam Klein's found that out firsthand. All she wanted was to be popular. But sometimes what we want is the absolute worst thing for us. Sam discovers that Kylie, It-girl of Woodlawn High, owes her popular status not to her expensive clothes, highlighted hair, and spot on the cheerleading squad but to a magical second skin. Nobody can actually see it--but they can feel it. And if you're wearing the skin, you feel incredible. Invincible. Popularity is yours. So Sam stole the skin from Kylie. Now she's the most popular girl at school, while Kylie's social life takes a serious hit. Sam can barely recognize herself. Her old geek clique is history--but are her new friends really people she can count on? The skin is clinging tighter to her each day . . . can Sam get it off before it's too late?

One of the best things about this book is that any one of us can relate to this story. Who hasn't, if only for a moment, wanted to be someone else? I mean hello???? Where do you think the phrase "The grass is always greener" came from? We've all been there, whether it's money, looks or personality we've all secretly wished we had "it" from time to time!

Sam Klein isn't popular or unpopular...she's that girl that if someone points her out you might say "Does she even go to our school?" She has her two best friends, Gwen who gets teased for being chubby, but is on track to being the next Martha Stewart and Alex, kinda nerdy but cute and an expert on all things outer space. Sam's parents aren't helping her out either because they are all about recycling, saving the seals, and not shopping at any giant retail shops that use cheap labor, which of course pretty much includes every popular brand out there. So, when the opportunity to nab the Skin arises...
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