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Skinned (Skinned Trilogy (Quality)) Paperback – August 4, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—In a high-tech future, Lia Kahn is a rich, glamorous, "it" girl at a prestigious high school. Then a car accident leaves her body mangled beyond repair. Rather than let her die, her parents take advantage of a new procedure that downloads the contents of her brain into a sophisticated mechanical replica of a human body. Lia is now a "mech," known in derogatory slang as a "skinner." She still feels like Lia, but she no longer breathes, eats, sleeps, or ages. She can no longer enjoy the easy high of a b-mod, the ubiquitous mood-altering drug that gets the rest of her friends through lunch, and her boyfriend only touches her when he's drunk. She is kicked off her beloved cross-country team because the coach believes her new body gives her an unfair advantage over her competitors. Religious extremists hold a protest when she returns home from the download operation, holding up signs that say "God made man. Who made YOU?" Lia can only see her new body and new social status as a tragedy. Thoughtful readers, however, will recognize that the true tragedy is her self-imposed isolation, and that the world is much bigger and more brutal than the halls of one wealthy high school. The book is written in snappy, short paragraphs with enough sarcasm, humor, and plot momentum to engage reluctant readers.—Megan Honig, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

With a premise reminiscent of Mary Pearson’s Adoration of Jenna Fox (2008) and salted with a bit of the nasty competition underlying Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girls formula, this tale of life after brain-download-into-a-mechanical-body explores the possibilities faced by 17-year-old Lia Kahn, neither fully dead nor currently mortal. Wasserman creates a plausible future where advanced communication and entertainment technology enhance clothing as well as teen social life. Lia was a leader among the rich, shallow girls at her school; now she is an outcast due to her status as a “mech head,” whose plastic body may be tough but whose emotions are those of her flesh and blood peers. A younger sister’s baleful dismissal, problems with past and potential boyfriends, auxiliary issues of fundamentalists, thrill-seeking mech-head games, and an irreversible mistake form the core of the plot, which moves swiftly toward a dystopian denouement. Well composed and engaging, this is an obvious choice not only for Jenna fans but also for readers of Peter Dickinson and George Orwell. Grades 9-12. --Francisca Goldsmith --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Skinned Trilogy (Quality) (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416974490
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416974499
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,547,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jessie Potts VINE VOICE on September 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Skinned is an exciting new novel from the Seven Deadly Sins author. Make no mistake though, this new novel is nothing like the books. For Scott Westerfield and M T Anderson fans this is a must have for your teen sci-fi collection.

Skinned is about the life, death and re-life of a spoiled rich popular girl Lia Kahn. When Lia gets in a car accident and almost dies she undergoes a life-altering process of downloading her brain into a machine that looks like her old body. The process is an extremely hot topic and many people believe that the skinners, as these `robots machines', are called aren't human and should be destroyed.

Her friends leave her, her boyfriend starts dating her little sister, and a new society of mech-heads want her to join them. This is the first book in the trilogy dealing with what it means to be a human, what it means to be alive, and finding yourself. 5 stars.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on August 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Lia Kahn was perfect. She had a perfect life, perfect friends, and a perfect boyfriend. She was popular and beautiful and everyone wanted to be with her and know her -- until the accident changed everything.

When Lia is in a fatal car accident, she finds herself awake in the hospital. She should be dead, but she knows she's alive. She can't feel her body, but she knows it's there. Lia has become the latest patient in the "download process" -- a way to download your memories and brain functions into a computer-based body that is made to look and act human. Lia is angry about the download process. She doesn't want to be a "skinner" -- the awful nickname for download recipients. But she also isn't ready to give up on her life.

Being a skinner isn't easy, though. Groups of people have rallied against the download process, calling it unethical and saying the skinners are without a soul. Lia's friends seem to have turned on her and her boyfriend can't stand to be near her anymore. She's Lia, but she's not the same Lia, and she's not sure how to handle her new life.

Add in the mysterious group of skinners that Lia encounters, plus humans that would do anything to be part of the download process, and Lia isn't sure anymore what exactly it means to be human.

SKINNED presents an interesting look at what really makes us us. Are we human when we have flesh and blood, or is it our memories that make us who we are? Can we ever have the same life again? An interesting and engaging look at medical ethics and humanity, SKINNED is the beginning of a new trilogy.

Reviewed by: Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Stout TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. Instead I found the basic story good but the actual execution repetitive and a tad boring.

Lia Kahn (B.A. - before accident) was spoiled, rich, obnoxious. She was THE trendsetter at her school and didn't have time for the "little" people. Then she was in a horrific car accident and ended up having her brain downloaded into a mechanical "mech, a skinner" body. She thinks she can just slip back into her B.A. life as if nothing has happened and keeps being surprised that everything has changed.

One thing I did like about the book and wish had been expounded on was the world as it now is in Lia's time. This is the future and man hasn't been too kind to Mother Earth. Only the poor live in cities. Many cities have been decimated by nuclear bombs, by disease, by the Water Wars and more. I liked reading about the technological advances. What I got tired of was reading over and over about "poor Lia."

This is the first book in a trilogy and, while I have book 2 Crashed and book 3 Wired, I can't bring myself to read them. Too many books, too little time.

Also NOTE: This is advertised as a Young Adult book, grades 9-12. There is plenty of salty language, sexual scenes, mixed messages about cutting, drugs. Just because there are teens in a book doesn't necessarily mean that the book should be targeted to teens.

It's too bad. Wasserman is a good writer and the theme of the book is cool. Too bad the book isn't better.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Specklebang on October 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
By sheer coincidence, I had just finished reading The Adoration of Jenna Fox and I was very surprised at the similarities. If I were the author of Jenna Fox, I'd be talking to my attorney about this.

Even stranger, this book comes off as YA with its teen protagonists but the language and sex and far from YA. That's fine with me, but it's disconcerting.

Well, I finished the book so I'm grudgingly giving it 3 stars. However, The Adoration Of Jenna Fox is better, creepier and more interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Reser on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
What I liked first was the set up for the twist in the third novel. I'm still not sure if I'm right, since I've only read the first novel, but I'm betting I am, so I'm not sure if I just caught on really well or if the set up was too obvious. But I like it anyway. This would have been a very good novel ... if not for the language and sexual situations. A little bit is all right, because, while I don't approve, I know that that is "normal" nowadays, and so if this is the lifestyle Lia Kahn was used to, then it belongs in the book. But frankly I was sickened by the cavalier attitude and crass language used in regards to sex. When it was used for a purpose, such as to illustrate how Lia Kahn was not so much Lia Kahn anymore, how her body was different and didn't fit perfectly with Walker's anymore or when it was used to illustrate how helpless she could be as a Mech if she shut down due to neglect, how it was still her body even if it wasn't "her" body. I felt that was used for a purpose. What hit me here, without perhaps it being the author's intention, is how quickly things can change in a teen's life, how she can be so important to Walker one moment and the next be practically nothing to him. An accident, a change in your life, even just a change in attitude can rip your life apart. Lia had given everything to Walker, and he treated it like it was nothing, getting together with her sister while she was still in the hospital. He never came to see her. So did he really love her? Even if he believed the true Lia Kahn to be dead, he would have had more respect for the dead Lia if he'd truly loved or even just cared about her. But instead, Walker is already moving on to the next thing, which happens to be her sister, a true slap and spit in the face. She knew it would happen, at least that he'd be moving on, which shows the importance of not giving your body away. Unfortunately, the teens in this book too closely resemble a good deal of the teens today.
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