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Second Skin Paperback – July 14, 2009
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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Top customer reviews
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. While I do always think this message is important, it's one that's been talked about so many times, it's become a bit unoriginal over time. I mean a story that contained someone seeing that popularity truly was everything that they could ever want, now that could be original.
In all, Second Skin is a great in between read, but it certainly not something you should rush to buy ASAP. Though, with saying that, I think I may still continue to read more by Ms. Wollman because she does have interesting ideas, even if the execution isn't always up to par.
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...of course she takes it!
This is a really fun, quick read that is not at all heavy handed, but is definitely a cautionary tale about what can happen when we wish for things that seem really great...until we get them.
With an eye-catching cover and a great story this book is sure to be a hit with middle school and high school chick-lit fans!