By Robin Wesserman
Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
The Download was supposed to change the world. It was supposed to mean the end of aging the end of death, the birth of a new humanity. But it wasn't supposed to happen to someone like Lia Kahn.
And it wasn't supposed to ruin her life.
Lia knows she should be grateful she didn't die in the accident. The Download saved her--but it also changed her, forever. She can deal with being a freak. She can deal with the fear in her parents' eyes and the way her boyfriend flinches at her touch. But she can't deal with what she knows, deep down, every time she forces herself to look in the mirror: She's not the same person she used to be.
Maybe she's not even a person at all.
Why I Picked this Book: First it was the cover. Beautiful cover. Then the plot grabbed me. And finally... it was on sale so I just couldn't say now.
Skinned started out "Eh" then the middle turned to "ah," quickly transformed to "oh.." and ended with a "meh." I finished this book a few days ago and have literally been sitting around trying to decide what to say about it. I am torn.
The overall idea was great. Lia gets in a car accident, and her body is so destroyed she cannot be saved. So, instead of her family pulling the plug... they plug her thoughts and memories into a robotic body. Lia wakes to find that everything physical about herself is different. Her entire life has changed.
Friends now are uncomfortable around her. Her boyfriend is distant. Her school has ostracized her. Her family is estranged. And she has met a new group, a crazy group of other people-turned-robot, who want her to join them. Sounds interesting, yes?
Here is my problem: The execution was... Meh.
The majority of the book seems to be focused on Lia whining and complaining. She was the most popular girl around, before her accident. Now she isn't. While I know this new life would be a hard adjustment... Lia never lets go. As people treated her like crap, as one friend stepped forward to offer her love... she just clung to the life that was literally dead and whined about how she didn't know who she was anymore. She is self-absorbed, rude, and most times I just wanted to smack her.
By the middle of the book, I was sick of Lia Khan.
But I kept reading, hoping that something amazing would happen. Hey, it does... in most books. Something about this book had grabbed me and I had to find out what that was.
You think the story will pick up when she meets the others Mechs (robots). Then, it doesn't. It was like everytime I got excited for something to happen, Lia went "But, I'm not popular now and I don't know who I am" and everything reverted. The Mechs could have added so much more to the story, in my opinion. Instead, they were more of a side thought.
As for the antagonist, it must have just been Lia and her inability to accept her fate. I never got a grasp on a true antagonist. Which bugged me. Without dropping spoilers, near the end she "decides" one person is the bad guy. But you never actually get that feel through out. So...
One last complaint. I promise. I hated the ending. I didn't feel the climax. It just... ended. It was like: There, we are done. Let's leave this wide open because, yes, we are writing a series off of it. Oy.
What did I like? Like I said, the overall plot was great. I loved the premise. The idea that if you download all your memories, your thoughts, all of that into a robotic body... are you still you? Are you dead, or alive? Crazy thinking there... I liked how it did hint at a dystopian world and left me wondering what had gone wrong. There were paragraphs that were so beautifully written I had to go back and read them again, just to appreciate them that much more. I was engaged, just not enthralled.
Because of the things I liked, I am being a kind me today and giving Skinned a 3 instead of 2 star. I really tried with this book. Who knows, you may adore this book. For me, the plot issues, character issues, and ending just got to me too much. Robin Wesserman has true talent with writing and I look forward to reading more of her work. Just maybe not this series.
(3 out of 4 stars)