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Skinned

Skinned

Written by Robin Wasserman

Narrated by Kate Reinders


Skinned

Written by Robin Wasserman

Narrated by Kate Reinders

ratings:
4/5 (32 ratings)
Length:
8 hours
Released:
Sep 9, 2008
ISBN:
9781423374725
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular-until the accident that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can't ever truly die. But she is also rejected by her friends, betrayed by her boyfriend, and alienated from her old life.

Forced to the fringes of society, Lia joins others like her. But they are looked at as freaks. They are hated...and feared. They are everything but human, and according to most people, this is the ultimate crime-for which they must pay the ultimate price.

The first book in a gripping series

Released:
Sep 9, 2008
ISBN:
9781423374725
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Robin Wasserman is a graduate of Harvard University and the author of several successful novels for young adults. A recent recipient of a MacDowell fellowship, she lives in Brooklyn, New York. Girls on Fire is her first novel for adults.


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What people think about Skinned

3.9
32 ratings / 31 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    This was an excellent read! The story is set in the future where society has just started to create artificial bodies for those people who have died. The main character, Lia, was involved in an accident where she was severly injured so her parents opted to transfer her memories into an articificial body. This is a really interesting read about being different and finding your place in the world.
  • (4/5)
    Something different. Robots and what not.
    Something I fear for our future.
    I defiantly wouldn't welcome mechs with open arms.
  • (3/5)
    Okay, but certainly not as good as "The adoration of Jenna Fox."
  • (4/5)
    The premise: snatched for BN.com, which is also the backcover blurb: Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular — until the accident that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can't ever truly die. But she is also rejected by her friends, betrayed by her boyfriend, and alienated from her old life.Forced to the fringes of society, Lia joins others like her. But they are looked at as freaks. They are hated...and feared. They are everything but human, and according to most people, this is the ultimate crime — for which they must pay the ultimate price.My Rating Must Have: but with one warning: this is not a plot-driven or action-driven book. If you like character-centric books, particularly those with more of an existential theme, and you love the themes behind the updated Battlestar Galactica (focusing on the cylons), then you're going to have fun with this. It's a good book, and even when I didn't agree with our heroine, never once did I not at least sympathize and understand where she was coming from. Wasserman really gets into the heart of the matter and makes you really THINK about how you'd feel if you were in Lia's shoes. The science fictional elements and social reaction to those elements are also very strong, which surprised me, though I don't know why: for whatever, unfair reason, I expect the science in YA SF to be light and fluffy and non-existent, not explained in detail (which isn't to say the science used in Skinned is accurate or not, but it makes you wonder about how such an process could take place in the future). At any rate, it's a pretty strong start of a series, and I'll definitely be picking up the next installment, Crashed, once it's released in trade paperback. :)Review style: spoilers, because this isn't the kind of heavily plot-driven book the premise makes it out to be. It's actually very, very character-driven, and it's hard NOT to spoil such books. So if you want to avoid said spoilers, there's no need to click the link below to my LJ. Otherwise, click away! Comments and discussion are most welcome. :)REVIEW: Robin Wasserman's SKINNEDHappy Reading!
  • (3/5)
    This was a very interesting read to say the least.A bit of background. Lia Khan is a popular girl who has everything. Money, popular friends, people who worship her, a gorgeous boyfriend, star of the track team. Until one day a horrible car crash "takes her life". Or at least what was her life. In this dystopian society, people can choose the genetic make up of their unborn children. They can also choose to save them when injuries beyond fixing occur. This is done by copying their brains and then transferring that information into a mechanical body. A body that is made of all kinds of high tech materials, is able to feel, think, and do almost anything our human bodies can do, except they are not real.The story chronicles Lia's rehabilitation once she's put into this body and her life thereafter. It shows how her friends accept or don't accept her, how she loses things she has known and how she comes to realize who she really is now.I really enjoyed this book. It was very interesting to watch Lia transform into a different "person" throughout the book. I have to say that the dystopian society world building was a bit lacking, but the story line really was not about the society as much as it was about Lia's growth and acceptance of who she is.I am interested to read the second book in this series. Thanks Rebecka for choosing this one for me!
  • (4/5)
    Last year, someone recommended that I read Skinned by Robin Wasserman. I hadn’t heard much about Skinned, or the rest of the trilogy before then, but it sounded interesting. And so, on my to-read list it went. It probably would’ve stayed there had I not come across the audio book at the library. It’s not that I didn’t plan on reading the series, but more so the fact that my TBR pile at home is already insane (over 80 books piled in front of my bookshelves…yeah…) But an audio book? That I could squeeze in.I will admit that I wasn’t a Lia fan for a good portion of the book. She was a spoiled brat before the accident, and that still shows through after the surgery (as to be expected, given her personality was installed in the new body). I think that’s what knocked the book down to 3.5 stars for me. I didn’t actually care about her, or what was going on in her life until the end.But even though I didn’t care for Lia, or a lot of the secondary characters (hello, Zo), I did still enjoy Skinned. Wasserman has created a world that runs on technology, yet is fearful of “mech heads”. It reminds me of our world in a way. We’re so dependent upon technology.: mp3 players, cell phones, computers, e-readers, etc. But we’re also fearful of change, much like the characters in Skinned. I think that’s what I enjoyed most about Lia’s story – that it’s something that makes you wonder, what is it that makes us human? And why are we so afraid of change?The narrator:The audio book for Skinned was read by Kate Reinders, and while I found she was a nice fit for Lia’s voice, I found myself distracted when words were omitted or changed (as I did read along during some chapters). It forced me to backtrack to make sure I’d heard that correctly (example: there’s one part where she should say patients and she says parents).Would I recommend Skinned? Yes.FYI: Skinned has been re-published as Frozen (actually, the entire trilogy has received new titles and covers).
  • (4/5)
    The story offers a look into what it means to be human in a world where a human mind can be copied into a robot body. Lia's efforts to adapt to her new self are believable and heartbreaking. I found the story interesting, but a bit of a downer as you're constantly seeing the world through her depressed robot eyes and the moments of intense feeling are somewhat rare (very odd for a teen book, where emotions tend to run high). Despite this, I'm curious enough to continue reading the series.
  • (4/5)
    I hadn't heard a lot about this book when I picked it up and from the reviews I've read, the book didn't fare to well. But what I had noticed was that Scott Westerfield had written a little blurb about how good it was on the front of the book. As I am a big fan of Westerfield's Uglies, Pretties, Specials series, I figured this book would be my interest group. I love futuristic and dystopian novels. Nothing beats them in my opinion.So with high hopes, I started eagerly reading this book. At first I was severely disappointed. The book was moving at a snail's pace and just the way Wasserman worded certain things was kind of awkward. Her syntactical structure was different than most writers and the audience is basically thrust into this futuristic world we know nothing about with barely a back story or explanation of what so many things now are. However, as I got to the halfway point in the book, it started to finally pick up. And from there on out, I was hooked!I thought the characters were developed quite well. At first I didn't like Lia at all but as the story progressed I consequently grew to enjoy her sarcasm and independence. I loved how even though she was upset over certain events that took place, she didn't pull the whole "woe is me," damsel in distress bit (cough cough Bella every freaking two seconds cough). She dealt with things as they came her way. I also liked the fact how Wasserman made her upset that her parents could even fathom making her a "skinner." She has to grow into who she is now and the audience is able to witness that throughout the story. She didn't just accept what happened, she had to learn to accept it and it was refreshing to be there as the character developed in that manner. As for the other characters in the book...I didn't really like Auden. He was too overbearing I thought and tried to push Lia into what he thought she should think and do. You could obviously tell right off the bat how he felt about her so that was no surprise. His character's bitterness surprised me at the end of the story. Honestly, I didn't think he had that kind of emotion in him and to view it eye-opening to his character. Jude was probably my favorite character of the book. His charismatic cockiness is just perfect in my opinion and I have high hopes for Lia and him despite his detached emotional state. Zo is just an annoying little bitch that I wish I could have slapped through the book. Her logic is completely stupid and I don't understand how she thinks she has to take Lia's place now that Lia's a "skinner."This book also spurred me into asking myself my ideas on some philosophical questions too. Like when they're talking in the book about how people know if they're really alive to start with. Or if we are all some type of machine programmed into thinking a certain kind of way. And do people really have free will or are we programmed into thinking we have free will when really everything is already predetermined for us? Also it raised the musings of how different people perceive emotions. How we think of an emotion in a certain light because we've been told all of our lives to think of it that way.By the time I got to the end of this book, I was already desperately longing for the next one. I'm glad I stuck out the beginning of this because it finally picked up in the middle and I was not disappointed after that. Thank you Wasserman for you brilliant creative world!
  • (3/5)
    Set in the far distant future, after a nuclear war and the reorganization of human society, this is a story about what it takes to be a human being. Lia is the perfect daughter of one of the most powerful corporate leaders, and has spent her life with every privelege available. Her sister hates her for being perfect, as she is more of a disappointment to the family. Lia is in a terrible accident, and her father decides to have Lia "downloaded" into a new body: her brain is removed and all memories are transferred to a hard drive, connected to a new, artificial body. Lia wakes up as a "skinner" and has to learn how to control every function of her new body, from walking to speaking. She is devastated to learn that she literally will live forever. If she dies or if this new body ceases to function, her father will simply use the backup files to create another her in another artificial body. There are those who see her as an abomination, as a machine and not a real person, though Lia believes she is a real person. This one will make you think about what it means to be a human being, how valuable life is, what kind of potential science has to extend life, and the kinds of consequences people might face. Definitely a more mature science fiction read, 8th grade and up.
  • (5/5)
    It was good take into the future of computer technology and what no-limits can do to people's way of thinking. An exciting read in Science fantasy.
  • (4/5)
    GENERAL Lia Kahn before the accident would probably be the girl I would hate with all my passion. But that was intended by the author and wonderfully executed. Over the course of the novel Lia learns to accept her new self which is something I would probably not be able to do. In the dystopian future Lia lives in, people who have either lost their bodies due to an accident or are paralyzed have the option to buy a new body. But the Skinners (as they are called) are not accepted in society and as such Lia is horrified when she finds out her parents bought a new body for her instead of letting her die. I like the transformation she goes through, I like how she learns to accept that she is not the same person anymore and will never be again. Wasserman manages making Lia likeable surprisingly well, considering Lia is pretty much a "rich spoiled bitch" to say it in her words.CONS I didn't like that so little was mentioned of the world. Yes, atomic bombs were mentioned and that nobody wanted to live in cities anymore but something was missing for me. Maybe more is revealed in the following books (which I don't own, currently, so we'll see). Also, I never really got a grip on Lia's family. Her sister Zoei was very weird and hard to sympathize with and a little irrational, but that's probably normal after the accident her sister has had. Her parents are just plain weird. But of course, there is the option that all this is intentional, to make the reader feel the alienation Lia is feeling. If so, wonderfully done.PROSSounds a little stupid, but I like reading stories about people who go from everything to nothing better than the other way around. Even though Lia tries to be the same, she can't and the behaviour of the people around her makes this very clear. I would not want to be her, in any case. I liked the way she started to get reckless later, but I'm not going to say much about this as it would spoil the story. But I loved the character development in this novel, especially Lia's but also Auden's (more or less the only "normal" person who accepted Lia from the start).CONCLUSION It's a novel you want to have read if you like dystopian. For some reason it wasn't a novel I couldn't put down but it was fun reading it and I'm going to read it again (probably) once I run out of money to buy new books again.
  • (5/5)
    Dystopian fiction is not for everyone. Often the world of the story has little to do with reality, and there's a lot of tech-y stuff, brand-new concepts, and a good amount of science, so the question becomes how does a book like that draw the reader into it? The answer seems to be invariably the same. Human element. Strong emotion. Stuff that's going to make your hair stand on end. Skinned has it all - the exquisitely explained science, the beautiful and outrageously original concepts and the emotion. Enough emotion to draw you in and keep you there for a long time. I loved it. It was smartly written. Scary and gut-wrenching. And so endlessly beautiful. Can't wait to read the next one! Recommended for dystopian and fantasy fans, and generally for those who can appreciate a very clever story.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoy this book, having read it twice now. The descriptions of a post-apocalyptic world, the questions it raises about what it means to be truly alive. Unfortunately, this first installment of the trilogy is probably the best, but I still like it a lot, consider it re-readable, and love to recommend it to others.
  • (3/5)
    I read the book, but I'm still ambivalent about it. It was an ok story, but it lacked something that I can't quite put my finger on.
  • (5/5)
    i luv this book all the confusion.. i listened to this book 247 and finished it in 2 days!! such a page turner!!
  • (2/5)
    from the description i thought this would be a good book. but from the beginging it was really slow and didnt really pick up
  • (3/5)
    Really a 3.5!! I really liked this story. It wasn't action packed and sometimes it felt a little slow but the overall story was good. I finished it a few days ago and I'm still thinking about it. It's a little, no a lot creepy to think about this situation. If your body was beyond saving would you want your memories saved and downloaded to a computer brain? At first I was adamant that I would not! However, Lia feels real to herself, she argues that she has free will, and that she still has emotions. So then I started thinking well maybe this wouldn't be so bad, but wait I'd be a computer? Like I said, lots of thinking to be done with this book. The post atomic war references were really interesting as well. So if you are looking for a great romance or lots of action you won't find it here, not that there isn't any it just isn't the main focus of this book. However if you want to think and speculate for a while then you can't go wrong with Skinned. I will definitely be reading the second book in this trilogy.
  • (3/5)
    Another case where the idea behind the book ended up being far better than the book itself.Set not too far into the future, a technology company has developed a way for human consciousnesses to be 'downloaded' into new bodies (templates or customized). Our heroine is in a car accident and fatally injured, but in the time between the accident and her body's death in hospital, her parents opt for downloading her into a new body so that they don't lose their precious daughter.Naturally, since she no longer looks like the same person, there are issues of identity, social acceptance (humans vs. "copies"), what makes someone a human (are the downloaded people actually the humans they were before, or are they simply copies?), ethics, morality... but unfortunately, as fascinating as the story sounds like it could be (all these issues could full volume upon volume), this book falls flat.The main character broods a lot, and when some of these series issues are raised, they're explored for maybe a sentence or two before moving on. There's so much potential here, but it seems like the author was unequipped to handle the questions she raised with her idea. At the end of the book, one of our secondary characters also reacts in a way contrary to what we would expect, tragedy or not. It's frustrating, to say the least.I know there are more books in this series, but I don't imagine I'll seek them out anytime soon. I've heard that many people who like the Uglies series turn to this one for something similar, but unfortunately, I think this installment fails to accomplish what it sets out to do. Give it a try, see what you think -- I wouldn't necessarily discourage anyone from reading it, as I think it raises enough questions for you to think about on your own -- but as a book series, I can't see myself continuing with it.
  • (4/5)
    Lia Khan was a high school student who had it all; looks, wealth, and social status, until a car accident that destroyed her body. To save her life, Lia's father had her brain downloaded into an artificial body, and now, whether she likes it or not, she's a skinner, a mech-head, a creation that most people hate. She encounters religious zealots known as Faithers, who consider her soulless. Her friends abandon her. Her sister steps up and takes over Lia's life, her father wishes he hadn't saved her, and her boyfriend doesn't want to touch her. Although her situation is quite depressing at times, I enjoyed the reflection these events generated in Lia. One reviewer called this "waffling" and saw it as a negative aspect to the book, but I thought it was quite realistic and believable that Lia would have wildly different thoughts as she dealt with peoples reactions to her new body, and as she came to terms with her new self. I also really liked the character who stayed in her corner as her defender, and what eventually happened. Can't tell you anything else with spoiling the book.This is a interesting read. Given our current advancement with the use of prosthetic limbs, and artificial organs etc. I didn't find it difficult to believe, Those who enjoyed Shusterman's Unwind, or "The Adoration of Jenna Fox" or "The Uglies" series by Westerfeld will probably enjoy this story. This is book one, and the sequel is Crashed, which I haven't reviewed yet.
  • (4/5)
    Lia is rich, spoiled, and beautiful. A terrible automobile accident changes everything. Her father, desperate to save her, has Lia's mind downloaded into a body that's not quite human, not quite robot. In her new incarnation, she not only faces rejection from religious zealots, who consider her an abomination, but from her boyfriends, friends, and nasty younger sister. She struggles between insisting she is still the same Lia she was before and trying to shape a new identity for herself.Lia is a very credible teen, but this book goes beyond most YA literature. It is a vivid and engrossing story that touches on such complex issues as bioethics, prejudice, identity, social order, economics and religion. In this sense, it resonates with the profound and disturbing movie AI. Skinned could certainly generate interesting discussions, but many schools would shy away from the book because it uses strong language and the characters are sexually active. I was even somewhat surprised to find it in the YA section of my local library.Skinned is the first part of a trilogy, and has been followed by Crash.
  • (3/5)
    Pretty good book on transplanting the brain of dead people into mechanical people who then remember their previous lives. They function as people as best they can, with some sensory experience. Part of a trilogy.
  • (5/5)
    We all know that the merging of humans and technology is happening. The Bionic Man is not futuristic science fiction any long with hospitals adapting robotic arms and legs for those missing limbs.To take that one step further and have one’s entire brain scanned and deposited into a shell of a robotic body, may not be that far off. Lia Kahn finds herself living that when her parents decide they can’t let her die. Skinned is Lia’s story. One set in the future where families have “credit” to pay for all of life’s expenses. Lia is one of the fortunate ones – rich, beautiful and popular. She is used to things going her way. In her world clothes are custom made to her body shape. She can “link in” to the net with the blink of an eye literally.Except when she’s involved in a car accident, she loses control over many things in her life. Her controlling father decides he can’t let her go and opts for a computerized version of his eldest daughter. She becomes a “skinner,” a machine inside what looks like human skin. Except, everyone can see that she’s not the same – not a human any longer.Author Robin Wasserman takes us on a journey of looking at what it means to be human and what ethical dilemmas technology presents to us. Should we be creating immortal beings that cannot die, but are programmed to “feel” emotion and carry on their lives like their organic prior selves?Skinned is the first of a trilogy, published by Simon Pulse in 2008. The next story, Crashed, is due out in September 2009.
  • (5/5)
    Here's the basic plot of this book. It is set in the future, where cars drive you places without you having to do anything, a clear lens the goes in your eye keeps you connected to the new crazy internet, one where you can store anything and do anything without much effort. Lia dies in a car accident and they scan her brain, make a copy, and put it into a whole new body. She has to relearn how to walk and talk. She doesn't have to eat, her body can take more damage, but she has no superpowers. Instead, she has to go back to being normal. Only none of her friends can look her in the eye, her boyfriend doesn't want to touch her, and the only human who understands her is a boy who has his own problems. Lia has to believe she's still human, still herself, but is she really? This is the first in a new trilogy by Wasserman and one I ate up quickly. The second is slotted to be released in September.
  • (4/5)
    This was good. This book is about a very popular beautiful girl who was in a horrible car accident and her father made the decision to have the doctors do everything they could to save her life - which was having her brain downloaded into a machine. She had to learn to walk and talk again in her new robotic body, and this first book of a trilogy is how she had to re-enter society as the same person with a new body and a new voice. It's very interesting to see how her family and friends react with her and how her new friends are so different from who she wants to be. I know when I finished this book, I was ready for more of this story line.
  • (4/5)
    Lia has awoken after a fatal accident, her memories transplanted into an artificial body. While the procedure is controversial, and some argue that the transplanted, or 'skinned' are abominations with no soul, Lia attempts to go back to her regular life with school, friends, and boyfriend. But both she, and her world, have changed.This story deals less with the involuntary nature of the transplant, and more on how the physical reality of being a machine, for example, having different senses, can change a personality. I thought Lia and her sister Zo interesting and credible characters, and interesting foundations were set for other characters - this is the first book in a projected trilogy, after all.I would give this to fans of the Uglies trilogy, as a nice counterpoint to elective body changes. I'd also give it to people interested in imaginative high school stories.
  • (2/5)
    This was exactly like the "Uglies" series by: Scott Westerfeld. Someone is trapped in a new body and they feel they should be treated differently. *yawn*Uglies was phenomenal, but this...Just a corny rip off. Definately not well written. Kind of breezy. You couldn't sympathize with any of the characters.Still, I may read the sequel just to see what comes of the cliff hanger ending (this cliff hanger, however, was poorly written and awkward.)Don't waste your time... If you haven't started already... Don't... ugh.Chloe's Blurbs:"Another story about the awkward situation one goes through to discover themselves."
  • (4/5)
    Lia is rich and beautiful before she gets in a devastating car accident. After the accident she is still rich and still beautiful—if you like wires and synthetic flesh. She is a “skinner” and, consequently, virtually immortal. Before the death of her body, her memories are downloaded into a virtual machine that eventually are recreated in a new, fabricated body patterned after human bodies but without the frailty. No pain. No death. Lia’s body may look somewhat strange, but it is much stronger and infinitely more resilient. Lia, however, still feels like Lia. She retains shared memories with her friends and longs to return to the life and relationships she knew prior to her accident. Her friends shun Lia as they do all such frankensteins. When Lia meets other skinners, she has to decide whether or not she should step into her new skin or continue her attempt to salvage her former life. Wasserman’s book is a natural companion to Mary L. Pearson’s Adoration of Jenna Fox. It will have teens discussing the relationship between our physical bodies and our memories, as well as the ethics of bioengineering. This one is sure to be popular with high school students who love science fiction or gritty adventure. Skinned is the first book in a trilogy and well worth adding to your library.
  • (5/5)
    It's one of those one-chance-in-a-million accidents and Lia Kahn is dead.Except she isn't.Her body died, but her brain was sliced, scanned, copied, and uploaded into a new body, a mechanical, numb, distant body that doesn't look like her, doesn't sound like her, doesn't feel like her. What happens when your body isn't your body anymore? When nothing you loved to do before feels the same and even you don't recognize yourself?This book looks at an aspect of this kind of physical change that is seldom explored in stories like this. When your body changes, it will change your mind as well. The very fact that it did not have the picture-perfect ending that it might have had - the ending was heartbreaking, in fact - made it all the more powerful, all the more real.
  • (4/5)
    Lia Kahn was the most popular girl in school. She didn't just wear what's cool, she chose what's cool. She was also the star of the track team, that is until she dies. But she didn't stay dead. In this future enough credit can get you anything. Even a new body after yours dies. These new bodys are state of the art machines, nearly perfect human robots. Lia died in a car crash then was downloaded into one of the new bodies. She looks different, feels different, talks different, so is she still herself, or did she truly die in the car crash.This book was GREAT! I was so sad that with work school and the yearbook i couldn't finish it sooner, but it was totally worth it. The characters were great and you can feel Lia's struggle throughout the book. I love how the future was depicted in this book, the pink sky sounds totally cool, but the fact that it's all polution is kind of scary. The ending of this book is very unexpected but seems extremely fitting. Anyone who loved the Uglies books by Scott Westerfeld will love this book.
  • (5/5)
    I just finished reading this book and, to be perfectly frank, it broke me. As in the same way that Life As We Knew It, Thirsty and especially Feed broke me. In my opinion, it's an exceptional story that deals with what it means to be human, which is cliché but true. The story is, at it's very basic level, quite simple. Lia's in an accident and she wakes up to find that she's not herself. She's sort of a cyborg (though the term is never used in the novel) with her own conscious. Her ability to learn, grow and survive in her new surroundings make up the bulk of the story, but in the typical 'coming of age' way that we're used to. What makes this book so good is not just the fact that Wasserman is an excellent author, but the fact that we're going through all of the difficulties Lia's going through as she goes through them -- we suffer as she suffers. Wasserman draws us into the story through Lia's emotions (or lack of them) and she keeps us interested and invested by showing us just how much Lia changed from the person she was before the accident -- a Lia that we don't know, because we come into the story after the accident. Another thing Wasserman uses to her advantage is the flashback. We learn about Lia through this, through the way her family, friends and boyfriend behave around the 'new' her. I think this is an extremely effective plot device, though it was used more than to just further the plot. Others have said that this book is like Westerfeld's Uglies series and another book with a similar plot to Skinned that I haven't read yet. I have to say that this book is much, much more adult that the Uglies series and it's much darker in many ways. Skinned is, as Scott Westerfeld says on the cover, really about finding out who we are inside. There are several moments in the book where Lia must figure out what she is -- and like all of us, she doesn't really know for sure. The book that Skinned did remind me of was MT Anderson's Feed. It's a book that focuses on what is and isn't real, about love and loss and what it means to be human -- just in a different context. Wasserman's book is an excellent addition to the YA science fiction genre.