Skinned – Robin Wasserman


After a horrible car accident, Lia wakes up in the hospital feeling more than a little broken. In fact, she doesn’t feel like herself at all.

Because she’s not.

“We had to,” my mother pleaded. “We didn’t have any choice other.”
“Honey, you heard the doctors, you were going to die. This was the only other way.”

It was the worst outcome Lia could think of. They’d turned her into a skinner: a machine, a computer that looks like her, talks like her, and even has all her old memories. But it isn’t Lia. Not really.

Where Lia is from, being a skinner is somewhat of a controversy, and when she tries to slot back into her old life, things don’t go very smoothly. Her friends treat her differently. Her boyfriend seems unable to connect with her new machine-self. Even her family – who were responsible for making her a skinner in the first place – have trouble accepting her back into their lives.

Lia struggles with the idea of being a machine and spends a great deal of the novel wallowing in self-pity. Consequently, the book is a little on the depressing side. Lia is a bit of a whiner and I found myself wishing she’d just get over it already, and do something about it.

Thankfully, she does.

She becomes friends with Auden – who is the only person in her life that seems unconcerned by the fact that she no longer has a beating heart. It’s clear from the beginning of their friendship that Auden has a thing for her, but Lia is too caught up in her own depression to notice. The question I found myself asking was, does Auden like Lia because he likes her, or does he like her because she’s a skinner? I felt sorry for Auden and desperately hoped that he’d grow a pair sooner or later.

Does he? Well, I know the answer, but you’ll just have to read it for yourself to find out. More to the point, how long can Lia live like this, surrounded by people that wishes she was dead? I know I wouldn’t be able to do it for very long…

This is the first novel in a planned series and I’m looking forward to the next instalment.

An intriguing tale that questions the very foundation of humanity.


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