I read the book Skinned by Robin Wasserman last night (and part of this morning). It’s a novel set in the future, about a girl whose body was destroyed in a car crash. But her mind was downloaded into a computer and they put that into a synthetic body. Theoretically, she’d still be her same old self. Excepting all the stuff where nobody likes these downloaded people, or Mechs, as they were called.

The girl, Lia, is alienated by her friends. Her sister hates her. Her father regrets making the decision to have her “saved.” A Mech can’t die. They back up their minds and night and if anything happens to their mechanical body, their mind can simply be downloaded into a new one. Mechs don’t feel pain like ordinary people. They’re perfect, and most humans hate them for that.

I thought the novel was pretty good. The beginning was intriguing. It hit a lull at about chapter two and continued quite a ways into it. Towards the end, however, it got really good. At the very end, I was floored. How could the author just leave it like that? Then I realized it was just the first book of a trilogy. I’m looking forward to reading the other books.

Skinned was the fifth Robin Wasserman book I’ve read. I read the Chasing Yesterday Trilogy, which was YA but came off a lot like juvenile to me. I also read Hacking Harvard, which I absolutely loved. I recommend that to anybody who either doesn’t mind or can get past the language. A lot of language.

I’d give Skinned three out of four stars. The positives: great beginning, great plot, great description and setting. The negatives: some dull writing, non-endearing characters, over-used “after the world was bombed…” plot piece.


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