Thursday, 12 July 2012
Skinned by Robin Wasserman
Lia Khan 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.
Review: Liah Khan had it all. Her parents paid the big bucks to ensure that she was genetically modified to be blonde, blue-eyed, and drop-dead gorgeous with an IQ that allowed her to cruise through school and a social brilliance that placed her on top of the high-school totem pole. Parties were only cool if Liah Khan was there, clothes were in style only if Liah Khan wore them, and you were a nobody if you weren't linked to Liah Khan's network. She was her father's darling, her hunk boyfriend's obsessive object of desire, and her high-school's empress.
Liah Khan had it all ... until the day she died.
Set in a post-apocalypse, dystopian era created after WWIII contaminated the world's major cities and wiped countries off the map, the Khan family is one of the privileged few who can afford to live in the sheltered and genetically modified environment that is free of contamination. Life in Liah's world is programmed-perfect - that is, until a mechanical glitch in Liah's auto-piloted vehicle causes it to explode and Liah is burned alive.
She remembers dying. But how does she remember that?
'Waking-up' in a body with silicon for tissue, metal for bones, and electrical circuits for neuronal pathways Liah realizes that she's been 'downloaded' into a BioMax body. Her mechanics and her parents swear she's still Liah - that she's still human - but is she? This body can't feel emotion, it doesn't need to blink, eat, use the washroom, or even breathe, she'll never die... and she'll never fit in again. Viciously ousted from her high-school throne, Liah (who is truly a spoiled bitch) begins to realize what it is like to be on the outside. Faced with a future she neither wanted or asked for, Liah is forced to change as her sister refuses to acknowledge that she is still her sister, her boyfriend can't touch her without looking like he's going to vomit, and society labels her a freak.
I felt this book could have been a lot more than it was. I didn't love it - but it wasn't a bad read. Liah isn't the nicest person in the beginning of the book, but watching her struggle, fight, and be forced to change in the aftermath of her death is certainly drama-filled. The plot is easy to follow and predictable. If you've watched any of the TV soap operas you can figure out early on where this novel is going. The idea of 'Skinners' (BioMax robots) is interesting, and I'm looking forward to reading more about the destroyed cities in the next book. Skinned lacks a certain level of finesse in its writing style but the blunt first-person delivery is easy to read. Some parts of this book were a bit crass and I did not appreciate the unnecessary and rather gross sexual comments that were scattered throughout. Overall, I'm not sorry I read it but it wouldn't be jumping up and down to recommend it either.
Rating: 2.5 Stars
The writing quality just wasn't there, but I did appreciate Liah's character developed throughout the book, the imaginative 'world', and the interesting concept