Skinned by Robin Wasserman
In Lia Kahn’s ultra high tech world, being linked into the network is everything; she’s had her own avatar there since before she could even read. She is one of the most popular girls at her school, a rich trend-setter who is more than a tad nasty to those less “blessed.” When she is nearly killed in a freak car accident, her parents make the controversial decision to have her brain/memories downloaded into a new, human-like body. Lia is now a mech head, also known by the derogatory term “skinner” by most of society, who do not accept her and the other mech’s as human. Her friends and boyfriend make an effort to accept her, but their own prejudices betray them, and she becomes an outcast at school. She’s even kicked off her beloved track team, since the coach says she’ll have an unfair advantage over the other athletes. She’s not even sure if her parents accept her as the real Lia, and she knows her younger sister Zoie certainly doesn’t.
She finds one friend, another outcast named Auden, who is fascinated by her differences, and also beginning to like her as more than a friend. When they stumble upon a group of mech’s who revel in their differences, Lia realizes she may have more options than being the “Satan’s work” the religious fundamentalists accuse her of being.
This gripping story caught my interest from the first page. I HAD to know how Lia dealt with one obstacle after another in her struggle to accept herself. What I also liked about this book is that it makes you think about what makes us human: is it our flesh and blood, our memories, our soul? I would especially recommend this to fans of other dystopian titles, especially readers who liked The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Unwind and Uglies.