Karen Ball's Reviews > Skinned

Skinned by Robin Wasserman
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Jun 05, 2011

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Read in February, 2009

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.
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