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(Cold Awakening #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  12,669 ratings  ·  1,030 reviews
The Download was supposed to change the world. It was supposed to mean the end of aging, the end of death, the birth of a new humanity. But it wasn't supposed to happen to someone like Lia Kahn.

And it wasn't supposed to ruin her life.

Lia knows she should be grateful she didn't die in the accident. The Download saved her--but it also changed her, forever. She can deal with
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Simon Pulse
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3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,669 ratings  ·  1,030 reviews

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Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to present this review in a series of half-explained gifs.

In the beginning, I was just casually reading through it.


And then I started getting into it.


I was enjoying the story and beginning to get irritated with everyone's constant blatant disregard of Lia and the fact that she was still human...inside.


Then the story moved onto Zo - or Zoie the Hoie as I like to refer to her - and of course, I hated her.

But it wasn't just your regular hate.

This was deep, burning hate that even the fier
Wicked Incognito Now
Okay. I'm not going to finish this book, but it isn't because I don't think it's a perfectly acceptable book. It is. The writing is actually very good, and the author presents a lot of interesting questions about what it means to be "human."

This author has a compelling voice and the novel reads a lot like a Scott Westerfeld novel. Even the paperback size and cover look like an Uglies novel. However, Westerfeld draws the reader in much faster with rising action and character development.

I'm just
Sep 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Lia shouldn’t have been in the car in the first place. By doing a favor for her sister, she has changed her life forever. A one in a million chance. The navigation system in her car malfunctioned and she crashed head on with another car. Her body broken - her skin burning, Lia waited for help. Unfortunately, her body didn’t survive the trauma of the accident. However, her brain remained in tact.

Lia wakes up several weeks later to find that she is alive. She has been downloaded into a new body.
Brigid ✩
May 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Scott Westerfeld fans
Awesomesauce. It was really good. :] It started off a little confusing, but it had a very cool and sort of risky concept to it. By risky I mean that it could have failed epically; I see a lot of authors take on this kind of plot and then just sorta let it die, but Skinned pulled it off. Not only was it addicting and exciting, but it got me thinking too. There was more depth in it than I expected; it had a thought-provoking theme about identity, and what makes someone who they are – and not only ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for

Lia Kahn was perfect. She had a perfect life, perfect friends, and a perfect boyfriend. She was popular and beautiful and everyone wanted to be with her and know her -- until the accident changed everything.

When Lia is in a fatal car accident, she finds herself awake in the hospital. She should be dead, but she knows she's alive. She can't feel her body, but she knows it's there. Lia has become the latest patient in the "downl
Dec 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of The Adoration of Jenna Fox and Circuit of Heaven
This was a quite gripping piece of science fiction, right in the line of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, Mary E. Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox and Circuit of Heaven by Dennis Danvers.

All of these titles tackle the question of what is really needed to make us human, what should be scrapped up and remolded, when large parts of our body or our mind are gone - if we can that is, of if there should be a physical limit to holding up our excitence here on earth, of if we are allowed to tamper
May contain spoilers, cursing and ranting.

When something bad happens to you, like an accident as what happened in this book to our main. It doesn't always mean death. If your brain is still working you can be downloaded into a new body. Some people if they have enough credit can have one specialty made if there is enough time for it. But the thing is you are no longer human. You can't bleed, eat, breath. You can feel pain to a degree only with extreme actions. Hot and cold mean nothing. You can
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, young-adult
Meh. A poor man's Cinder. Just okay.
Nov 27, 2011 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to sylas by: Shannon
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
What in the world is up with Young Adult literature? The F word was all throughout this book and premarital sex was openly accepted, embraced and expected. I would never recommend this book to a young adult or an adult for that matter - not that I didn't enjoy the book or love the story but simply because of the language and sex in the book.
The story reminds me of the Uglies/Pretties books. It's an interesting story full of interesting subject matter. I actually really enjoyed the story but I ju
Feb 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Okay, this book is confusing and boring. So boring that I'm not even going to bother finishing it. The beginning is kinda confusing and for the next couple hundred pages all the main character's doing is whining about her life as a machine.She describes how her life is falling apart and all I want to do is shake her and scream "GET OVER IT! YOU'RE A MACHINE! JUST ACCEPT THAT FACT AND STOP BITCHING AND MOANING ABOUT IT!" The beginning is interesting but it gets boring as the book progresses.

Apr 12, 2009 rated it did not like it
If I could have given this a negative I would. I know it's a bit harsh, and I understand that plenty of people like this book but it held nothing for me. Foremost the book does offer the interesting debate 'what does it mean to be human' but honestly I have a hard time thinking that the same people who predetermine the entire genetic makeup of their children would really be so opposed to a body that you can choose the qaulities you want AND live forever. The only thing that makes me understand w ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Full Review Link

Lia Kahn is dead.
I am Lia Kahn.
Therefore — because this is a logic problem even a dimwitted child could solve — I am dead.
Except here’s the thing: I’m not.

Lia Kahn had the world. She was beautiful, driven and smart. Born blonde and blue-eyed from a gene depository hand-tailored by her parents, Lia was the kind of girl that the world revolved around – apple of her parents’ eye, darling of her high school, a sister, a friend, and a girlfriend. But then one day when she reluctantly
Carolyn F.
Lots of angst. And I don't know why (view spoiler). I was too old for this book. If I were younger, I probably would have given it a higher rating.
Lia gets into a horrific car crash and dies... But not really. Her injuries are too severe for her body to survive, so the doctors do a brain scan and upload her information into a teenage robot, called a skinner. When Lia awakens, she learns that she is no longer "human" but something other. As a skinner, she can never be hurt, she can never get sick, she can never die. But she also is never accepted. Everyone at school treats her with disdain. Her own family can't seem to come to accept her.

May 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Yet another book I regret not reading sooner.

I loved this. Set in the future, where the entire world is living on technology we can't even dream about yet, Lia Kahn is in an accident that almost kills her. She is "downloaded" onto an artificial body, and everyone who knew and loved her now want nothing to do with her. To them, she is no longer Lia Kahn. She is now just a robot pretending to be Lia.

What I loved is no matter how advanced this world is, everyone is so quick to disregard the mechh
Sarah Woodard
Nov 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Lia Kahn was perfect. She was popular, a perfect boyfriend, rich, and gorgeous. Then one day, Lia got in a accident that should have killed her. She wakes up to find out that she has been downloaded to a human-like robot. Lia is not pleased with the process and doesn't want to be a "Skinner".
Lia goes back to school and things have changed. Her friends have left her behind, because of what she has become. Her boyfriend is disgusted by her and starts going out with her younger sister, Zoe. Lia is
Dec 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Alongside recently published novels like Unwind and the Adoration of Jenna Fox, Skinned is about a teen who has lost control of her own body. After a horrific freak car accident, Lia's body is un-salvageable. Her parents give the order to have her brain downloaded into a computer and she's given a newly constructed body, made of artificial materials. Uber-religious folks hate the "skinners," and believe they have no souls once their brains are downloaded. Lia agrees that she doe
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
i nearly gave up on this book because of 3 reasons:

1) lia is a thoroughly irritating character. everything she does is so self centered and she can't understand anything. everytime someone tells her something that makes sense or she basically already knew, she denies it. and its not just a stage. it is the whole book.

2) it didtn feel like a story it felt like an introduction or prologue.
the story plots isnt something that should make a book this long.there isnt enough story to it.the whole tim
Jan 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I have a whole bunch of thoughts about this book. This would be a great book for discussion in a book club. It brings up a lot of interesting topics. I won't even try to put all my thoughts into a review.

A lot of the time while reading this, I kept thinking of the movie Imposter.

Lia gets in a horrible car accident leaving her family to choose between life and death. To save her, her brain is downloaded into a synthetic body.

I was so frusterated, throughout most of the book, with Lia's sister, Zo
Jan 27, 2009 rated it liked it
We have two SF books featuring mechanically altered female characters in this year's Peach Consideration list. My problem is that it's been over a year since I read The Adoration of Jenna Fox, a shorter one that involves a new computer generated brain in the same basic body that the character had before an accident killed her mind--I think. In Skinned, Lia Kahn has an all-new, all-mech body that doesn't look all that much like her old self; but she retains her memories, personality, and tries to ...more
LilyCat (Agent of SHIELD)-- on hiatus :(
I read about halfway through the book a few years ago and just couldn't finish it. I don't know why, it just lost my interest. Okay, so we have this girl who ends up being turned into a teenage robot and ostracized as a freak... and then I pretty much had the whole plot figured out from there. She's going to meet a hot mech dude, a geeky human dude who wants to go Mech, everyone who's human hates her guts, there's a boatload of evil Christian characters, but since the author is trying to be poli ...more
Sep 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Feed and Uglies
A very fast and exhilerating read - I couldn't put this book down despite being absolutely exhausted after my first day of work (and was almost late coming back from lunch on my second day because I spent more time reading this than eating...)

At first when I reached the end of the book, I was a little disappointed. I felt that the author had dropped in several interesting ideas and characters that never had their full potential realized - then I flipped to the front jacket flap and saw this is t
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a recommended enjoyable book bordering on high end of YA Sci-Fi with the language, more adult words.

The premise of the story was good, character development was well done even though you wanted to smack Lia occasionally in her self absorbed obstinacy. Toward the end of the book she determined to start new, and leave the past behind, which then made me want to read more in this series.

The abilities in growth makes me want to see how much growth could be obtained in the following books.
Apr 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
This was the most depressing book I have ever read and I NEVER want to read it again. From start to finish its a gut wrenching read. Nothing good ever happens to this girl. I only recommend this if you aren't looking for something to pick you up. it wont. It will make you cry and it wont make up for it at all. A little itty bitty break from the constant depression in this would've been nice.

I never want to read or think of this again.

Oh, to be clear, the writing and everything is great! Its ju
Sep 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I'm really glad I read books I'm not sure I'll like. I was predisposed not to like this for two reasons, 1. It reads too similar to The Adoration of Jenna Fox and 2. I thought of the author as a series book writer (the 7 Deadly Sins)

At first, it seemed a rip off of other similar titles, but the more I read, the more I got sucked into Lia's story. I loved the character of Auden, his origin was believable, the ending is so shocking I literally got sick to my stomach. It's so sad!! Pleas
Dec 29, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Lilabet by: scott
This has a good story to it, but is told in a stupid,pointless way. Also,it is depressing.
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via The Obsessive Bookseller at

This is another book that I've read before, but it was so many years ago that the second and third books in the trilogy hadn't even come out yet. I've mentioned recently that I don't often reread books but sometimes it can't be helped when I want to continue on but there are too many things I've forgotten about the first book's (it really irritates me when that happens – I guess I need to stop reading them before they're all released #booknerdpro
Sep 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is probably the best book I have read that describes in clear, real detail the transformation of someone moving from privilege and elite status, to an unmentionable. There isn't any trite descriptions of realizing what is "truly important" and forming "real relationships" with people who care. The treatment of the subject is first rate.

Why the one star? Why do I say you should avoid this book? To start, this should never be considered a YA title. There is vulgar language across the whole sp
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Robin Wasserman is the author of the novel GIRLS ON FIRE. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and several short story anthologies. A recent MacDowell Colony fellow, she is also the New York Times bestselling author of more than ten novels for young adults and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University.

Other books in the series

Cold Awakening (3 books)
  • Crashed (Cold Awakening, #2)
  • Wired (Cold Awakening, #3)
“Nor did I need anyone's pity, but I would accept it with grace, because I have been well trained. Rudeness was a sign of weakness. Grace stemmed from power, the powere to accept anything and move on.” 32 likes
“Rudeness was a sign of weakness. Grace stemmed from power, the power to accept anything and move on.” 14 likes
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