Lia is pretty, rich, and popular. Then her body dies, and her brain is downloaded into a new body. She’s still pretty, still rich – just not popular anymore. Her friends ditch her, her family feels uncomfortable around her, and the only ones who talk to her are other “skinners” and a nerd from her school named Auden.
And that pretty much sums up the whole novel – a potentially interesting premise that doesn’t really go anywhere. I think it’s probably because Lia is the least interesting part of the book – just another snobby girl robbed of her reason to be snobby who then has to find a way to deal with her new life as a social outcast/curiosity.
There is so much though bubbling under the surface of this future world where nuclear war has made most of the earth uninhabitable. The majority have-nots do without so that the minority can live on like nothing happened, still eating their free-range beef and chocolate while the less fortunate live on soy burgers in privacy-free corp towns and the even less fortunate forage for anything edible in the crumbling cities.
I wanted to see more of this world and how people were affected by it and less of Lia’s constant existential blather. Just read Decartes already – I think, therefore I am.
And then book 2, CRASHED, came along and gave me just that. We get to go to a corp town, to a city, and to see how the majority lives. Lia grows a bit more of a social conscience, and there is more action, less sitting around feeling sorry for herself. We learn more about the not-so great histories of Lia’s skinner buddies, and we finally get a feel for the direction the series might be taking, as more pieces of the puzzle become clear, lines are drawn, and sides are chosen.
Although this is not the most exciting dystopia series I’ve read, CRASHED gives me hope that the third book in the series will rock and be the big payoff for the set-up of the first two books.
SKINNED is now available in paperback and CRASHED in hardcover. Find out more about the series at the author’s website.