Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Skinned by Robin Wasserman

Title: Skinned
Author: Robin Wasserman
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 361
My Rating: 5/5

Advance to the future from now. How far ahead are you looking at? What do you think the world is like then?

The setting of the future for this story is when the world is polluted, nature ceases to exist, and you would always be hooked up to the network. Cities like Chicago does not exist and digital cameras are ancient history. Now you can genetically engineer what your future babies would look like and if you got enough credit, you can buy yourself anything in the world.

Life is completely fabulous for Lia Kahn. She is rich, beautiful, and popular. How typical huh? Another Gossip Girl story with a future twist? Oh no, definitely not.

Lia have agreed to her younger sister, Zoie, that she would take her place at the daycare she works at. Cars of the future drives on its own as long as you give them the right coordinates. With the fancy technology, they can avoid all other vehicles as long as they are programmed correctly. It usually isn't faulty... until now.

Lia's car read that the street was clear when a truck came the other way. She died in a fatal accident. Or so she thought. The next thing she knew she was in a mechanical body that is supposed to look human but is not. Every concept of her brain is mapped out into a virtual one that belongs to what people called the robotic body a "Skinner." Now she is trying to fit back into society. But how can you do so when everyone consider you only a fake human replica, not deserving to be treated as a real human?

In the beginning, it was a bit slow with Lia trying to adjust to her new life but after a few more chapters, it totally gripped me. There were many different topics that came to my mind when I was reading it. One that really bothered me the most: Designing your child. In the story, you can map out their entire appearance, all the way to certain abilities. You can make the children perfect or really intelligent, or even both if you have enough credit. In the story, everyone is very conceited and appearances is everything. Why would you do that? I would never want to have a child that I made up like a doll. I rather let natural causes come to play and I get what I get. Of course I would get rid of all possible diseases within their genes but other than that, I prefer things to flow naturally.

What else I took into mind: Unfair judgment. It is like racism all over again. People treated those who became skinners as objects. Of course this is a very controversial topic. Since the bodies are man-made, they are not considered people. Then again, the minds have been scanned into these bodies know that they were once human. Skinners does not have a "free will", so says the Faithers (religious people). They can't say that because what if the god they believe all so much in is pulling their strings?

This is an amazing book. Not only do you pity, hate, and love the characters but also it gives you some things to think about. Books that actually makes you question things are great ones. I think this is the first book I actually took some of the topics out of and thought a bit about it. It deals with trying to understand who you are and fighting between the reality and your own beliefs. Go read it. Which side would you be on?

Review copy provided by
Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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Shooting Stars Mag said...

Great review! This really does sound like an awesome book. I think the idea of designing your own child IS crazy. It's just insane...I wouldn't want that either.


Diana Dang said...

Thank you Lauren!

But yes, very insane. o.o It is as bad as being a Skinner, perfect and all...

Shooting Stars Mag said...

You are quite welcome!!

I know, I agree. It's just unfathomable. What a scary thought for the future.


Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

This sounds interesting! You wrote a great review!

Thanks for visiting my blog last week. I hope you'll come again soon!

Diana Dang said...

@Lauren: Indeed! I always wonder what life would be like long after I'm dead. But then thinking 10 years ahead is scary enough!

@Karla: Thank you and you're welcome!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Diana: oh gosh, it's likeh the song by Motion City Soundtrack, "the future freaks me out" it would be crazy to see what happens when i'm long gone as well though!!


Diana Dang said...

@Lauren: I never heard of that song! Maybe I'll check it out later x)

Bunny B said...

Another great review! I wouldn't have actually wanted to read this book if I hadn't read your review :)