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.