Literature / Skinned
A young adult sci-fi trilogy by Robin Wasserman. Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular. Until the accident that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can't ever truly die. Her brain will simply be re-uploaded into another body. Her friends and family desert her and she gets stares wherever she goes. Some strict Christians even believe she does not deserve to exist.
, Lia no longer lives in before. Six months after the crash that killed her, six months after being reborn, Lia has finally accepted her new reality. She is a machine, a "mech", and she belongs with her own kind. It's a wild, carefree life, without rules and without fear, because there's nothing to fear when you can't die. The strict "Faithers", and their ex-leader, Rai Savona, are pushing for laws to declare mechs as property. Meanwhile, her friend Jude wants to kill the "orgs", or people. Lia gets caught up in the cause, but as plans become more and more dangerous she begins to have second thoughts. How far can she follow Jude? Is she willing to allow him to go as far as he wants to go? Is she willing to end lives whether they be Mech or Org, to protect her own life? What will she do for the ones she loves? In the end, Lia must choose where her loyalties lie.
These books provide examples of:
- And I Must Scream: At one point in the first book, Lia suffers from a "temporary disconnect between [her] body and neural network." This means that her body is completely immobilized while she's fully conscious. She then watches helplessly while several of her classmates poke at her, a couple guys look down her shirt, and one boy draws on her face. Fortunately, Auden carts her off to the school nurse's office so she can get help.
- After the End: Some sort of nuclear disaster wiped out most cities on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The Middle East took heavy damage as well, Mecca and Jerusalem are specifically mentioned as destroyed. It's implied, that the series of events that led to a World War III, where nuclear and biological WMD's were used, began with several acts of nuclear terrorism. The nuclear devastation of the Middle East led to a decline of religion.
- Italy was rendered "toxic" by unspecified events, presumably by religiously motivated terrorist acts.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The series ends with Lia merging her mind with the network. Given that the internet plays a role in almost every single aspect of human existence in her world, becoming one with the network renders her omnipresent and essentially omnipotent. First order of business? Reshaping the world as she sees fit.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Lia's opinion of the Faithers.
- Body Backup Drive: Every night, the mechs have to manually upload the events of that day to a backup hard drive held by the organization that built the mechs, which is then uploaded to a new body should something happen. Note that this is only for mechs who live a conventional life; those off the grid have no means of saving a backup.
- Crisis of Faith: After, among other things, the Middle East went to hell in a nuclear handbasket (Mecca and Jerusalem were specifically mentioned as destroyed) and Italy becane "toxic", religion fell out of fashion, mostly.
- Drinking on Duty: The president is in rehab, because she's on drugs. The first mentioning of the president in the book was of her going AWOL from rehab.
- Face–Heel Turn: In the second book, Auden and later Ani join the Brotherhood of Faithers.
- Just a Machine: what many people believe of the mechs.
- The Needless: The mechs are unable to eat, sleep, or breathe, have bodies that are self-healing and cleaning, and are unable to die. Of course, many of them think of it as Blessed with Suck.
- Neural Implanting: In Crashed, Jude uses a connection to Biotech (the company that made them) to make various modifications for the mechs.
- Race Lift: in-universe example: Many of the non-white mechs were placed in a white body because those were the only ones available.
- Unnamed Parent: Lia's Father's given name is never revealed in the series. He's only ever referred to by Lia (and Zoie) as "my father" or "Dad," and by other characters as "M[r]. Kahn." Lia's mother's first name is only mentioned once early on in the first book; otherwise she's "my mother," "Mom," or "M[rs]. Kahn."
- Unusual User Interface: The mechs can log on to their "zones" using their eyes.