I read this book between 1999 and late 2004. I am pretty sure it had a blue cover and may have been published by Penguin. It was a paperback.

The story goes, as far as I can remember, that after an accident her body was too badly damaged and she was implanted into a cyborg or bionic shell, which had been cast aside by other wealthy people who upgrade their "cyborg bodies" when they get bored or for new upgrades. Undamaged real bodies were a premium and the poor could sell their healthy bodies for money to purchase older model cyborg bodies.

I think the protagonist has recurring memories or that they play a part in it somehow.


If the timeline is correct but some of the other details may not be, I suggest this might be Spare Parts (1999) by Sally Rogers-Davidson. As you can see the cover is blue, and it is indeed published by Penguin (specifically Penguin Books Australia).

Cover of Spare Parts

Kelty, the protagonist, doesn't suffer an accident herself but her best friend Mary does. (She is caught in an explosion at the recycling plant where they both worked, which happens before the story begins.)

‘But they can fix you up,’ [Kelty] assured her friend. ‘It’s amazing what they’re doing with bionics and plastic surgery and stuff.’

‘Yeah,’ Mary said bitterly. ‘If I was a Skywalker.’

Kelty couldn’t argue with that. How could a C-grader ever hope to pay for that kind of expensive treatment?

(Note the term "Skywalker" is used for A- and B-grade citizens who actually get to live above the perpetual smog.)

Skywalkers might occasionally donate a used human body when they move on to a newer/younger one:

Skywalkers changed their bodies like they changed their cars, and they rarely had such good reason to seek out new flesh. Turning forty was a good enough reason for most of them to discard a less-than-perfect body, but they could afford to buy a healthy young body. Of course, sometimes if the Skywalker was feeling altruistic they might donate their used body, but the lower grades could rarely afford the cost of a transplant.

Cyborg bodies are also very expensive, but an option if for some reason no suitable human body were available:

‘What about a cyborg body?’ Even as she said it, Kelty knew it was impossible. Cyborg bodies were just as expensive as healthy, young human bodies.

After the accident, Kelty sells her human body to pay for a transplant for her friend Mary, accepting a cyborg body for herself:

‘Very lucky. Unless I’m sadly mistaken, we should be able to arrange a very good deal for you, Miz Holmes. More than enough to pay for a state-of-the-art replacement body.’

Napoleone dropped his hands back down to the desk, but Kelty managed to look him in the face as she asked, ‘And Mary?’

‘You could make it a part of the deal that the client donate her used body to Mary, and I’m offering to perform her transplant at a generous discount, which should mean you’ll have enough to cover the cost of both transplants.’

There's an extensive excerpt from the book available on the author's website.

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    Thank you very much DavidW. It is indeed Spare Parts, I remember the Cover. I have been trying to find this out for many months. I am very appreciative. – 4llyc4t28 Aug 23 '19 at 4:29

The timeline is slightly off, as this came out in 2008, and a few of the details are also different, but is there any chance this could be Skinned (aka Frozen) from Robin Wasserman's Cold Awakening trilogy?

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 being a freak. She can deal with the fear in her parents' eyes and the way her boyfriend flinches at her touch. But she can't deal with what she knows, deep down, every time she forces herself to look in the mirror: She's not the same person she used to be.

Maybe she's not even a person at all.

The protagonist is a teenage girl who was put into a bionic shell after her body was badly damaged in a car accident. These shells are only affordable to the incredibly wealthy. (However, unlike your recollection, her shell isn't second-hand, and it's not yet common for people to have this procedure done; many are wary of the process still.) The protagonist's memories also play a large role, as she has recurring flashbacks to how she used to be and all the ways her body is different now.

And, as the link shows, there is a blue cover.

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    Thank you for your help, although I don't think this is the book, (it seems to be the one listed below) I am interested to read it now as it seems quite interesting. – 4llyc4t28 Aug 23 '19 at 4:30
  • @4llyc4t28 Of course! :) And I'm glad you found the book you were looking for. – Lamprey Aug 23 '19 at 15:38

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