I read this sci-fi novel for young adults when I was a kid, and I would love to re-read it but I can't remember the title. I remember the copy I borrowed from the library had some sort of television with a man's face in it on the cover. Trying to recall this is like trying to recall a dream, but I distinctly remember reading it. If anyone can help, it'd be much appreciated!

The plot involves a girl named Sarah who is close with her grandfather. Her grandfather named her Sarah after a girl he once loved by the same name.

Toward the end of the book, she is with her boyfriend and cuts her finger off but doesn't feel anything. She at some point realizes that she is a robot -- her grandfather had once told her that in order for someone to travel through time, he/she must die, have their dead body surgically transformed into a robot, and come back to being as this robot.

As it turns out, she finds out that her boyfriend with whom she is in love is actually her grandfather because she is really a robot (after her grandfather has turned her into one in the future) and has traveled back in time.

  • 22
    Time travel...Robots...Sarah...Could it be 'Terminator'? ;-)
    – Jeff
    Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 21:18
  • 12
    @Jeff: Sure makes this one harder to find... Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 13:57
  • I couldn't immediately find it, based on your description, in this list on Wikipedia but I'm sure the list is not exhaustive. However, maybe you'll recognize it?
    – Xantec
    Commented Nov 5, 2011 at 16:05
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    I am looking for the same book. I remember she takes some drug and then takes a bath in ice so her body will be salvagable when they find it. Then the transfer her brain into a robot body. It is the eternal enemy. books.google.com/books/about/…
    – user4336
    Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 4:29
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    You don't list your age on your profile - could you give an estimated range of copyright dates?
    – user9063
    Commented Sep 30, 2012 at 11:05

2 Answers 2


I'm pretty sure it is The Eternal Enemy by Christopher Pike.

  • 8
    Sure doesn't look like it from the description.
    – user56
    Commented Nov 5, 2011 at 14:11
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    If you read the recap likepike.blogspot.se/2008/09/eternal-enemy.html it sounds exactly like this is the right answer.
    – Nick
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 10:30
  • I agree with Nick, I read this book in the past and remember the weird VCR plot device that was used, this sounds exactly right. Edit - If I remember correctly, the reason Sarah was able to see the future through this VCR was BECAUSE she was a robot. Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 19:08
  • 1
    "Christopher Pike". Star Trek. Very nice... Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 19:24
  • There is an edition with a TV on the cover: isbn.nu/9780613077194 Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 14:36

The story is "The eternal enemy". You can read a recap here.

Book Cover - The External Enemy

The main storyline follows Rela, a teenage girl who acquires a state-of-the-art VCR that, much to her amazement, shows events in the future. She then proceeds to attempt to avert fate repeatedly. After averting her own death, and spotting a creepy man in a jogging suit with now seams, the twist you remember is revealed.

Creepy dude comes in and takes the bandage off Rela's hand from where she cut it at the party. He then PEELS THE SKIN right off with it. All the skin from her hand. Yet, she feels no pain. RELA is Robotic Experimentation Logistical Algorhythm. The guy is Grandfather. He's gonna destroy Rela with a ray gun, but first...

Remember Sara? Born in 2036 in LA, in the aftermath of a world war and during an American depression. Sara's grandfather disappeared when she was 10, and reappeared when she was eighteen. He told her about some stuff he'd been working on in the meantime... i.e. making human cyborgs that can travel to the past. You know, everyday stuff.

  • 3
    Rather than just posting a link, do you think you could summarize it here? It's just one of the things we like to do in this community. Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 2:35
  • 3
    @JakeGould: It at least provides a link to a summary that has the robot twist.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 18:11

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