What’s Left of me was a captivating and mind-boggling read for me. I really enjoyed it but kept over thinking about how exactly two souls in one body would work which lead to this book being a bit of a head wreck for me (in a good way!).What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Published by Harper Collins on 18 Sept 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA
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I should not exist. But I do.
Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .
For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything
My Recap :
One body, two souls. By the age of 5, one soul has faded and the other soul is left alone in the body to live a normal life. Not so for Eva and Addie, they are both still there. Addie is the one everyone sees and talks to but Eva is there present in their body unbeknownst to those around them. It is their biggest secret and one to guard with their life as being found out will be trouble with a capital T.
My Thoughts :
I’m not joking, this book made my head hurt. The thought of two souls in one body is so painful, the idea of another voice constantly present in your body, a voice with feelings and emotions that can vary so different to yours. It’s a head wreck and that was just for me reading it never mind how frustrating it must be for Eva and Addie.
My sympathies go straight to Eva as she is the person without an external voice, the person who can’t move around freely but must go and do whatever Addie wants. I found it interesting that the book is Eva’s voice even though in the world in which she lives she has no voice. It is told from her point of view and she is the person with whom I empathise most so that felt right to me.
Initially I was afraid this book would take a predictable route of a good soul and a bad soul but thankfully it didn’t. Both characters are likeable and have good points and bad ones. I think I feel that the dominant soul who survives is a more selfish person as they fought harder and care less about their other souls feelings and right to live. And that makes me think that a society inhabited by such people is not a great direction to take. I suppose you could argue that these souls are just fighters and more resilient but it still makes me feel uneasy.
I got myself into a bit of a pickle trying to figure out how Addie and Eva communicate, they don’t talk out loud and they don’t share all their thoughts. Once I figured out they had some means of filtering what they wanted the other soul to know, it all made more sense. While I had problems sorting this out, I had no problems separating the girls in my head as they are very distinct characters with very different personalities.
The pace of the book held up nicely. There was a sinister element of danger about what would happen if their secret was revealed or spotted and it was enough to keep me reading eagerly knowing what would happen but hoping it wouldn’t. I did wish it was twistier though as I felt it was very easy to predict what would happen next.
There is a hint of a romance for Eva as well but this I found hard to buy into. A threesome would be enough of a tangle but this would be a foursome and while I think of the characters as separate beings, they still share a body. There is a hint at how this could be resolved but there are still too many what if’s for me to let myself relax into the romance.
Overall this book this was very pleasant surprise. I had a few issues but still really enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading the next book fairly soon as I really want to know what happens next. And a huge plus is the writing style is great from the dialogue to the imagery used, I was a fan all the way and I’m in awe that this was written while the author was only 19 years old.
Who should read What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
I’d recommend this one to fans of YA dystopia as it’s very different from so many others out there and it’s one that gives you lots to think about. If you were a fan of Suzanne Young’s The Program then I’d think you’d enjoy this one also.