What's Left of Me
by Kat Zhang Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #1 Published by HarperCollins
on September 18th 2012 Pages:
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.
What's Left of Me is a hard book to put my finger on. Not quite a dystopian tale. Not quite pure science fiction or reincarnation. Something different. Something fresh.
In Addie and Eva's world, humans are born with two souls. As the child grows, one soul eventually take full control of the body and settles into one person. Those that do not, the hybrids, are viewed as sick, as a danger to themselves and the society. But for Addie and Eva, life does not exist without the other. And as difficult as it was growing up without settling, they would not have it any other way.
World building is an extremely important element for What's Left of Me. Although Zhang never fully comes out and states, X or Y, it is safe to assume that What's Left of Me takes place in an alternate world. The details of the world are pretty much given in one lump sum. The history of this world is explored, some of the political background was discussed, and the tale moved on. Strangely enough, it worked for me. As the first book in the series, Zhang seems to very deliberately give readers just enough information without it being overload. And surprisingly, I enjoyed the lack of solid details. It allows other elements, the needed ones, to shine.
Unlike many young adult books, What's Left of Me kicks the romance aspect to the curb. Oh, there are a few stolen moments. A kiss or two. But What's Left of Me is not a romantic book in the conventional sense. Will there be more romance in the future installments? Probably. But for now, the romance level is on the low side, as it should be.
What's Left of Me is a powerful tale of love, struggle, and the limits we put ourselves through for others. At its heart, this is a tale about Addie and Eva. Two souls, one body. One connection. Reader who enjoyed Incarnate by Jodi Meadows or The Host by Stephenie Meyer, will devour What's Left of Me. And like me, be begging for more.