Monday, November 26, 2012

Review of What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

I just finished this terrific book this week and have to share my thoughts with everyone else!
What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)Goodreads Book Description: 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 Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review: Several of my author friends were gushing about this book, and I just knew I had to move it up on my to read list. Boy, am I glad I did.

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang is about Hybrids-- specifically Eva and Addie. There is typically a dominant and recessive soul in each body and Eva is the recessive soul. She is supposed to disappear by their 5th birthday, but she hangs on, determined to live. But because of this, they are different from the rest of the population, and hide their secret from even their loved ones. Then they meet Hally, someone just like them-- and their world changes forever.

I can't even imagine the complexity of writing this book. To clarify what I mean is-- you have two souls inhabiting one body. There are references to Addie saying something, but then when she does something, it is talked about in the collective plural "we." The connotation was always clear and I never saw a misstep, but what a difficult way to write-- very impressive. Eva is a terrific character, as is Addie, and Zhang does a wonderful job of keeping a balance between the two. The pace of the novel is lightning quick, and I kept turning the pages faster and faster to see what would happen. I loved how three dimensional all of the characters were-- and what a feat to keep each half so distinct and separate.

I am curious about the world building because it is not clear what happened before-- why there are Hybrids, etc. But the ending of this first entry in what is likely to be a trilogy hints there is much more up Zhang's sleeve.

A terrific first book for Zhang-- and I'm eager to pick up the next book in this series!   

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Current Giveaways
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  1. Gushing Author here :) Glad you liked it. To me it was both literary and commercial, both action-packed and contemplative. Love love love!

  2. I won this book about a month ago but I have yet to read it yet. I'm really curious about it because a bunch of people keep talking about how unique this novel is! Great review!
    Shae @ Understanding Shae's Story

  3. I've heard so many great things about this book but I still haven't had the chance to pick up a copy to read. The idea sounds great and I love how wonderfully it's written. It's quite amazing that Kat Zhang is able to accomplish so much since What's Left of Me was sold when Zhang was 19.

  4. Great review. I've read such positive reviews for this, and will be picking it up too.

  5. Thanks for this review! I will have to check this one out!

  6. I loved this one too! I thought the plot was fresh and different. It also kinda creeped me out but, I still loved it. Awesome review!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven