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Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Young Adult
Pages: 343
Genre: Science Fiction

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.
*This novel was borrowed from my library*

I had been dying to read this book for months before and after the novel came out. Sadly, I had gotten busy with school and work and hadn't really had much time to read. When I did have time to read I was making the best to carve my way out of the review maze I had set myself in. There are so many books in the world and 24 hours in a day does not do justice. So summer rolled by, I finally drove myself to the library and I, after many, many years and being of the legal age of 18, got myself a library card.

The Hybrid Chronicles cover is absolutely stunning. Before I even read the premise, I wanted to read this book. Because that is the lusty cover lover within me, just oogoling over the design and not caring what the actual novel was about. And then I actually sat down and read the synopsis given. The premise is so utterly original that I was chewing my nails down to the nubs for this book to finally hit shelves when there was no chance I was going to get my hands on an ARC. Addie and Eva are two souls who share the same body. One dominant; one recessive. Eva shouldn't exist since she was considered the recessive soul. But she remains aware and dormant while Addie walks, talks, makes friends, goes to school, eats, spends time with the family. Everything. Yet Eva wants a chance to reactivate herself, be the dominant one, the one holding the reigns. Only, Addie is the only one who is supposed to exist. And being known as a hybrid is dangerous.

I happened to really love the scientific evolution that transcends the novel, how the recessive ultimately trains to become the dominant. The flip-flopping destroys the idea of who is dominant and who is recessive between Eva and Addie to the point if they can both be co-dominant in this one vessel. I absolutely enjoy the symbiotic relationship between the two girls, it makes reading about it so much more pleasing, especially because I have to root for the both of them, even though their world only let's one survive. Talk about an internal Hunger Games. But, what if that was how life actually was?

Getting to the grit of the novel. The sympathy for Eva, living inside the head of the body her and Addie share, while Addie is the one calling the shots, one cannot help but feel for her character and even root for her to fight on throughout the novel as she struggles to remain present within the body the two girls share. The story reads quick while still giving the characters a chance to grow and the plot a nice arc. I can't say that character development was stunted for plot progression, both worked hand in hand and made What's Left of Me a fantastic novel.

Final Summation: If you're looking for a break from the Hunger Games, Divergent, dystopian trope than you have come to the right book. Two great characters bundled into one body and a story that keeps getting better, I highly recommend this novel to you, your friends, your mom's friends, anyone. The cover is not just a tantalizing treat, I kid you not. The cover physically expresses the beauty of this novel.

First Line: Addie and I were born into the same body, our souls' ghostly fingers entwined before we gasped our very first breath.
Story: S
Cover: XS