If I had to sum up What’s Left of Me in one word, it would be this: FANTASTIC. It was one of the first good books I have read in a long time. It makes me want to read it again. And again. And again. So please excuse me if this whole “review” ends up being me listing why you should read this book.
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.
(back cover from Goodreads)
Source: Bought it for myself. 🙂
Things I Loved
The Premise. I don’t know how you could not like the premise. I mean, two souls in one body with one of them disappearing over time? And for these two girls, it hasn’t happened, so they have to hide it from everyone, including their family?! Sign me up!
The World. Kat Zhang has stated that What’s Left of Me takes place in an alternate universe where people have always been born with two souls, but one fades away with age. However, we do find out that in some other countries, people are almost always hybrid. Then why, you ask, in the Americas, where the book is set, do people Settle? I assure you, you get the answer to this, and it’s both fascinating and disturbing.
The Writing. Eva narrates the whole book, which is nice, for a change. Oftentimes, when I read two POV’s, I end up getting confused. And it would probably be even more confusing in What’s Left of Me since both Eva and Addie have the same physical appearance, too.
The Characters! The characters are possibly my favorite things. ❤ It was fascinating to see how Eva and Addie would react to the same person. Eva might think the person is nice, but Addie may hate them completely. Even while sharing the same body, Addie and Eva are portrayed as two people in their own right. I’d say Addie is more judgmental and forgetful than Eva is; Eva is kinder, and more open-minded. And then there’s the other characters. They meet quite a few other hybrids throughout the course of the novel. Some of these hybrids’ recessive souls could even use their body. So Addie and Eva would be talking to someone, and all of a sudden that person would become someone else, with different opinions, ideas, and emotions. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but let me just say this: you’ll love Ryan, Lissa, and Kitty.
Internal Conflict. Even though we’re hearing the story from Eva’s perspective, we get to see a whole lot of Addie’s internal conflict, as well. When Eva and Addie discover there’s a way for Eva to control their body again, they are risking everything; if the government ever finds out that they are hybrids, Addie and Eva will be taken away from their happy, normal life to something dangerous and unknown. Addie isn’t sure that she’s willing to risk that. For Eva, the chance to gain control of their body again is everything. If they are caught, then Addie faces losing everything. On the other hand, Addie does want her sister to be happy.
Ultimately, Addie has control of the body, and therefore has control over the ultimate decision they’ll make. So it’s up to her to decide whether she’ll let Eva ever walk again. Addie’s internal conflict was played out very well, and was very believable. And Eva never blames Addie for being torn, because she knows that her desire could very well get them killed.
Addie and Eva do fight, though. Imagine if you wanted to be friends with someone, but the other person in your head didn’t want to be friends with them. What do you do then?
The Romance. Yes, there was romance, but Addie and Eva aren’t falling head-over-heels imagining some guy’s eyes when they have bigger problems. Like, oh, say, worrying about the government doing experiments on them, or killing them, or worse.
Things I Had Tiny Problems With
These are honestly really tiny problems. I LOVED the book. 😀
- I wasn’t quite sure if one of the characters was a hybrid. They didn’t really have a major role, though, so it wasn’t a problem. Maybe it was my sloppy reading, but I was confused.
- Their parents seemed sort of unconcerned about them. I’ll leave it at that, because spoilers.
- The book ended. This was honestly one of those books where I needed it to be longer. Because it was amazing, and now I have to get the sequel. RIGHT. AWAY.
Overall, this book was one of my favorites. Before reading it, I thought of it as sci-fi, but now, I’m not quite sure what to call it. In fact, Barnes and Nobles even called it realistic fiction (?). Whatever genre you’re a fan of: READ THIS BOOK.
My Rating: 5/5 Wagging Tails
What’s Left of Me is part of The Hybrid Chronicles, by Kat Zhang. I promise you it’s worth every penny.
This weekend, I’m going to try to review Cinder by Marissa Meyer. On Saturday, you’ll be hearing more from Breeze in my novel The CyberWorld.