What's Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
Release: September 18th 2012
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, YA
#1 in the Hybrid Chronicles
Sequels: Once We Were (#2), Echoes Of Us (#3)
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.
Ah, it's been way too long since I had the time to finish a book and write a review. I've been up to my neck in school work for the past couple of weeks and didn't have time to read much at all, I'm hoping I'll have more time again starting now, especially since my TBR shelf is ever piling higher.
Since I had to use my time sparingly, it took me a little while to finish What's Left of Me, which had absolutely nothing to do with the book itself — in fact, most times, when I did pick it up, I didn't want to put it down. I sacrificed some of my very precious sleep, which I didn't get enough of anyways, just so I could read a little more.
The premise was very intriguing, and I've heard some good things about the novel, and I think it definitely delivered. It didn't break its promises to what it would be, and while it did go on to be something I hadn't expected, I am still pleased with how it handled the whole hybrid/twin soul thing, enough was explained about it and how the government handles it that I got it and it still left me with some questions that make me want to pick up the sequel. Also, plot-wise, it did drag a bit around page 230 or something, but it was never a bad case of "Ugh."
The characters were mostly lovely as well, while Addie mainly annoyed me later on (starting from around page 100), I really liked Eva. I think having Eva narrate the whole novel was an excellent choice in narrator and I think it's what made this book such a unique reading experience. You see, Eva doesn't have control of her own body — she's just kind of there. Addie's the one pulling the strings, and Eva can't do anything, and I thought that so terrific and at the same time morbidly interesting, I loved getting to know how Eva handles this. Furthermore, her learning to take the reins anew, making more and more progress and being able to finally do things herself was very exciting to see and it made me really happy for her. Besides Addie and Eva, most of the other characters were nice too, Hally and Lissa got a little flat and 2D towards the end, and Devon didn't get a lot of characterization at all, but then we have very complex and struggling characters like Dr. Lyanne that balance the scales again.
One thing that I loved most, I think, was how the whole romance thing was handled. Eva and Ryan don't interact that much, truly, but I still felt their connection and their chemistry, and they were simply cute. But then there's the whole struggle with how them being together affects Addie (and probably also Devon), which may be viewed as an external problem, but since Eva takes Addie's feelings in consideration and chooses to keep her distance from Ryan for Addie's sake makes it much more personal (for Eva), which I really respected and loved. I'm still waiting for the inevitable "love triangle," if you could call it that, when Addie falls for someone else (Jackson?). That's probably going to be interesting as hell.
All in all, I really enjoyed What's Left of Me a lot. It probably won't make my favorites list and it wasn't overly exceptional, but I'm leaving this book with a nice, satisfied feeling and I'm definitely going to read the sequel as soon as I can.