December 11, 2012

Latest Read: What's Left of Me

Here are the basics ...
Book: What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles #1)
Author: Kat Zhang
Site: http://www.katzhangwriter.com/
Category: Young Adult - Dystopian

Summary: 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 and talk. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t. Eva has held on to 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. 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 speak, Eva will do anything. (Adapted goodreads.com

Thanks to Alexa for lending me the book!
My thoughts…
The good: What's Left of Me has a premise unlike any other book I've read before - this idea that two souls are born into one body.  Eva and Addie share a single body but Addie is the more dominant soul, which meant that Eva was eventually supposed to fade away.  When she doesn't, they have to keep it a secret because being a hybrid isn't normal.  In fact, according to the government, it's practically illegal. So to everyone else, even their parents, there is only Addie.  But Eva still exists within in their body, even though she can't move or speak out loud.  This two-in-one character provided for some really unique storytelling.

Even though Addie is dominant, it's Eva that we really get to know. She's the main protagonist. Through her thoughts and conversations with Addie, we learn her how much she wants to be alive and experience all the world has to offer. And for someone who's supposed to be the recessive soul, she's awfully pushy and unafraid to express her what she wants.  I liked that about her.  Addie, on the other hand, was harder to sympathize with. She's the one who gets to be in control of their body. She can speak, make friends, be with their family. But when Eva gets the opportunity to get some of that control back, she's not exactly supportive. She helps her sister but you can tell it's grudgingly done and that she's afraid. Afraid of being in the dark, afraid of not being normal. As I read, I kept trying to imagine what it would feel like to be in their position, Eva's in particular. It's pretty unsettling to think of yourself trapped in your own body, watching life pass you by. But there's a beauty to what Addie and Eva share too.  They're closer than sisters. They talk constantly and whenever one of them is scared or lonely, there's someone right there with them. Always. Which can have its obvious downsides too (um, privacy anyone?).

(Some) reservations:  The government plays a big role in Eva and Addie's fear of being discovered as a hybrid but I felt like not enough information was given on why. Why is being a hybrid so bad? When did this fear begin? How and why is America separate from the other countries? I had so many questions. I think if more details were given on this dystopian world, the little reveals along the way would've had a bigger impact.  Also, I wanted more of Addie. Even though I didn't particularly like her character, I wanted to understand her better. I get that the book is meant to be Eva's story but Addie is huge part of who she is.  I wanted more insight into her feelings and thoughts.

Do I recommend?: Even though I have some reservations, this is a pretty good first book in what I think will be a very interesting series.

Happy reading!

4 comments:

  1. I need to read this book. I've had the ARC forever! lol great review!

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  2. It's definitely an interesting set-up for the series! I'm looking forward to the next one ;)

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    1. Same here! I really do hope we get a better glimpse into Addie's point-of-view in the next one.

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