Author: Kat Zhang
Publish Date: September 18, 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
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.
Addie and Eva live in a world where all children are born with two souls, and it’s completely natural. Over time, one of the souls simple fades away, and the dominant soul takes control of the body, leaving just one soul, one body and one mind. Addie and Eva are different though. Eva doesn’t seem to want to fade away, and being a Hybrid in their world is a dangerous thing. It must be hidden because if the world realizes that Addie never really settled and Eva still exists, they might deem her a threat. There’s a chance – a miracle, even – that there could be a way for both girls to exist, but it means risking everything. Can they do it, and can it be done in time?
Before I launch into a review that doesn’t accurately portray all the feelings (yes, I have FEELINGS for this book) I have toward What’s Left of Me, let’s just take note of something. This book has, hands down, one of the most beautifully brilliant and original plotlines that I’ve read in a very, very long time. Throughout the novel, I would pause and take a moment to think about just how utterly refreshing it was to read something entirely new. That, in and of itself, is an amazing accomplishment, and Kat Zhang should be immensely proud of her creation. Incredible pacing, personable characters and a deep, imaginative plot combine to create a whirlwind of action, adventure and drama.
There was something so very poetic about What’s Left of Me that managed to break my heart, piece it back together, and then shatter it about five or six more times throughout the book. By creating two incredibly dynamic characters in Addie and Eva, I was able to fully envelop myself in the world of the novel through two unique perspectives. The torturous part was that only one of those characters could actually talk and act for herself. Eva’s desperate desire to speak, feel and move for herself clawed its way into my soul. Such small, minute actions she craved, but she wasn’t able to accomplish them without Addie. Watching her pain and feeling her struggle was beautifully unbearable. She couldn’t even lift a finger, but Eva becomes one of the most poignant and powerful female MCs for me in YA literature. Addie, too, was brilliantly crafted through her conflictions and pain, as well as her relationship with her soul sister (no pun intended). Each character, action, event and setting of What’s Left of Me was painted with an expert eye so as to draw us into a world that is flawed, broken and completely tangible. My only qualm, if you can even call it that, was that I desperately wanted more of a climax at the end. The tension built to this furious intensity then I felt like it wound down and wrapped itself all neatly for the finish. You know me. I like it to be a little messier than that!
Overall though, What’s Left of Me is one of the most poetic and powerful reads of 2012 for me, and it’s not one that I’ll soon forget. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy dystopian, sci-fi and fantasy.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.