Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Author: Kat Zhang

Series: The Hybrid Chronicles

Published September 18th 2012 by HarperCollins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's Left of Me explores what it might be like to be an unwelcome guest in your own body, within your own mind. In this world, each body is born inhabited by two souls. By age 7, most children have "settled", meaning the recessive soul has faded away leaving only the dominant soul. When this doesn't happen, those left with two souls past puberty are considered hybrid. Hybrids are considered sick and dangerous and are sought out by the government to be hospitalized and corrected.


Addie is the dominant soul in this story, Eva the recessive. They have spent the past few years pretending that Eva has faded until a schoolmate finds out their secret. The schoolmate, Hally, and her brother Devin are also secretly hybrids as well as being foreign which means they are distrusted in the current political climate. Eva wants to trust them but Addie isn't so sure, the consequences if their secret were revealed could be deadly.


The story is told from Eva's point of view and was at times very poignant as I was forced to consider what it would be like having to constantly live in my own head pretending that I don't exist to the outside world. The relationship between Addie and Eva felt genuine and the feeling between the two was expressed beautifully in the dialog they shared. With two souls inhabiting the body of each of the characters, you would think that the story would be confusing. Surprisingly, it was not. Each soul had their own individual voice and were easily identified.


I think that Eva was an especially well written character. Her great longing to be acknowledged, her loneliness, and her genuine love for Addie was expressed with poignancy and emotion and I found myself continually drawn to her.


I enjoyed the unusual storyline, the relationships between the characters, and the beautiful writing that compelled me to continue reading late into the night. If I have one complaint about What's Left of Me it is that I would have liked to have had more information about the world and why children were born with two souls and why not settling is considered so dangerous.

Rating – 4 of 5

5 comments:

Katja Weinert said...

Love the sound of What's Left of Me, it's been on my wishlist for a few weeks now. Great review.

Donna Smith said...

@Katja Weinert

Thanks Katja! I picked up What's Left of Me because of all the amazing reviews I kept seeing about it and I definitely wasn't disappointed. I hope you enjoy it too!

Sam said...

We share similar thoughts on this book, Donna. I also really appreciated the relationship between Addie and Eva and thought it was beautifully presented. Though like you said, a few more details about the world and the hybrids would have been welcomed. Amazing review! :)

The Happy Booker said...

@Sam

Sam your review was what initially drew me to this book and I'm so glad I picked it up, it was a wonderful read. A few more details about the world itself would be nice, hopefully those bits will addressed in the sequel. Anytime I see a book that catches my eye, I always look to see if you've read it because we do share very similar tastes in many books. Thanks for stopping by!

Aditi Gupta said...

I think I gave a similar rating to What's left of me. It is so different from the fast-paced, action oriented dystopian novels. (that I do love) but I did enjoy the way the emotions were woven in with the storyline. My heart ached for Eva & Ryan. I hope we find out why exactly these hybrids are such a threat in the next book.
ps. Can you believe Kat Zhang is just 19?

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