Author: Kat Zhang
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 3.93
Published: Sept. 18th, 2012
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.(
First off let me start by saying that I don't consider What's Left of Me to be a dystopian novel because, well, it isn't. Not really. The premise of a dystopian novel is one where our world becomes fractured and the future is all kinds of crappy. In our world people are born with one soul, in What's Left of Me people have always been born with two. So obviously, the world being portrayed is an alternative fantastic reality loosely based on the real world.
Having said that I really enjoyed this story! It had a little bit of everything really. At the beginning it instantly catches your attention with the premise, "two souls, one body, going agaisnt the cardinal rule in their society because they are different and don't want to let go of life", but after a while there I have to admit the story starts to drag along... that is until the girls' secret gets discovered and they have to do everything in their power to survive.
The whole story has a very interest catching concept. Two souls occupying one body, one is dominant (Addie) and the other isn't (Eva). The submissive soul is supposed to fade away at a certain age, but sometimes this doesn't happen and this is dangerous because you are always supposed to settle and if you don't then bad things are sure to happen. This was my absolute favorite part of the story, seeing the relationship between Addie and Eva, seeing them evolve, trust each other, depend on each other, get pissed with each other and love each other as fiercely as only two sister can. It's a beautiful bond. And I have to give the author props because Addie and Eva are totally different even though they live in the same body. They have different experiences and very distinct voices. It's a treat.
What's Left of Me does a great job of explaining a lot of questions I had in my mind when I heard the premise, like for example what happens if Addie, the dominant soul and so the one who is able to move their body around, falls in love? Or wants to kiss someone the other soul doesn't necessarily like in that way? Why is it bad to have two souls instead of one? The whole two soul thing is kind of like a given, doesn't need explanation because it would be like explaining why we are born with a soul, it's just is. But What's Left of Me does explain the repercussions of being born with two souls and why it is necessary that one soul dissapears in order for the world to thrive. I find it hard to side in either side really because the arguments are valid, but at the same time how can you kill half of someone? It also shows us what happens when the second soul dissapears, etc. It was written beautifully, it is throughly original, and well explained because it shows us various different situations and doesn't ignore different scenerios.
What else can I say? There is some romance in the novel, but it doesn't overwelm. The romance is very cute really. But again the main part is reading about Eva and Addie and how they deal with their situation day to day, Eva hiding from the world just so they won't be separated forever. Even her parents think she is dead it isn't like they are in on the secret.
It's just an interesting read with a lot of excitement. I would definitely recomend this to a friend and everyone who wants to read a good book which is thoughful and not just fluff to keep you entretained.