So… I originally read this in May of 2013… which makes me fail for not posting this sooner – BUT if you haven’t read this yet, definitely check it out – see why below!
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.
Kat Zhang spent most of her childhood tramping through a world weaved from her favorite stories and games. When she and her best friend weren’t riding magic horses or talking to trees, they were writing adaptations of plays for their stuffed animals (what would The Wizard of Oz have been like if the Cowardly Lion were replaced by a Loquacious Lamb?). This may or may not explain many of Kat’s quirks today.
By the age of twelve, Kat had started her first novel and begun plans for her life as a Real Live Author (she was rather more confident at twelve than she is even now). Said plans didn’t come into fruition until seven years later, when her agent sold her trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, to HarperCollins. The first book, WHAT’S LEFT OF ME–about a girl with two souls–will released September 18, 2012. Book 2 in the series, ONCE WE WERE, will be released September 17, 2013.
Kat is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong. She also performs as a Spoken Word poet and contributes to Pub(lishing) Crawl, a site for aspiring writers to talk about books, storytelling craft, and the publishing process. Kat has also had the pleasure of remote interning for a literary agent, specializing in Young Adult fiction.
What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What’s Left of Me has been sitting on my ‘on deck’ shelf for a bit. I don’t know why I didn’t pick this one up sooner and now that I’ve read it, I’m desperately in need of book 2 in this series.
Eva and Addie are two souls in one single body. They started out just like everyone else, taking turns to learn to control movements and speak and interact. But unlike everyone else, one of them isn’t ‘settling’. That’s what they call it when one soul becomes more dominant over the other and the recessive soul eventually fades away. While Addie is certainly the more dominant soul and eventually retains control over their body, Eva is still in a part of her consciousness.
In order to keep any unwanted attention away from her, Addie has to pretend that Eva doesn’t exist, that she has settled, because if she doesn’t, hybrids are considered dangerous and who knows what would happen to her. But an opportunity arises when Hally Mullan attempts to befriend her and so Eva is provided a chance she thought she’d never get again.
I absolutely loved the way Zhang was able to create these two very different voices in one single character. The relationship she crafts between the two is similar to that of twins… which is in essence what Eva and Addie are, only they are one single person. They feed off of each others emotions and are never alone…they fight, and they argue and yet they desperately need each other. As much as Addie wonders what it would be like to be alone for one moment in her life, you can tell the thought scares her. Their bond was amazingly done and the frustration that Eva and even Addie must experience is understandable.
The opportunity that arises is that Eva, now the recessive soul and the soul who has no control over anything, could learn. She could learn to speak, to move, to control this body that she has had to be only a participant of for the last three years. She begs Addie to let her try, and so she does. But when they are found out, she is taken away from her family and her friends and put in a hospital where the only people she knows are Hally and Devon. Things obviously aren’t on the up and up there to put it mildly.
I’m not telling you anything else though. *zips lips* What I will tell you is this. The story that Zhang has created here is incredibly unique and captivating. The characters and the emotions will pull you in. The plot will have you turning pages and the pacing is wonderfully done, filled with action you will be as intrigued as I was to learn what was happening I promise.
Definitely pick this one up if you’re looking for a unique YA story with excellent writing and an intriguing plot.
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