Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Series: The Hybrid Chronicles (bk. 1)
Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi
Subjects: souls, resistance to government, alternate history
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 343 pgs.
HC/PB: Hardcover and now out in paperback!
List Price: HC: $17.99, PB: $9.99
Publisher: HarperTeen
Summary/ product description: “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.”

My Review: This book was interesting, different and original. I thought it was going to be very odd because everyone is supposedly born with two souls in their body, with two different personalities. I wasn’t sure how that would work as a story. The story was actually pretty good and awesome in some parts. Kat choose to make the narrator Eva, the recessive soul who’s been only an observer for the past three years as Addie controls their body. I was expecting switching perspectives between Addie and Eva, but only one is okay.
This book kind of reminded me of The Host by Stephanie Meyer. Only, instead of another soul invading a person mind, the souls are intertwined like twins or soul mates. It’s basically being conjoined twins, but with only one head, and one body. It’s like Eva’s the left side, the logical side of the brain and Addie’s the right, more creative side. And what part of the brain is more dominant? Your right or left? It’s a very interesting concept. Also, this made me this of Anthem by Ayn Rand, which I read in school. The narrator was always using We instead of I and the books was about communism vs. individualism. Was Kat Zhang influenced by Ayn Rand’s books?
The world building in this book could use a little more explanation. I don’t understand why there isn’t any digital age technology. Just analog stuff like cassette tapes, and typewritters. No cell phones, personal computers, or Internet. Is this alternate history, set some time between 1984 and 1995? Or is progress just slower because of hybrids. Maybe other countries with more hybrids and more technologically advanced? And also, why are hybrid considered bad in America? It also made me think of the Delirium series, like being a hybrid is a disease.
I really was hoping for more romance, but it seems awkward. Eva and Ryan seem to like each other, but do Addie and Devon like each other? How does hybrid romance work? Is it a love between 4 souls in 2 bodies? It’s so weird. But it’s not the main focus anyways.
The parts set in the hospital/Institution were the most exciting and thrilling. It’s reminded me of The Program by Suzanne Young. Any book where a character get institutionalized and treated and tells the doctors that they’re not sick, but the doctors say they are and stick a needle/meds in them. Really sad when the main character can’t fight back. I root for them and wish they could just knock the doctor out or something.
I recommend this book if you liked: The Host by Stephenie Meyer, The Program by Suzanne Young, Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon, Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Anthem by Ayn Rand, or The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse.
Cover Art Review: Love the cover. The face, and the silhouette of a face combined. The color scheme and the typography is great too.
Remember the fan art contest I entered for What's Left of Me? Here was my idea of twin/hybrid souls:

1 comment:

  1. I loved this and I want more! Well-written, entertaining, and very thought-provoking. The characters are vivid, the rules are clear, and this book is absolutely worth reading.
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