Monday, 19 August 2013

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Title: What’s Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date Published: September 18, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Goodreads summary
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.

I read this book because of the promising synopsis (and the pretty cover). From my experience, books dealing with souls usually tend to mess up somewhere, may it be a small or large error, something that nags at me. This book however seemed promising for the sole reason that it had another take on the whole idea of souls.
In this world created by Kat Zhang, a human being has not one but two souls. I think one of the interesting things about this book is that Zhang treats both of them like individuals and that what souls are (from what I understand), they make you who you are. Sometimes it seems as though we are dealing with two different humans instead of one living being which has two separate souls residing within.
Eva and Addie started out the same as everyone else, the only difference was that by the age of six, neither one of them disappeared. Neither one of them became the dominant soul. Addie had a better grip but Eva wasn’t ready to let go, she didn’t want to stop existing. They started getting treatments around the age of 10 so that one of them would be repressed, Eva was declared gone but she wasn’t. Addie and Eva have hidden Eva’s existence ever since because if she were to be discovered, they would have to be put down. One day however, they encounter two siblings similar to them, they say that they can help Eva take control once again, Eva yearning to get a hold on her life begs Addie to take them there. Addie finally gives in.
“She was Addie. She was the other half to me. She was more important than anyone.”
I am not sure whether the two souls can be considered siblings, they act like twin sisters yet they aren’t sisters biologically, they are the same thing, but they have different personalities, different dreams, etc. Their relationship is similar to the one of real siblings yet it has so much more meaning to it. They are incomplete without each other, Addie however much Eva’s continued existence frightens her, cannot live without Eva. She loves Eva to bits and would take risks for her. Some people may say that Addie is selfish but she isn’t, she loves Eva and is ready to take risks for her, but if it means harm to herself I believe that she has the right to think twice, she has the right to blame Eva when something goes wrong even if she is putting the blame in the wrong place, I believe it’s because it’s how we are as human beings, we will take risks for loved ones but it doesn’t mean we will completely disregard ourselves.
Although there isn’t much of a romantic relationship explored in the book, I think the relationship between Eva and Ryan is really cute. The other relationship explored is the friendship between Hally, Eva, and Lissa was also really amazing. I don’t know what to say about these relationships, they all touched my heart and sometimes I felt really emotional and stricken by the beauty of them.
I think the plot was amazing as well, I think one of the things that made it amazing was the writing style, there is almost a lyrical beauty to the way Kat writes, it kind of gives the whole book a musical feel and makes it appeal to our emotions even more. It wasn’t fast paced but it wasn’t slow. Things build up slowly bit by bit. The author feeds us bits of clues and finally near the end she gives us one big one, leaving us one step closer to solving the mystery. She ends this book as if it were a standalone, leaving a bit of space for the sequel. I think the whole dystopic concept of the book also works, it doesn’t seem exaggerated yet we can see the flaws in the system.
This book left me feeling content yet yearning for more. I think I’ll survive the wait but I still wish it would come out a bit sooner. Coming across such unique books is hard in the YA genre and to have to wait for the sequel kind of sucks. I can only hope the sequel won’t disappoint and will be worth the wait.

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