Book Review: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Title: What’s Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles #1)
Author: Kat Zhang
Genre: dystopia; sci-fi; fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: September 2012 
Pages: 343 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
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:

In a place where every body is born with two souls, Eva and Addie Tamsyn are somewhat of an oddity. Most people settle and the dominant soul takes over and the other one fades away for ever when they are still young. But not Eva and Addie – at fifteen Eva should have been gone for years but she still exists, unbeknownst to all but Addie.

After an incident at a museum and unlikely friendship with siblings Hally and Devon, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for Eva – the chance for things to be like they were before Addie started to dominate their body.

But the world is a dangerous place with medical facilities set up exclusively for the treatment of hybrid beings. Eva is leading Addie down a dangerous path with a lot to gain… but what price?

The idea of two souls simultaneously existing in one body is crazy and yet the author managed to make it work so well in this novel. There was never any doubt for me who was in control of their body for any of the hybrid characters – a fairly impressive feat.

As a first novel in the series I thought the plot progressed at a steady pace – there’s a bit of world building and setting up for more exciting things to come in the future – but the book managed to hold my attention right up until the final page.

I wasn’t a big fan of the romance in this novel – it felt a little tokenistic to me but thankfully it wasn’t a huge focus of the book.

What’s Left of Me is a great debut novel with a great concept and fascinating characters. I’ll be looking forward to reading the next book in the Hybrid Chronicles when it’s released mid 2013.

Thanks to HarperCollins and NetGalley for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


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