Thursday, September 13, 2012
REVIEW: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Kat Zhang, in this first book in a new series called The Hybrid Chronicles, brings us this totally new and different world in which two souls share a body. I love that premise entirely. It took awhile to wrap my head around what that would feel like and how life would change for everybody sharing a body with another soul. We are introduced to both Eva and Addie who are such people.
But things quickly become a little dark and sinister in What's Left of Me, as we realise that while everyone is born in this way, they are encourage to let one soul 'fade away' by the time they are ten. After the age of 10, things become quite a bit different as hospital and agencies check up on these things and make sure that no 'hybrids' are left, for they are dangerous and pose a serious threat to themselves and to others.
But Eva and Addie have managed to keep their secret safe. With Addie as the dominant soul, she is in control and Eva is hidden away to one corner of Addie's mind. For years, Eva has slowly lost any ability she once had to move or to speak aloud. Yet she can't just fade away. She clings to what little life she can with only Addie to hear her thoughts occasionally. Until Addie and Eva meet other such hybrids and realise that there might be a chance for Eva to regain some of what she's lost. But at what cost?
I found this book to be quite creepy and emotional and moving all at the same time. I really felt for Eva, and the way that she has been treated for years. I found it really touching that this story is told from Eva's point of view. Hers is a voice that isn't heard aloud anymore, but she is the one telling this story. And witnessing her small attempts at being an individual again without Addie's dominant soul really took my breath away at times. Hearing someone else say her name for the first time in three years, the way she felt the first time she smiled on her own or said something to another human being really showed how trapped and lonely she has felt for so long.
Eva's relationships with her sister Addie were nicely done, I loved that these two knew each other better than anyone else ever and that their relationship showed both the good and the bad of being that close to one another. The two of them really struggle to provide the other with what they want and need but at great cost to each other at the same time. There's also a really sweet beginning of a relationship that I hope is explored more in future books in the series.
What's more, I loved how much this book is about humanity and doing what's right, even when things are difficult. I loved that emphasis and that both Eva and Addie get there eventually. I can't wait to see where this story goes and I'm excited to read more by Kat Zhang!