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

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on August 29, 2012 | 7 Comments

Early Review: What’s Left of Me by Kat ZhangWhat's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Published by HarperCollins (9.18.2012)
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
356 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

4 Stars

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 thoughts

I had seen this one compared to Stephanie Meyer’s The Host… in a way, it’s kind of similar just because it’s two minds sharing one body, but that’s where the similarities end. What’s Left of Me was unlike anything I’ve ever read before!

The premise is so fantastic that I couldn’t help but enjoy it – two souls sharing the same body is awesome and awful all at the same time! On one hand, you’d never be alone; you’d have a best friend/sister there with you through thick and thin, someone to help you through. On the other hand, you’d never be alone. There would never be any hiding from the other soul. They would see everything about you – the good and bad, your deepest secrets and darkest desires. Creepy, right?

Addie and Eva were great together and shared a very inspiring bond. There was a lot of conflict between them, but when it came down to it, they were there for each other and they stuck together no matter what. Er…pun not intended. I felt bad for Eva because she was the recessive soul, the weaker soul. Addie was the dominant soul, so she had complete control. How terrible would that be to be a ghost inside someone’s head, unable to move or speak for yourself? Addie was a bit frustrating at times, but in the end I found I liked her all the same. It was just a lot easier to side with Eva because it was first person in her POV, so you get much closer to her thoughts and feelings.

It was very interesting to meet the other Hybrids and to see the differences in their shared personalities. Ryan/Devon, Lissa/Hally, Kitty/Nina. It should have been confusing with the names changing all the time for the same person, but it wasn’t. Which is what really makes me take a bow to Zhang, because that speaks volumes for her talent. Something else that struck me about the writing – the POV is ‘us’ and ‘we’ instead of ‘me’ and ‘I.’ It was always we looked or we moved. And it was written so flawlessly that you as a reader don’t even find it strange or sporadic (or at least I didn’t). Even in the scenes when Eva took over, the POV switched so seamlessly from ‘we’ to ‘I’ that I didn’t even realize it had changed until Eva did.

I would have liked to see a little more action in this one. The threat of the controlling authority figures was there, yes, but it wasn’t the focus. Even though Eva and Addie are at an institute and there’s plenty of other Hybrids present, the focus was so strongly on Eva/Addie that it was difficult to generate much feeling for the other characters (except for maybe Ryan and Devon).

The ending was great; there was some closure but some left open, setting it up perfectly for the next book (which I will definitely be picking up). 

Plot: 4/5
Writing style: 4/5
Pulls off crazy POVs and multiple personalities perfectly, but the writing was sometimes a bit dry.
Originality: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 3/5
There were some gray areas here, but I’m having trouble putting them into words.
Pace: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5 starfish
A fantastic and creative dystopian that I highly recommend! 
Jessi (Geo)

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7 responses to “Early Review: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

  1. Glad to see you enjoyed this one! I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and it’s getting me really excited for it. And the POV using ‘us’ and ‘we’? The creepy awesome. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to share a body and stuff and to never have the chance to be alone…And I have a twin sister here ;D
    Super great review!
    Millie @ Millie D’s Words

  2. This book fascinates me so much. It sounds creepy and wonderful at the same time. It seems like a great story (and the cover is pretty!) Thanks for sharing and I’m going to get my hands on this one as soon as possible :)

  3. Oh this has been on my wishlist since forever! It’s my most-anticipated book this year. I first loved it without the cover, then the cover was revealed along with the synopsis. I am so excited to read this! I am so glad you loved it! :)

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