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

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TITLE: What’s Left of Me
AUTHOR: Kat Zhang
GENRE: YA
PUBLISHER//YEAR OF PUBLICATION: HarperCollins // 2012
NUMBER OF PAGES: 343
ISBN: 9780007476817
GOODREADS
PERSONAL SOURCE: Borrowed from a friend (thanks, Jenny!)
RATING:


Addie and Eva are two souls, trapped in the same body. Addie controls the muscles, Eva can only stay instead their head and everyone around them thinks only Addie is left. Fear of the government – of what happens to people like them, hybrids – keeps Addie and Eva quiet, until they meet Hally and Devon – and their other souls, Lissa and Ryan – and Eva finds out that she might be able to control her body again, after so many years. But there is still a fear of being discovered, caught and taken away…

What’s Left of Me is a book I’ve heard about, thought about, but never actually read. Until, obviously, now. I was expecting it to be good, and, although it didn’t completely blow me away, I was still happy at the end and really enjoyed it.

I’m going to address the big issue in this book first: morals. There are so many of them. The morals of losing the recessive soul, and who it is, Addie and Eva getting lost in their own minds and their fight over who has control of the body, are the government right to take away children as young as 8 because they show no sign of losing their other soul? It also raises the question, which I found myself asking the whole way through, of what I’d do in the same situation. When a book makes you stop, think, and question yourself, you know it’s done something good.

Morals and questioning myself and having a brain melt aside, I really did enjoy this book. The plot was intriguing, and clearly set up for the second in the series (I think there’s three overall – it’s called The Hybrid Chronicles, and I want to read the second soon!). I could hardly put the dang book down!

There was some character development for sure throughout the novel, especially, I felt, for Addie. To start with, I rooted for her and was on her side, over Eva, as she was already the dominant soul. Maybe the idea of the whole two souls, one body thing just scared me… anyway. As the characters of Eva and Addie developed throughout the course of the book, I found myself, well, rooting for both of them. I understood both points of view. I agreed with both points of view. And Zhang answered some delicious questions in pretty much the last paragraph which gave me a little peace of mind before I can find and devour the second book. (I’m writing a lot in food metaphors. I think I’m hungry.) Other characters, obviously, featured a lot of character development like Dr Lyanne, and then there were others which didn’t – well, not positively, anyway, which I really liked. Not everyone is great.

One thing I really loved about this book is that Eva and Addie were nothing special. No, really, they weren’t! They didn’t have super powers, they weren’t cleverer or brighter (ok, they were slightly braver, but that was it, and come on, they were the protagonist. I have to give the author a bit of leeway). They simply were, and nothing really significant happened just because of them, unlike, say, Katniss. They helped to start a revolution but they weren’t a figure head. Obviously this might change in the later books, but for now it was something I enjoyed.

Overall, I really did like this book. It was adventurous, new, and the characters were all real-to-life. I’m looking forward to reading the others in the series to find out what happens in this dystopia society.

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