Author: Kat Zhang | Website
Publication Date:September 18h, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
My Interest: Hype
Age Group | Genre: YA | Science Fiction, Dystopian
Series: Yes, The Hybrid Chronicles
There was a ton of hype for this book in the YA world, and my thinking is because it is such a different story. I remember originally reading the synopsis and thinking, yes, I could definitely read that, and then I saw the book trailer produced for the novel, and I was all in. I wrapped up my reading and thought, wow, I could have some good discussions about this book. Then I realized it was a SERIES!What is up with all these surprising series’ twists lately? I am just so out of the loop…
Eva and her sister Addie started out just like every once else in their society–two souls dwelling in one body taking turns to be the one to control and feel and explore. But then came the time to settle, and Eva, the less dominant one thought to have disappeared, didn’t really disappear. And so, for three years the girls have kept silent while Addie lives like a normal person, and Eva hides away holding on to the pieces of her once tangent life. That is until Hally befriends them, and opens up a world of movement for Eva. But Addie is terrified because the risks of Eva learning to take control again could mean unimaginable things for the girls as a hybrid. As a forbidden threat to society, will Addie push her sister down and away, or will Eva fight for the chance to move again?
The movement of new and original stories in the YA world has been exciting. One of those reasons is because I’m finally stepping out of my comfort zone of genres, but two… there are all sorts of debut authors bringing wonderful stories to the table. What’s Left of Me is no exception. This is Zhang’s first novel, and I feel as if she has stepped out with a bang. Not only does she have an original concept, but it’s a series… so there’s more to come. Her crazy idea of double souls sort of revives my love of sci-fi, especially with the way she ends the novel.
I very much enjoyed Addie and Eva as characters. I thought they were very realistic given their fictional circumstance. Zhang sets up the girls, though “twin-like” in a sense, to be very distinct from each other, and I really appreciate the idea. I’m not a twin (always wanted to be) but I’m sure one of those general worries among twins is the ability to be one’s own person. Heck, that even happens with siblings who aren’t twins. For Zhang to set up Addie and Eva as different people and then to focus on them as two separate characters really helped the storyline. I have this inking that as the series progresses, Addie and Eva are really going to split in thinking. I don’t know… I can imagine it’s probably hard to live in the same body as another person (should that be possible) when you want to do your own thing. I just hope there’s some giant twist involved in the next novel.
Which brings me to storyline. At times, I felt as if the story moved too slowly. Zhang doesn’t throw the bac kstory at readers right away, which in my eyes is a good thing. I like to find out the story slowly, as long as I get to find them out. We get pieces here and there, and then the big reveal at the end. Ok—typical of a plotline and something I’m fine with. My biggest issue was that too much time was spent at Hally’s house and then too much time at the hospital without actual things happening. I guess, metaphorically, I felt as if I was sitting around waiting for something to happen while I listened to Eva’s thoughts.
Granted, this is a story about two souls in one body with only one soul capable of control and movement–so that leaves the other soul to think. It reminds me of The Hunger Games in a way. In that story, we got to wade through all sorts of thoughts from Katniss while we waited for the action to happen. In What’s Left of Me, there just seemed to be more thoughts than actions at time, and I desperately wanted to keep moving forward.
For that reason, I rated this novel a 4. Again, I thought it was brilliantly original, and I’m curious to see where the story goes, especially since I didn’t realize it was a series. I guess I just wasn’t satisfied with the plotline. Too many lose ends? Not enough info? Too many thoughts vs. actions? I just can’t quite place my finger fully on it. Here’s hoping book two will pick up.
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[for ratings system, please check out my Bookshelf]