Title: What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles #1)
Author: Kat Zhang
Genre/s: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Released Date: September 18, 2012
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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.
Two unforgettable souls in one thought-provoking story. What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang is an original and riveting novel about the bond of two souls sharing one body and how they will survive in a world where their kinds were prohibited to exist.
In a world where having two souls in one body was not allowed, Addie and Eva tried to live as normal as they can, trying not to drag too much attention to them. But no secrets will stay hidden forever. Soon they were taken away, along with Ryan and Devon, a hybrid like them, into the Nornand Clinic of Psychiatric Health for what was supposed to be a two-day treatment. But the two-day treatment turned to weeks and Eva and Addie knew that something bad will happen to them and the other kids, if they stay in that place longer. They have to find a way out or else they're doomed.
I can easily relate to Addie and Eva's situation especially to Eva not only because the story was told in her POV but because at some point in my life I felt like I was a recessive soul, too. Yes, I must admit, I experienced that phase of inferiority towards my older sibling when I was younger but let's not make this review about me. Okay?
Addie and Eva may share one body but they are two different individuals. Addie, the dominant soul, likes to play safe. She's scared to take risk and she doesn't want to endanger both of their lives and their family and that is completely understandable. On the other hand, Eva, the recessive one, in my opinion, is stronger than her other half, not because she has a fighting spirit that Addie never had. She was willing to take chances for a minute of happiness - to move and see the world through her own eyes again and not in Addie's perspective. She wanted to experience life, first hand and that's not so bad to want. But I also admire Addie because I know how hard and scary it must be for her to let go of the control she have grown accustomed to. But she was willing to compromise and let it go, in order to make Eva happy. They were both realistic characters that's why I am always torn between them whenever they argue.
The plot of this book was unusual and unique. And I must admit, I was a bit uncertain in the beginning, about how this story will go. But when I started reading it, all the worries fade away because this was totally engrossing. Aside from sibling rivalry, I think I can see a representation of people with dissociative identity disorder in this book, too - a topic that intrigued me ever since high school. Dissociative identity disorder(DID) is a mental disorder whose symptoms include "the presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states that alternately control the individual's behavior." Maybe, the DID was a bit of a stretch from the hybrid condition, but I feel like it was connected somehow, like it was one of the inspiration behind this book. I mean, who knows, maybe it was.
The romance between Eva and Ryan, was also well done. It was slow and subtle which I think was perfect for the setting and plot. The world-building was a bit lacking, though that's why I only gave it a 4 star rating. Overall, What's Left of Me was an awesome read for a debut novel and I'm eagerly looking forward to reading Once We Were. I will highly recommend this book to dystopian and sci-fi fanatics out there.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review (Thanks, HarperCollins!)