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

February 1, 2016     erinbook     Book review

YA Review: What’s Left of Me by Kat ZhangWhat's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1) by Kat Zhang
Published by HarperCollins on September 18th 2012
Pages: 343
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads

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.

3.5 Nuts

I own a lot of dystopian. A LOT of dystopian. There was a time a while back when nearly all I read was dystopian. As the popularity of the genre dwindled, I think so did my love of it. I red so much of it and so much was just…not good. So I stopped reading it. Until I started reading to clear off my shelves.

Now this book does not sit among the worst. It’s not even bad. This first book actually is pretty good, which for some reason surprised me. It has a really different premise, it’s not what I’d call a unique story, but it kept me interested. That alone is a compliment for dystopians these days. For a genre I’m so bored of, I wasn’t bored at all.

Our main character is actually 2 main characters: Addie and Eva. Two girls sharing one body, as different as can be. Cool, I dig it. You have your dominant and recessive personalities, one has all the control and the other has none. You really feel bad for Eva, trapped inside a body she can’t do a thing with. And then all hell breaks loose. There’s a whole world of people with both personalities still there. The world building is subtle enough that you can actually see something like this coming to be, even though it’s really an alternate version of our world. So many dystopians suffer from the problems being so unreal, the worlds too alien to really hit you. This world is so similar that is makes you wonder.

One of my favorite things about this book is how hard the author works to make each individual personality different. I can easily decipher Addie from Eva, and each other character from their alternate. It was one of the things I was worried about, would they be too similar? Thankfully, no. Enough care and effort lead to distinct personalities and people.

Now for our negatives. Nope, I can’t sing this book’s praises all day. It does have some issues. The first being that it is very slow at times. The beginning in particular seems to drag and shuffle its feet through the story, sometimes even becoming a bit dull and boring.  I just wanted it to get to the action, I wanted some meat to the story, not a meandering la-de-da stroll through some back story. Give me plot! Once it got there, it was fine. But up until they I wanted to take a bit of a snooze. Also, I thought the love interest was kind of weird. With two people in a body it’s kind of weird to watch a romance and the other person’s reaction to it. It just felt so awkward and uncomfortable. So let’s just not, ok?

All in all, a solid story. Definitely made me want to read the next book in the series and see where it takes me. Perfect? No. But I don’t expect perfect from dystopia these days. I just want good, and good it was.

 

What do you think of What’s Left of Me? Has your opinion on dystopians changed? Share in the comments.

 

From my shelf to yours,

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