Sunday, 28 October 2012

Book Review - What's Left Of Me

What's Left Of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction | Young Adult
Release Date: September 27th 2012
No. Pages: 343
Source: Borrowed
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
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.

I first heard about this book when Raimy of Readaraptor had given it high recommendation but even though her reviews have never stirred me wrong, I still wasn't sure. At the moment I seem to always be drawn to dystopia books over the ordinary YA fantasy but they have became what the majority of YA vampire books were after Twilight, predictable and unoriginal. I had it for a week or two and when stuck for something to read I decided to give it a go.

What's Left of Me is one of those books that grip you from the very first chapter. The story is about Addie and Eva, two souls in the same body but very different from each other. Set from Eva's point of you, she tells you about the world she lives in where everyone is born with two souls, and how when you reach a certain age the repressive soul should in theory die off, leaving the stronger soul to occupy the body alone. Trouble is, Eva never wanted to go, and when at 12 Addie and Eva still hadn't settled after being given an extension past the normal age, the decided the only thing to do was to hide it from everyone. So Addie took over the body full time, leaving Eva only alive in Addie's mind, very much alive and breathing just without any motor skills. They had become what was only known as a hybrid, what her county had lead her and everyone to believe was a dangerous thing to be.

They moved school and town in hope of starting over, away from all the people that still talked even though Addie was now declared 'normal'. And everything seemed be going great, until a girl at school called Hallie pays more interest in Addie and Eva than they think she should. Terrified that she somehow knows their secret, they avoid her at every cost, shooting down every invitation to hang out or spend time together. Eva who feels sorry for her, finally convinces Addie that maybe she's just lonely, only to discovery that not only did Hallie (and her brother Devon) know their secret, but they were hybrids just like them. And even though they are scared at first, the promise of Eva being taught to move again is too good to miss. But Hallie and Lissa, Devon and Ryan aren't the only ones who know about the 3 hybrids and soon they find themselves locked in Nornad Clinic with no hope of ever getting out.

This book is without a doubt one of the best I have read this year. If this is what we get as a debut I cant wait to see what else she has up her sleeve. What's Left of Me was well written, clever and heart warming. Never confusing when the story would switch from Eva's thoughts to Addies, and all in all just a wonderful book. The characters were brilliant and unlike most YA novels out there, it wasn't centred around love or a love triangle. Yes there was a love story in there somewhere but it wasn't over powering and it was so refreshing. I'm so upset that I have to wait for book 2, but I guess that's a blessing, because if the others where out already I would have finished them and been left wanting more still haha. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes YA scfi.

Also for anyone who has read this and is looking for something to read while waiting for the second book I suggest you read The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Don't be put off by the author, its actually an amazing book and just like What's Left of Me its about two souls in one body, only difference being one of them is an alien parasite. Been one of my favourite books for a few years now.

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