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

Posted June 7, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: What’s Left of Me by Kat ZhangWhat's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Published by Harper on September 18th, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 343
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

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 Stars

What’s Left of Me is certainly one of the better and more unique dystopias out there. The creative premise is instantly captivating and definitely memorable. It’s a great read, and I certainly enjoyed it. But somewhere it does just lack that spark that makes me over-the-top fall in love with it.

I must say I love the concept and its execution. Addie and Eva are two souls in one body. The story takes place from Eva’s point of view, the recessive soul. However, hybrids are illegal, and the fact that Eva hasn’t disappeared is not allowed. They try to keep this a secret, because letting go would be too hard. It’s extremely heartfelt and endearing to read about this: people holding on so desperately to existence. The utter uniqueness makes for a great reading experience. And it was so beautiful how both souls had a different personality. Watching their relationship grow and develop was definitely intriguing. Both souls were so realistic that it was easy to find an attachment to them.

I am also in love with Kat Zhang’s writing. It is extremely hard to believe that this is her debut novel, and that it was written while she was still a teenager. The descriptions, the imagery, it’s all really fluid and absorbing. Major props to her for that. She is going to go really far as an author, that’s for sure.

But as I said at the beginning of this review, the book did lack a certain spark for me. Maybe I expect more action from dystopias and the less action-packed plot thus has me less invested. The romance was perhaps a bit too underdeveloped for my taste as well. I mean, it’s not overly present or too much like instalove, but it did, in a way, lack the chemistry that seizes my heart.

However, maybe part of my disappointment also stems from the fact that there are so many pressing questions left at the end. While it’s not like the world building is absent, it’s obviously not fully developed. And yes, with a series like this, in a dystopia, there are meant to be mysteries left for later installments, but I did feel like there could have been more in this book. The world building that was there, while solid, felt a bit rushed. TL;DR: I’m a bratty brat who just wants more.

Summing Up:

This is a great and unique dystopia and definitely a huge accomplishment for Kat Zhang as her debut. She’s going to go far as an author, so I’m glad to pick up on her work so early. Overall, I definitely enjoyed the book, but I did lack something to make me go super fangirl. However, this series has tons of potential, and I’m sure there will be more action and world building in the sequel. This is a series and an author to keep an eye out for.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

Fans of character driven dystopias.

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