by Kat Zhang
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles, #1
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Source: Publisher (BEA)
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
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What’s Left of Me is an idea that I have never seen explored before. Addie and Eva are two souls that share one body -- in Kat Zhang’s world: a hybrid-- where Addie is the dominant soul and Eva is the recessive soul. I was skeptical at first as to how interesting I would find hybrids to be, but Addie and Eva’s world is mysteriously fascinating. Which sister will settle, or take complete control while the other fades away to nonexistence? Will the sisters settle? Or, will they be this way forever? and the most interesting question: What will their lives be like if Addie and Eva never settle?
In the fashion that What’s Left of Me is written, Eva foreshadows the future (having already experienced the events in the book) but tells most of the story in a present sense of time. I happen to find that particular way of storytelling to be extremely engaging, and it certainly worked in What’s Left of Me.
Although, the majority of the plot is not action filled, I did not find that that detracted from the story. The slower pace works well with Zhang’s writing, and left me captivated throughout the entire book.
From early on, I found myself pulling for Eva. Eva is the storyteller and we see everything from her point of view. I do not believe that I favored her because she was the one telling the story (as I normally do); rather because (for the most part) Eva saw things as I believe I would see them and acted on things the way I would have acted on them -- if I was a hybrid in Kat Zhang’s future America.
As the story progresses we are introduced to a number of new characters who I also found myself caring for, including the boy who will bring a slight romantic touch to the story. I will say the key word in that sentence is “slight.” Normally, I would have wanted more romance, but in this (rare) case I was so caught up with what was happening emotionally and physically with the characters that I didn’t notice the lack thereof. However, the little romance that we do get is really quite interesting, and plays back on the question of what Addie and Eva’s lives will be like if they do not settle.
Overall, Kat Zhang’s What’s Left of Me is a touching and daring debut that happened to grace me with the variation I was needing in my choice of reading material, and leave me enthusiastically awaiting book two.
Disclosure: I received an Advance Reader Copy of What's Left of Me from the publisher via Book Expo America. I was in no way compensated (monetary or otherwise) for my review and was not influenced by anyone other than myself and my own opinions.