“Addie and I were born into the same body, our souls’ ghostly fingers entwined before we gasped our very first breath. Our earliest ears together were also our happiest. Then came the worries - the tightness around our parents’ mouths, the frowns lining our kindergarten teacher’s forehead, the question everyone whispered when they thought we couldn’t hear.
Why aren’t they settling?”
Addie and Eva are one in the same person, but they are separate at the same time. Born into a world where each and every child has two minds within one body. As that child gets older the repressive soul of the two deteriorates and the dominant soul remains, or at least thats what is meant to happen. Any child that reaches ten and doesn’t settle is taken away, considered a threat, and the two minds are separated, the best friends torn apart.
Addie and Eva consciously work together to make it seem like its only Addie left, but when the chance comes for Eva to have a voice - after three years of silence - they consider it something they should try. What they don’t realise is just how much danger that chance could mean to them and their new friends.
I wasn’t sure about this one, I will admit. I liked the sound of it but with a huge wave of dystopian YA out there I am finding it increasingly difficult to find a good, unique story. However Kat Zhang hits the nail on the head with a brilliant, unique story that will have your heart yearning for Addie and Eva at every turn in their lives.
The story is amazing, as I said it’s so unique, to think of a world where each and every person actually has two minds when they are born and one of the minds disappears as they get older. However not every repressive soul does go, as Addie and Eva find out and there are more hybrids like them that they didn’t know about. I loved the story and the excitement that it brought, especially when the girls were within the Nornand Clinic. it got my heart pumping and breaking all at the same time and I was getting so wound up with the characters and the events in the book that I had to keep putting it down to calm down! I was a little unimpressed with the world-building as I thought there wasn’t enough explained as to when it became clear that everyone was born with two minds and when the Americas separated from the other countries and exactly why but I think that might be built upon in the later books in the trilogy.
The writing style was the thing that made me adore this book to the extent that I did I think. I loved that the narration was all from Eva’s point of view and the pronoun changed depending on what she was talking about... so if she was on about the body she was in moving or its features it was ‘we’ but if she was talkinag about Addie’s thoughts and feelings it was either ‘Addie’ or ‘she‘ and her own thoughts and feelings were ‘I‘. This meant that things got a little mixed up while you get used to it but it really emphasised the point that Eva was there, she was conscious even though she wasn’t controlling her body or the words that were coming from her mouth, because she shared that with Addie. I loved the use of the < and > signs to indicate when Addie and Eva were talking to each other silently too, tough that may be a feature of the proof and the finished copy might be different.
There were a lot of characters which made you root for them, Addie and Eva, Ryan and Devon, Hally and Lissa were all amazing characters and although Hally was a little strange at first I really loved her and Lissa by the end. It was strange that the characters often branched into two characters rather than one but I loved it becuase they each had their own personalities... It really was like they were two different characters within the same body. This was further emphasised by the relationship between Eva and Ryan that wasn’t the same when it was Addie and Devon, even though the bodies were the same; and I loved that touch! I loved Kitty and Cal/Eli too and Jamie, poor Jamie. The people at Nornand were awful and I was terrified and angered by Mr Conivent and his attitude and trickery. Addie’s parents also upset me too, but I guess they just wanted what they thought was best for their daughter.
I really did love this book and I can’t wait for the next in the series. It really grabs at your emotions and I honestly got overwhelmed on occasion by the story and the events but that’s what makes for a great book.I can’t praise What’s Left of Me more and if dystopian isn’t your thing then please at least look out for Kat Zhang’s name because I can see her going far!
What’s Left of Me is the first in the Hybrid Chronicles trilogy and will be published on September 27th by HarperCollins. My copy was sent in exchange for an honest review by the publisher.
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