Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Title: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Pages: 368
Publishing Date: September 18th 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Audience: Young Adult
Obtained: Bought for Nook

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

My Thoughts:

There are two things that I look for in a dystopian novel, world building and a great plot. Without those two, I just don't know how I could possibly get into it. I ended up getting this book on my Nook because of the amazing price. There wasn't anything special about the cover. The thing, I think that drew me most to this book was the story line. I've never read anything about hybrids. About supernatural figures that are some sort of hybrid, yes. Humans, not so much. So when I saw that there were a society of humans where they were born with two spirits and had to coexist until one won out, I hit that buy button immediately. I just thought that it sounded sort of Darwinism, survival of the fittest and all.

The story is about Eva and Addie. They are two souls trapped in one body. Eva was marked as the recessive, while Addie was the dominant. She should have faded but guess what? She didn't. They were the exemption to the rule. They had to keep themselves secret because the government was after kinds like her. They'd heard the stories about what happens to those that are like them and they were terrified. To be honest, I would be too. The world in which Zhang introduced us in started off with a bang and we were introduced to the good, the bad and the ugly. I have to give her major kudos because she completely took me by surprise.

Addie and Eva are complete polar opposites. There have been books I've read in the past that I couldn't tell characters apart because they were so bland but there was an art to the way Zhang created these two characters. I just could never imagine being a completely independent being and then being stuck with another independent soul. How could you go on and fool everyone else and make it seem like you are one person instead of two? How could you keep your individualism when you are constantly hearing another persons thoughts? Somehow they make it work and when the opportunity comes when Addie could give control over to Eva for just a moment she takes it, even with her constant fear of being detained. Their love for each other just poured through the pages. Their emotions were so powerful that I times I was surprised at the sudden change of emotions.

I could feel Eva's frustrations as if they were my own. How would you feel if you had to take a back seat to everything. Could no longer see your parents tell you that they loved you, or do things that you once loved to do? Hug your friends, write a poem, read that book that's been on your bookshelf forever. I wanted to reach out and hug Eva and tell her it's ok and to hold Addie's hand. Even though Eva was caged in while Addie had the freedom, I never got the impression that she was bitter toward her or even anger at her. She understood why it was the way things were. I could only imagine how hard it would be to be in that position.
The storyline and the characters were just all sorts of amazing. After a certain point in the book, I became so in tune with the characters that I knew who was speaking before I was even told who was speaking. You have to pay close attention to be able to tell, a twitch in your eye, the way a person smiles, the way they speak. It all leads up to this crazy and dangerous world, where being different is wrong. I could not even begin to tell you the times that I just had to put down my nook because I could not believe the kind of things that happened in this society. The things that people are willing to do to end the different, to produce normal.
Ending my review with that, I fell in love with Zhang's world. I began to care about every single one of the characters and long to be able to help them with whatever they are going through. There was a bit of everything in this book. Action, conspiracy, heroes, villains, romance, a dystopian world that I am eager to go into again.
Comment Question of the Day:
If you could be born with another soul in your body, who would it be and why? Lemme know in the comment section below.
As always,
That Chick That Reads

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