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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Title: What's Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
ISBN: 9780062223838
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: September 18, 2012
Series: Hybrid Chronicles #1
Duration: 9 hours, 37 minutes
Source: Audiobook from my public library

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.
First Lines:

"Addie and I were born into the same body, our souls' ghostly fingers entwined before we gasped our very first breath. Our earliest years together were also our happiest."
Page 5 

Can you imagine what it would be like to have another soul in your body? I really can't. What an amazing concept! Not to mention that the dominant soul has to take over before you're a teen. Crazytown.

Addie and Eva share a body. This is totally normal - except for the fact that they are over the age of ten. Now they would be considered Hybrid. If anyone knew that Eva was still there. The dominant soul was supposed to take over, but Eva hung on. Now they are terrified that someone will discover their secret. It doesn't help that a strange girl at school has started talking to them. She seems to know more than she lets on.

I have a hard time imagining having another soul in my body. A constant presence who can feel what you feel... It's just such a strange idea. Though the book does say that they can cut themselves off from each other - having a wall between them. But it's still. Creepy idea. It sort of plays on the whole having an invisible friend as a young child. That friend is just inside your head. With you.

There's also a bit of government control over human's bodies. This country doesn't allow Hybrids to exist, but other countries are run by them. Hybrids are blamed for all terrorism, all evil, and are the boogieman for children. Flood at the art gallery? Hybrids. Riot in the streets? Hybrids. It's sort of an interesting look at government and what sort of influence they have. Plus, they have the ability to split families apart when the idea of hybrids is introduced. It's a little scary!

I'm trying to do this review without giving too much away. There were some things that I could see coming a mile away, but others I was shocked to see how they turned out. So I don't wanna ruin it for you. I really enjoyed it. I'm guessing that there will be a second book because things are left a little incomplete. Not to mention that it's part of a chronicle... obviously. I look forward to seeing where this story goes.

The reader on this book was really good. I liked how the inflection changed just slightly between Addie and Eva. It was enough to know they were different, and didn't keep you guessing on who was supposed to be speaking. I think this book has the potential to get confusing in that way, but the author and the reader did a great job keeping those things clear for you.

I may be a little partial because the author is a local for me. That's really the reason I gave this book a shot (well, that and it's in my wheelhouse). She is definitely talented and I am excited to read/listen to more from her. Fans of dystopian books will enjoy this one - even though that's not really where this one fits in. It's science fiction, but it has the feel of a dystopian. Definitely worth giving a shot.
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