Title: What’s Left of Me
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles (Book #1)
Author: Kat Zhang
Summary: 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.
Review: This book has definitely claimed the position of favorite book of 2012 thus far. So far, it seems like I’ve only been disappointed by highly anticipated novels and debut authors, but this. This was astounding, beautifully written, crafted perfectly. Zhang created a world that was new and intriguing and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Eva’s voice was beautiful and heart wrenching, and her longing for things her sister has that she can’t have is so piercing. I’ll admit, I did have high hopes for this book–and for the first time in a long time, I wasn’t disappointed. My expectations were met and exceeded, with only few flaws. What’s Left of Me is truly a masterpiece; I’m already craving the next book, and the first hasn’t even been released yet!
What I Liked: Spoilers!
- This was such a beautiful narration. Eva’s voice was so stunning, and it captured me from the very first page. I can hardly form into words the way I felt reading from her point of view, watching as she watched everyone else; separate from the story, but still so much a part of it. The way every action, every movement was spoken with an us or we, instead of the singular, was amazing. Whenever Eva got frustrated, like she did when Addie was drugged that first time, I could feel her terror and her panic seeping into me, and I felt so physically inserted into the story. I felt her agony, her frustration, her fear at always being pushed to the side, unable to react and only watch; left to secretly wonder if her parents or her brother ever thought about her, if they still loved her. If they appreciated both their daughters, and not just the one. It was so hard to think about, the way nobody knew she still existed except for her sister. She’s one of the most amazing heroines I’ve ever encountered, for her patience and willingness to just do what’s best for her sister, even if it suppresses her. She’s so selfless, and I loved reading her narration, being in her shoes–watching how she couldn’t even control herself, and how unfair that must be, but she took it anyway.
- The emotion packed into this book was astounding. Especially the fear that came through; the fear and the panic. It picked up the action in this book and drove the story forward. I felt fear when Addie disappeared for the first time, as Eva reached into the darkness for a sister that wasn’t there. My heart raced as Addie and Eva listened to Lissa scream in the other room, and found their way to her. I could relate to the characters and their emotions coursed through me as I followed their story. Zhang was able to bring me into the story and make me feel like I was part of what was happening, and that is absolutely stunning. I cried when Eva did, felt the same dread and fear and cold panic when she did. I loved every second of it, and I found myself invested in this cast, wanting them to all be okay, and knowing my heart would break if they weren’t.
What I Didn’t Like:
- While it hardly seriously bothered me while I was reading, the use of the word “said” in the course of the book was too much. It was incredibly overused, and sometimes there would be an entire page of dialogue, all ending with “said”. If I’d been reading more of it aloud, it probably would have irritated me more, and I noticed it more when I didn’t read in my head. I was able to mostly ignore it, but that’s something I would watch out for in the coming books. This was the only thing that kept it from being perfect, for me.
Overall: Attention, there’s a debut novelist who’s created a story so wrenchingly beautiful that you can’t help but want to stay in this world forever. I dreaded the end as I grew closer, page by page, but I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I ached for the characters who I grew to love, and I just wanted more and more of them. Zhang is definitely one to watch out for, as I think this novel will be sweeping the nation when it comes out in September (do we really have to wait that long?!). It was appropriate and frightening and real and stunning all rolled into one, and I’m itching for the companions to this astounding opening novel. Brava, Zhang. Brava!
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- inkyreads said: Oooh! So excited to read this one now! -Inky
- a-monster-calls said: I’m jealous. It seems this book is on my wish list since forever, and I can’r read it because it’s released in September. And there you are. Oh god. I’m jealous. (However the fact that you liked it is reassuring.)
- starlightmayfadebutweneverwill said: Sounds kind of like Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, only MUCH better.
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