Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book Review: What's Left of Me

Release Date: September 18, 2012
Author: Kat Zhang
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 343 pages

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.


Protagonists: While the book is told from Eva's perspective, since she can no longer control her body, we get a weird sort of third person, mixed with first person, narration. When we meet these two souls who inhabit one body, Eva tells us about how she was supposed to fade away, but in the end she never did. Now she and Addie are what is called a hybrid, and they are considered dangerous by their government. They hide among those who's other soul has settled pretending to be something they're not in an attempt to remain free and with their family. As these characters develop it's easy to see that Eva and Addie, despite their shared body, are two completely different people and they have to work together to keep their secret, a secret.

Romance: I loved the romance in this book, mainly because there wan't very much. There was a good amount of romantic tension. I was surprised that the two love interests didn't get together as soon as they did, but I loved that same fact as it was realistic and it made more sense for them to wait until later for one of them to even make the first move. I could slightly sense the possibility of a love triangle, though it's be one utilizing the fact that those involved are hybrids, which could get very interesting...

World-Building: Most of the world-building is told in the beginning which sets up the story and makes it easier to grasp onto this world and make sense of the story being told. In this world, which is similar to our own, the only difference being everyone is born with two souls, one of which "settles" when the child is very young leaving one soul dominantly in charge while the other slumber for what we can only assume is eternity. However, sometimes the recessive soul refuses to slumber becoming weaker and becoming trapped in their own body while the dominant soul takes control. These individuals are called hybrids and the government think that they're dangerous and unstable so many are admitted into psychiatric hospitals. But as with many YA novels, not everything is as clear cut as it seems...

Predictability: I was pretty shocked throughout this book, and while I may predict a supposedly surprising moment I never felt bored when it was finally revealed but more that I felt victorious for figuring it out ahead of time/ There were a few times when I thought something was going to be revealed and instead it wasn't what I thought or it was revealed in a way or with additional information that I was completely caught off guard by.

Ending: I have to say I've never been more teased by a plateaued ending in my life. I was surprised to discover that I needed to read the second installment as soon as possible even though the ending didn't end dramatically or on any sort of cliffhanger. While there is less than a year until the release of Once We Were, and I happen to have an ARC of the sequel, I do have to wait a bit before I can read it and that small amount of time is going to be torture, so if at all possible restrain you reading of this until closer to September.


This was one of, if not the best debut novel I've ever read. The world, characters, and plot seem so three-dimensional and realistic, despite the whole two souls thing. I loved this book so much and would recommend it to anyone who likes a fast paced, kick ass, adventure that is next to impossible to put down.



  1. I didn't like it as much as you did because I had trouble connecting with the characters, but your review is totally awesome! I can see that you really loved this one. I hope the second book is as great for you as this one!
    Great review, Zach!

  2. I have been wanting to read this for ages! The cover is simply beautiful! Gah. I need to buy this ASAP. Great review, Zach! :)

    - Emma @ Books Forget Me Knot

  3. Sounds like a good read! I'll have to give ths one a try.

  4. I haven't read this one yet. I've heard good things, tho! Great review!

  5. I've been meaning to read this one;great review!