Sunday, February 24, 2013
Book Review: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy/Sci-fi
Release Date: 01/10/12
Publisher: Harper Collins
Received book from publisher
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.
I requested 'What's Left of Me' based on nothing more than a book trailer and a synopsis. I really liked the idea that two people lived in-side the same body, sometimes fighting for ownership and this novel definitely didn't disappoint. 'What's Left of Me' is Kat Zhang's first novel and the beginning of 'The Hybrid Chronicals'.
Both of the characters in this book were very likable, but different to each other. Addie didn't like to stand out and was always trying to be good. She didn't want to harm anyone or be harmed and I liked that about her. Eva was a bit more out-spoken and reminded me a bit of Dr Brennan (on 'Bones' TV Show). I think that it's important for this kind of story for both characters to be likable.
The story-line in this novel wasn't fast paced, but there were questions that entered my mind that made me want to read more. I wanted to know more about hybrids, more about the characters and more about what was going to happen to them. This was a typical-first-novel kind of book, but I did enjoy what I read and I am excited to find out what happens later on in the series.
I think a few readers will be annoyed with the book because of it's lack of romance/humor. The novel remind me an awful lot of 'Bloodlines' in that regard as foundations are laid down in this book, but nothing overly exciting has happened yet and no sort of resolution has really been reached.
I think many readers - before actually reading the book - are going to think that this sounds too much like 'The Host'. Yes, there are an awful lot of similarities, but the books are not to be mistaken for each other. The reason for Melanie and Wanda to share the same body in 'The Host' is due to an alien invasion, but in 'What's Left of Me' Addie and Eva are born into the same body. The novels take place in vastly different settings; Melanie/Wanda are mostly living underground in 'The Host', whilst Addie/Eva spend most of 'What's Left of Me' hanging out in a clinic. I think having read 'The Host' first definitely made this novel an interesting experience. It's interesting how the two different story worlds handle the issue and what crazy (sometimes conflicting) ideas can these different authors come up with.
One thing I really enjoy about these types of novels is that the characters can see how the government manipulates the characters. It means a whole lot of drama and secrets. And, it makes you question your own government/authority.
Overall, I think this novel was fairly well written and worth 5/5 stars. It's not a novel that I would be in a hurry to read again (so no new favourites today). If you enjoy books with a bit of a Sci-Fi touch, then I'd definitely recommend this to you.