Monday, February 4, 2013

Mini-review: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

                                                          Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Source: BEA 2012 (thank you!) 
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.
Review: What a quiet, grave, and beautiful little book this was. 
I can see why people would compare this book to Stephenie Meyer's The Host and it does share one similarity: yes, there are two souls that share the same body but in SM's book, the other souls were invading aliens that took over the Earth and inhabited human bodies. Here in Zhang's debut, every single person body born into this world are composed of two souls, not one. And that is the main difference. Now, onto the two souls in question: Addie and Eva. I found Eva to be an incredibly compelling narrator; being the recessive soul, she is barely able to move her own limbs and so Addie moves them around from day to day. I kept forgetting that although Eva was narrating the story, she wasn't the one actually moving throughout the sequence of events. Addie, being dominant, called the shots but Eva was always there, almost like a faithful companion overseeing what went on in the watchtower. This style of narration was beautifully done by Zhang and she easily grabbed my attention within the first chapter.

Final Verdict: What's Left of Me is quite good. I was expecting to enjoy this book and I did but even more so, I was completely engrossed by Eva and her relationship with her sister. The idea that Zhang presents of a society that stifles souls puts a new spin on repressing the human spirt, doesn't it?  There's also a little romance between Eva and another soul and it's sweet, subtle and feels just right ♥  I'm curious to see where Zhang will take us with Eva's story because it's one where I really can't predict what might happen...

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  1. I still haven't read The Host (though my brother did give me a copy he found lying in a trash pile on the side of the road. No joke!) but I really want to read it and this book too. I don't think I would have drawn the parallels without reading your review. The whole sister relationship thing is really interesting. This book sounds like no matter what I read about it, I'll still find it to be unexpected which is nice. :)


      And yay! I hope you enjoy the book once you get around to it :) Thanks for commenting!

  2. I'd sort of written this books off as "never going to get to it" but your review makes it sound really lovely. AND I feel stupid that I didn't even remember the 2 souls in one body concept, which sounds intriguing. Thanks for the mini-review, I'm definitely going to resurrect this back into the TBR.

  3. YAY!!
    I'm glad you liked it!! I was a bit on the fence about it but since you liked it I'll put it on the whislist :D