Thursday, October 16, 2014

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang [Review]

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)2.5 out of 5 Robots!

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Series: Hybrid Chronicles #1
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian
Release: September 18, 2012
Hardcover:  352 Pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon

Book Summary:
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.

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
There is something I've been struggling with over a course of a few books I've read recently and I found it extremely evident in What's Left of Me and that is "WHY?"  Sure, What's Left of Me, offers a different approach from the bloated dystopian genre with the idea that people are born with two souls in one body until the person "settles" with the dominant soul.  But Addie and Eva never settled and had to keep this secret because of...reasons.  The book started out with some promise, but by half way through, my interest level fizzled.

The Good:
- Interesting concept and a different take on a dystopian genre
- Addie and Eva's stuggle to keep their separate identities
- Great ambiance with a lot of tension and the feeling of wanting to look over my shoulder.

The Not-So-Good:
- Book nosedives into generic Big Bad Government plot complete with Big Bad Institution
- A lot of two-dimensional side characters.  Considering a few of them are supposed to be also be hybrids, I could not distinguish between the two.
- A clunky and bogged down middle.  I did not enjoy Addie's stay at the Big Bad Institution.
- The book felt long.  Really long.

The Bad:
- WHY?!  It is never explained why having two souls is bad.  Why does the government want to eradicate them?  Why are there even two souls in the first place?  Why does the government even care? It made it really hard to care about what was happening when there was no basis for anything.  It felt pointless. I was very disappointed by this.

Overall, I was not one of the many who seem to love this series. I won't be continuing on.  But, as always, YMMV!

Books in this series:
1. What's Left of Me
2. Once We Were
3. Echoes of Us

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