Thursday, September 13, 2012
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Release Date – September 18, 2012
Publisher Website – Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 356 pages
My Rating- 3.5/5
**obtained from publisher via BEA for an honest review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
What's Left of Me tells the story of a fifteen-year-old girl fighting for her right to survive in a world where two souls are born into each body and one is doomed to disappear. Pitched as The Golden Compass meets Girl, Interrupted.
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 fought between a 3.5 and a four star rating for this novel. Even now I am still torn between them. There is so much I loved about this novel of two sisters, and yet there are things I felt were missing as well.
Kat Zhang’s writing talent is clearly evident. She keeps what could be a complicated narration smooth and easy to follow. The voices of both Addie and Eva are easily distinguishable. The writing style also allows the story to flow smoothly and keeps a steady pace. Her characterization is the highlight of the novel. They’re vivid, full actualized, and interesting.
Both Addie and Eva are achingly real and full of life. As a reader I couldn’t fathom one of them not being part of this story. They each want to experience life and the little pleasures it has to offer. Their story explores what it means to be alive, what it means to be human and what a precious gift life is. These two characters are what makes What’s Left of Me shine, and Kat Zhang has developed two amazing characters.
The sisterly bond between them is believable and honest. Sibling rivalry is hard enough on it’s on, now picture it while sharing one body and feeling each other’s emotions. Pretty much torture if you ask me. The moments where Ava and Addie are interacting with nobody else around leap off the page. Each struggles with their love for the other, and is torn by wanting dominance over the body they share.
The romance is almost an after thought in the novel, but it does bring up some thought provoking issues. It relates back to the struggle Eva and Addie experience as two individuals forced to share one body. Each of them may want different things out of life, and love, yet each is reluctant to let the other go.
The stakes in the world Addie and Eva inhabit are strongly felt. There is tension felt throughout the book. The main characters never feel safe, which is not common in stories like this. The fact that there is a way to continue on the story if Eva or Addie were to cease to exist made it feel much more dangerous.
A striking, beautifully written novel that has a unique and fascinating storyline. I As developed as the characters and world are, I found myself wanting more background. There is hints at things to come, and I fully believe the second novel will be better than the first. It’s a series that benefits from having the ground work laid out so that the story can take over. I wanted to know more about the hybrids and why they are viewed as such a threat. My curiosity is piqued by the world outside the Americas that Addie and Eva live in. This is where I believe Kat Zhang is leading us, and I am excited to follow.