What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Paperback, 576 pages
Published 27th September 2012 by Harper Collins Childrens Books
Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever.
Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world.
Now meet Eva and Addie.
They don’t have to imagine.
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My thanks go to Harper Collins for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
When I first heard about What's Left of Me, I was both excited and unsure about it. The cover of the book is striking and there's no doubt that the blurb sounds interesting, but it also sounds quite confusing - the thing that put me off for a little while. However, the excitement overcame the uncertainty and I'm so glad that it did!
What's Left of Me follows a hybrid girl - two female minds inside one body, named Addie and Eva. This may sound like it could get confusing, but I can honestly say that at no point did I become confused whilst reading this. The book revolves around Hybrid children and teenagers - people who have two minds or personalities living inside them. In Addie and Eva's world, most people are born with two minds but as they grow, one dominates and the other fades away. For those who don't have this happen to them, life becomes difficult as they are treated as defected and are subject to endless treatment to rid them of one mind.
Zhang takes quite a complex idea and puts it onto page in a way that seems effortless. The writing is simple, gets the point across yet is still gripping and a pleasure to read. It's certainly not a chore to read this book. The thing that impressed me most about this book was the idea behind it - Zhang had a wonderful idea when she thought this book up - it's refreshing, different and intriguing. I would've liked to discover more about the world, why/how hybrids came about and the reasons why they are treated as defected, but there is room for expansion of this in the next books. However, I really did enjoy what I discovered in this book. Most of this book is set in a hospital for Hybrids, and I found the setting to be truly intriguing - It felt like a real, quite scary place and I could feel for the characters who were there.
All of the characters in this book are pretty well developed, even though there are a multitude of them. Addie and Eva are our main characters and I thought that their development was truly superb. As two people in the same mind, they had a truly unique relationship, quite unlike any other I have read. Their thoughts and feelings were so very real and I felt a lot for Eva, the less dominant mind, who often struggled to get her feelings across to Addie and was hidden away from others, in fear. It was sometimes quite strange to read the narration from a hidden mind in someone's body, but it was always fascinating. We meet a lot of other characters in this book, including Addie and Eva's family, friends, doctors and hybrid hospital patients. They're all strong characters, but I would like to know more about all of them, just out of curiosity!
I thought that this book was well paced throughout - I was never bored during this book as I did just find the book so intriguing. The pace certainly sped up towards the end as we made some important revelations - the action towards the end should satisfy those who like a bit of action or suspense in their books. The ending has been left quite widely open and I will look forward to seeing what happens next.
Overall, I was very impressed with Kat Zhang's writing and imaginative ideas. This was an enjoyable, easy and compelling read that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone who likes young adult sci-fi or dystopian books. I really can't wait to see what happens next and what else Zhang has to offer us!