Monday, January 21, 2013
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
343 pages, YA Dystopian
Hybrid Chronicles #1
My rating: 4.5 stars
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.
My 2 cents
This was a refreshing new twist on a dystopian. I really loved the idea of twin personalities residing in one body. It was a nice new twist! Basically, all of humanity is born with 2 personalities. They are named, but science determines which is dominate. At around age 5, the dominate personality takes over the body, and the other soul fades away.
That is what was is supposed to happen. But it doesn't with Eva and Addie. Eva refuses to let go, but over time, she no longer has control of their body. Addie is in charge, but she accepts Eva, and they constantly talk to each other inside their head. But no one can know that Eva is still there. That would get them sent away for good. Hybrids are bad, and will cause problems in our society, or that's the lie they've been told.
Then they meet a brother and sister who are both also hybrids. They have found a medicine that will let Addie fade for a short time, so Eva can then learn how to control their body again. Despite all the risks, Addie lets Eva do it. Of course, they all get caught and sent away to a "hospital" that will make them "all better."
This whole sinister line of thought made me thing of mental illnesses. Most of us would have no idea what really happens in a mental hospital. Are they drugged into oblivion? Treated as aliens instead of people? Does anyone give them any of their own rights? This has been a debate for so long, and I've read so many books on it, but nothing has really made me look at it quite the same way as this book has. I'm not sure if that was the author's intentions or not. Its a really scary thing to talk or think about, because there are so many crimes involved with mental illness.
I loved both Eva and Addie, but obviously I loved Eva more. She was so strong and so selfless. She does everything she can to try to help everyone in that horrid hospital. There wasn't much character development on the other characters, other than the basics so you could tell who was who in what body. Parts of that did get kind of confusing, but I was still able to follow along.
Nothing much about the actual story line was much of a surprise. I had an idea of what was going to happen, just because I've read so many dystopians! But it still felt like a new experience to me, just because of the originality of the story. If you love dystopians, you have to read this one!