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.
I have been itching after What's Left of Me since I first heard of it last year. The whole concept was so original and I knew that I was going to really enjoy it. I did really enjoy it even though I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped. There were some flaws in this book, but it was gripping and chilling and an unputtadownable read. I loved it!
Unlike other dystopian books that try to deal with touching and gripping subjects, Zhang doesn't try too hard to throw all the action and fear and negativity at us, instead she focuses on the compassion and caring and the positive bond between Addie and Eva which makes some parts of this book even more heart-breaking and poignant. The relationship between Addie and Eva is the most beautiful part of this book, I thought it would be difficult to see them as two different people but it's so easy to see their different personalities. The pair had difficulties but got through them together, showing a lot of love, dedication and selfishness towards each other.
The secondary characters were good. I would have liked to get to know more about the other kids in the institution, especially Eli, I would also have liked the backgrounds of the doctors just so I could see why they acted the way before. I also really liked getting to know Devon and Ryan , though I hope they become a little more developed in the next book. i think Jackson may become a prominent character in book two and I'm looking forward to seeing how Zhang deals with the romance aspect in relation to the hybrids.
Though I was a little disappointed by the main bulk of this book which took place at a government institution, it seemed very cliche. The momentum slowed down and the book seemed to be going into familiar territory with all the secrets and the nasty government people and though I was never c lose to giving up at times I did feel like I needed to put the book down and take a break, but I read on. I read on on because I wanted to see how Addie and Eva dealt with the obstacles being thrown at them. The end was a little anti-climatic but I'm looking forward to book two.
Overall, What's Left of Me was a unique addition to the dystopian genre. I really enjoyed it but there were some flaws in the pacing and originality of certain parts of the plot which means that it may be pretty forgettable for some people. I look forward to seeing where Zhang takes the Hybrid Chronicles.
Overall Rating: B-
Book released 27th September 2012 by HarperCollins Childrens Books
ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Print)