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. – Goodreads
Immediately after reading the summary for Kat Zhang’s What’s Left of Me I knew I wanted the book in my hands. Though the two souls in one body aspect reminded me of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host (in a good way — I actually really love The Host) I thought What’s Left of Me sounded like it would offer a darker twist within its pages because it was told from the POV of Eva, the soul with no control over her body. Yikes, right? It was easy to feel her frustration and confinement right away and I was eager to find out more about her world: one where every body has two souls until one ultimately fades away.
Though it’s in a dystopian setting, with the government monitoring that there is only one soul per body, I enjoyed that Kat Zhang focused on Eva and Addie’s personal struggles. I do wish that there had been more worldbuilding (see below), but I felt that it was necessary to really understand Addie and Eva as individuals and Kat Zhang did an excellent job with their distinctive personalities. They each had their own conflicts and fears and it was impossible to sympathize more with one over the other.
I also really enjoyed the subtlety of the romance storyline. It didn’t take over the story in any way, but Kat Zhang had the right amount of sweetness between the characters and I enjoyed the dynamic that was formed despite the limitations they have.
As I said above, I do wish there had been more background to the world Addie and Eva live in. Where’s the explanation for two souls inhabiting one body? Why should hybrids be viewed as dangerous? I did enjoy getting to know Addie and Eva, and experience all the highs and lows that come with their situation, but there’s still a lot to explore on a larger scale and I do hope Kat Zhang explores that in the sequels.
Overall, What’s Left of Me is a promising start to a new series and I’m looking forward to getting answers to all of my unanswered questions.
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