Title: What’s Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
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.
This was a slightly forgettable but otherwise decent debut. I knew what it was about – two souls or something in one person, which is illegal but has happened to our protagonist(s) – but I still feel like I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, or I ended up with something other than what I did.
Our point of view mostly came from the non-dominate soul, which I didn’t expect, so we mostly view the story through the eyes of a person who technically doesn’t have control over her body. The use of plural pronouns when the protagonist(s) talked about herself was a nice quirk, although I did find myself sometimes automatically correcting grammatical mistakes in my head before remembering it was technically right. I feel like neither girl really had a solid personality, though. Sure, Eva has no control over her body so it’s hard for her to establish herself fully, but looking back a few months later it’s just hard to remember who they really are. Eva is more daring but neither girl truly stands out. I think one of them really liked art, but I’m not sure anymore so it obviously wasn’t a big part of the story if it even was.
My main problem, though, was that I had a little trouble really getting into the story. It was interesting enough, but I feel like I sometimes had to force myself to keep reading, if only to finish it and get on to whatever I had to read next. It was a unique idea, but a lot of the time it didn’t seem like a lot was really happening. I don’t think this is a spoiler, but slight warning anyway – I feel like they spent a lot of time being fairly passive both before and after they’re all caught and taken to the special building or whatever. Right now I can’t even remember how it really ended, but I don’t think it was very climatic.
Regardless of my problems with this book, I still plan on checking out the second book to see what happens. Hopefully it’ll be more engaging and interesting than this debut, growing upon the interesting concept and surrounding it with an equally entertaining story.