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What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Kat Zhang

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3365832,756 (3.76)4
Title:What's Left of Me
Authors:Kat Zhang
Info:HarperCollins Children's Books (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library, 2012 Honorable Mention
Tags:fiction, dystopia, identity, teen

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What's left of me by Kat Zhang (2012)




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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
What's Left of Me has a unique premise, distinctly different than I've encountered before: what if everyone in the world was born with two "souls," two separate people living inside one body? Just that was enough to convince me that I should read this. So I was happily surprised to encounter this book in my school library.

I've given this only three stars because, while it was good, and a fun read, it was also geared more toward YA/teen. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
What's Left of Me has a unique premise, distinctly different than I've encountered before: what if everyone in the world was born with two "souls," two separate people living inside one body? Just that was enough to convince me that I should read this. So I was happily surprised to encounter this book in my school library.

I've given this only three stars because, while it was good, and a fun read, it was also geared more toward YA/teen. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
What's Left of Me is set in a world where children are born with two souls. As the child grows up one soul becomes dominant and the other recessive. Eventually in the childs life the recessive soul will fade away leaving only the dominant soul. However some children don't settle, and what happens then? At 15 Addie and Eva are faced with that problem.In a world where being a Hybrid is considered dangerous and a threat, Addie and Eva have to keep the fact that they have not yet settled a secret. But, as obstacles get in their way, can they?

What's Left of Me was great and i did love it, but i just can't bring myself to give it five stars. I would love to rate it so high because the pace was crisp; the plot is brilliant and original beyond belief, and the concept that the story is told from the recessive soul, Eva, was a great twist on the common narrator. Everything was refreshing, fun, and there was never a dull or boring moment when reading What’s Left of Me, but it just missed… something.

In What’s Left of Me, we're told straight away that hybrids are unstable and dangerous, and if you have suspicions that someone might be a hybrid, report them immediately. However during the book we arent told why hybrids are so dangerous, and all the hybrids we are introduced to seem harmless enough. So whenever they are spoken about like that all i could think was “Why?” It could be possible that they aren't any more dangerous than a normal person and they are just thought of this way because they are an anomaly in their normal society, and that's why there never was an explanation? Again, I'm not too sure, but I hope everything is cleared up in book two. As well as that little world-building flaw, there was a flaw in the writing for me that, while little at first, grew to be an annoyance the more I read the book.

Zhang’s prose is beautiful, and, like the plot, the writing is crisp and it makes for fast reading, but, unfortunately Zhang uses an overwhelming amount of repetition when writing. At first, this was something I was able to look over easily, but, like I said, as I read more and more, and the use of repetition became more and more frequent, I became annoyed, but not overly so that I was unable to enjoy the book. And lastly in the things that make me conflicted on whether I should be giving What’s Left of Me four or five stars was that the ending felt too anticlimactic given all the buildup for it throughout the novel. It just didn't have the wow factor i was looking for (and expecting)

Now onto less ranty things about What’s Left of Me’s rare flaws, and much more praising on everything else that’s in What’s Left of Me, because everything else was amazing.

Eva’s voice and experiences (or lack of) were heartbreaking, as was reading about her longing to talk, to move her fingers even—all of the things we normally take for granted—but she was physically unable to do. And, although for most of the book
she couldn't even move her fingers, she was still stronger than half of the heroines in YA literature, and that’s saying something.

Another thing to absolutely love about What’s Left of Me is that all of the characters are flawed and believable, as are all of their relationships, especially the sisterly relationship between Eva and Addie, which was portrayed expertly. And, while there is some romance in What’s Left of Me, it takes up a very minor part in the actual story, and you might even forget there was a romance to begin with (like me).

Overall, despite minor issues i had while reading i loved the book and will happily recommend it to all my friends and also to anyone looking for an original and refreshing new YA novel. ( )
  ClumsyUnicorn | May 14, 2014 |
One of the coolest, most thought-provoking concepts I've come across in YA. This is some incredibly deep, high-concept sci-fi while still keeping the pace and rhythm of YA. Loved it. ( )
  EMaree | Feb 11, 2014 |
What's Left of Me explores what it might be like to be an unwelcome guest in your own body, within your own mind. In this world, each body is born inhabited by two souls. By age 7, most children have "settled", meaning the recessive soul has faded away leaving only the dominant soul. When this doesn't happen, those left with two souls past puberty are considered hybrid. Hybrids are considered sick and dangerous and are sought out by the government to be hospitalized and corrected.

Addie is the dominant soul in this story, Eva the recessive. They have spent the past few years pretending that Eva has faded until a schoolmate finds out their secret. The schoolmate, Hally, and her brother Devin are also secretly hybrids as well as being foreign which means they are distrusted in the current political climate. Eva wants to trust them but Addie isn't so sure, the consequences if their secret were revealed could be deadly.

The story is told from Eva's point of view and was at times very poignant as I was forced to consider what it would be like having to constantly live in my own head pretending that I don't exist to the outside world. The relationship between Addie and Eva felt genuine and the feeling between the two was expressed beautifully in the dialog they shared. With two souls inhabiting the body of each of the characters, you would think that the story would be confusing. Surprisingly, it was not. Each soul had their own individual voice and were easily identified.

I think that Eva was an especially well written character. Her great longing to be acknowledged, her loneliness, and her genuine love for Addie was beautifully expressed and I found myself continually drawn to her.

I enjoyed the unusual storyline, the relationships between the characters, and the beautiful writing that compelled me to continue reading late into the night. If I have one complaint about What's Left of Me it is that I would have liked to have had more information about the world and why children were born with two souls and why not settling is considered so dangerous.
( )
  ahappybooker | Feb 7, 2014 |
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For my mother and father, in thanks for everything they have taught me about life
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Addie and I were born into the same body, our souls' ghostly fingers entwined before we gasped our first breath.
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"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" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

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