Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Review: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Rating: ★★★★★

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.

What’s Left of Me is a book that took me completely by surprise. I found the concept so original and compelling that I was almost worried my expectations could not be met. The beginning is a bit slow, mostly because of some very necessary world-building. But the relationships- particularly the one between Addie and Eva- are so unique, heartbreaking, deep, and real that I found myself sucked in. The central dynamic of hybridism is fascinating. I adored the way Kat Zhang dove into the complexities of sharing a body with a twin soul, and how it was reflected in the gorgeous prose in a slow shift from Addie to we and then to I. The romance feels true and actually made my heart flutter in places, though the romance never dominated the story. The balance is kept, and the romance only serves to enhance the central issues and plot.

The novel eventually builds to something incredibly powerful. In fact, it’s one of the most affecting books I’ve read all year. I found myself asking questions that I never would have considered asking.

And when the action picks up, boy, does it pick up. I actually gasped in fear several times. I cared so much about the characters, about Addie and Eva’s relationship, about Hally and Lissa and Devon and Ryan, that I just gobbled up the whole next section of the book. I was that desperate to find out if they were all going to be okay.

And yes. It made me cry. Only a third of the way in. Which is the true test of a book that works. This book doesn’t just tug on the reader’s heartstrings- it burrows inside your chest and squeezes your heart and makes you feel so many feels.

Basically, I can’t freaking wait for the next book. I can’t wait to find out the larger implications of these issues in this unique world that Kat Zhang has created.


  1. Hi Gilly

    I agree and love the phrase 'makes you feel so many feels'.

    I can't wait for this to be filmed.

    1. Thanks! I think this would make a great movie. I would love to see how they'd pull off the dual souls. Some tremendous acting would be necessary.

  2. I clicked on this post and immediately thought I was on the wrong page - NO GIFS! WHAT?
    I'm not usually into 'spirituality'-type books but this sounds interesting.


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