Release Date: 09/18/12
What's Left of Me tells the story of a fifteen-year-old girl fighting for her right to survive in a world where two souls are born into each body and one is doomed to disappear. Pitched as The Golden Compass meets Girl, Interrupted.
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.
My thoughts on the book:
I was expecting a lot from What's Left of Me, and I was slightly disappointed. Let me just say right off the bat that the cover is brilliant. It's part of what attracted me to the book in the first place (that and the awesome synopsis). However, I was unable to relate to the characters, even though they were realistic (at least the main characters were. The secondary characters could have used some depth). Additionally, this seemed as if it was an alternate version of America, and I didn't like the rewrite of history, turning this world into something I didn't understand. Also, I never fully understood why people were so scared of hybrids. This book just fell flat for me in many ways.
Let's start with the setting. It'd be one thing to have it set in a different place/time/etc, but to have it be like today only not... that just didn't work for me. I also didn't like the whole WWI and WWII fought because of hybrids thing. Why were hybrids so bad? I just didn't understand. I just could not buy into this world and that really took away from my enjoyment of the book.
Eva and Addie were interesting characters, but I just could not connect with them to save my life. That meant I didn't care what happened to them. Also, the secondary characters were so flat they didn't seem realistic. I just wasn't attached to anyone in this novel.
The plot was an interesting one, but I was so detached from the book that I couldn't enjoy it. Zhang's writing was captivating, and I really would love to read something different from this author. The use of language conveyed so much. I felt more connected to the writing than I did to the characters, story, or world. This author definitely has talent.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to people who love dystopian and aren't history dorks like me. It's a decent dystopian book with a unique concept and magnificent writing. If you aren't in love with the dystopian genre, you may want to check this one out at the library before you buy it.
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