Also on Delirious About Books
The premise of What's Left of Me was intriguing but I'm finding that dystopian stories have a similar plot - evil government that is killing off/controlling the children/teens and their survival. Therefore I had low expectations (despite the high rating reviews I keep seeing) that this one will be one I really like, yet alone love. I was happy to be proven wrong.
The start of the book was a little slow for me with not much action happening, more of a background to Addie and Eva and the society, building up to the action part of the book. Don't get me wrong, this was all still interesting, just slower then the later half.
In this world, children are born with two souls. At around the age of 6 years old, the recessive soul fades away - referred to as settling. Hybrids are those that haven't settled.
This story is told from Eva's POV, and the idea of two souls one body was a little hard to get use too, especially when things are 'we', 'us', and 'our' instead of 'I', 'me', and 'my'. Eva is the recessive soul who should have disappeared, and Addie is the dominate soul. Both in the one body. I found Addie to be selfish and she annoyed me for most of the story. I understand to an extent why she was like that, I mean, could you live with someone else trying to control the body your in? Can you image what it would be like to never be on your own? But still, Eva had the harder 'life' and wasn't like Addie. Eva was strong, and I found her to be fairer then her other half.
Zhang did such a great job of creating characters - two characters per body - on several different 'hybrids' in the story. They all had their own individual personalities, they felt like different people.
Thankfully romance was not at the forefront in this book. It's there, but it's building up, slowly, and even then, its on the back burner. It's not a major part in the plot at all.
While this is a fantastic and fascinating novel, there were two things that bothered me, though not hugely:
1. The Government say the Hybrids are dangerous and a threat to society, but not really why.
2. For some reason this bothered me more in this novel then any of the others, maybe because of the way it was mentioned. As a mother, there is no way that I would let my child travel on a plane with some stranger for testing. There is no way that I would then let them keep that child so my other child could get treatment. There is no trading one child for another. This just wasn't realistic to me, I can't image a mother that would allow such a thing.
If you haven't read it, add it to your to be read list. Zhang is an author to watch, and I look forward to the next in The Hybrid Chronicles.
Thank you to Harper Collins Australia and netgalley for the ARC.