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BOOK REVIEW: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

| 16 August 2014 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Harper Teen
September 2012, $19.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell



Every child is born with two souls, each soul is given a name, and one soul will cease to exist before the child turns ten. Or else.

As Addie and Eva grew ever closer to that worrisome deadline, they were taken to doctors and psychiatrists, and were subjected to all sorts of tests. By the time their twelfth birthday came around their parents could relax, because Eva was gone. 
Except that she wasn’t. 
For three years now, Addie has been the only person who can hear Eva, but Eva is most assuredly still around. 

The concept of this book is incredibly creepy. Every child is the equivalent of a twin, and either they or their womb mate are expected, nay encouraged to die. And… everyone’s okay with it. 
Other countries do things differently and encourage both souls to stick around. But in the Americas, the government makes sure to keep its citizens informed as to how dangerous the world is outside their borders, the world run by hybrids. 

The characters were interesting, and not mere carbon copies of each other, they had personalities; this allowed the reader to tell which of two souls was in charge of the body at any given time. We learnt how to see the difference, just as Addie and Eva did. 
It was a really enjoyable read. I couldn’t put it down, and forty pages from the end I was desperate for the second book to arrive so that I could start on it immediately. 

But then I reached the end of the book and felt no overwhelming desire to jump straight into the next one. 

Having sat back and given it a few days to sort itself out in my mind, I think I’ve worked out why. I feel like it was lacking somehow. It didn’t push any major boundaries, it didn’t leave me genuinely worried for the lives of the characters, it didn’t challenge me. 
And, while each chapter ended on a cliffhanger, the end of the book was pretty upbeat. 
It was a relatively light read for such a potentially dark topic. While that’s refreshing in a dystopian novel, a dystopian story is meant to make you feel that sense of despair, of hopelessness.

There are still a lot of interesting ideas that I am hoping are explored in the following books, and would be interested to find out how long term relationships between hybrids would go. 
I will be coming back for the following books, just not immediately. 

I’d recommend this for lovers of dystopian novels who are maybe on a dystopian burn out and want something a little lighter. 
The whole world isn’t going to hell, just the world of the people discovered to be harboring more than one soul.


Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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