Tuesday 6 November 2012

What's Left of Me review

What's Left of Me
Kat Zhang
27th September 2012
HarperCollins Childrens' Books

How I Live Now meets His Dark Materials in this stunningly written and intensely moving debut.

Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever.

Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world.

Now meet Eva and Addie.

They don’t have to imagine.

I was very, very pleasantly surprised by this book.  I generally don't get into dystopia as I do with other genres, and it's not really one of my favourites. Apart from The Hunger Games and Divergent I don't really get the whole dystopia trend, and when I've read (or tried to read) dystopia's that aren't action based, I've generally found that I just don't really like them, but I actually loved What's Left of Me. 

Mostly, I think I could get on with at as a dystopian because it's doesn't feel dystopian. It feels like it's set in the present day, just in a world where people are born with two souls in them instead of one. There wasn't any fancy new technology mentioned or a new world or future I had to adapt myself too, and I really enjoyed that. I think sometimes that having super computers and weapons and what have you can just come across really cheesy, but even the more dystopic aspects of this book felt very realistic and like the course of action people would've taken had it been real.

It's kind of difficult to talk about the characters in this book, because it's kind of like there are twice as many because most of the main characters are actually two people, two different personalities, so there's a lot to talk about. I liked Eva, I thought it was really interesting that the whole book was told from her perspective because she isn't the dominant soul, and all she really does is watch things, but I liked seeing her become more dominant and recover some of the control she'd lost. I would've liked to have seen things a little bit from Addie's perspective, too, because even though they're in the same body and we get the gist of what Addie's thinking and feeling, I still think that she's an entirely different personality to her and I'd like to see what she really thinks about Eva taking more control.

I have a lot of the same feelings about Ryan and Devon, though, really. I liked Ryan a lot and I'm interested to see where the whole thing with him and Eva will go, but I also want to see how Devon feels about it. Is he okay with it? Does he like Eva too, or does he like Addie, or does he like no one and wish Ryan would just stop crushing on people already? You know, if this wasn't a serious story, there'd be a lot of comedic potential. It would take misunderstandings/confusing twins trope to a whole new level. What I do really want to see, though, is a love interest for Addie. Well, I kind of do and I kind of don't. I think'd it'd be really cool to have a YA book that has essentially two main characters and not have to have a love interest for both of them, but at the same time, it'd be interesting to see how it all played out. I just hope that by the end of the trilogy, Eva and Addie are both still alive. But there are always sacrifices in these kinds of books. Don't get too attached to anyone, because authors know who your favourite character is and they will kill them in the last book. ALWAYS.

I feel like Mr Conivent as a bad guy was creepy, but at the same time I want some shades of grey, you know? I didn't feel like we got the reason why America in particular was so against the hybrids, and if you're so desperate to get rid of the hybrids, there's gotta be something personal there, right? But I have been spending a lot of time on Tumblr lately and they overanalyse EVERYTHING over there, so I could be looking into and wanting too much that just ins't really reasonable or necessary. But I do really, really want to know more about the history and have some proper motivation and reasons behind the whole anti-hybrid thing they've got going on here.

What's Left of Me was a brilliant debut, full of original ideas and interesting characters, and I can't wait to read the second book when in comes out and finally have more about the world revealed.


  1. Hm. What an ambivalent review -- and fittingly so, haha, since there are TWO SIDES to the characters in this book. ;) Sounds like there were a lot of good ideas, but a lot of questions too. Not necessarily a bad thing... but we might wait and see how the rest of the series gets reviewed before we pick this one up. We've been burned by deteriorating series in the past... :/

    Btw, THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer is really great book and has a similar situation -- two minds, one body -- BUT it's only with one character, so it might be less... difficult, for lack of a better word. THE HOST is seriously one of our favorite books (and fairly different from Twilight).

  2. I was pleasantly surprised by this book as well!

  3. I was surprised by it too! I wanted a bit more world-building - I was confused as to why they wanted to get rid of the hybrids and didn't really get why they had them in the first place, but apart from that it was brilliant! Great review :)

  4. brillaint review, I felt exactly the same about this one when I read it… I need the next book out like now!

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