PDF What's Left of Me When compared to most other dystopian novels I've read this year, What's Left of Me is pretty good overall. I found it very easy to get into and the characters quickly became ones I cared about. But, once again, there's just too little explanation for this to get more than three stars. The dystopian genre was born with novels like Nineteen Eighty-Four, which so expertly explored the political and social implications of having a society under strict government control and surveillance. More modern examples from the genre often fail to give us any idea how the society came about or the details of why things are like they are.In this story, people are born with two souls in every body. But as time progresses, one soul becomes the dominant and the other will fade away and eventually disappear (usually by age ten). However, some never lose the weaker soul and they remain paralyzed inside their shared body, unable to move or speak and completely controlled by the will of the dominant soul. Addie and Eva are one example of such a case - they are called "hybrids" and must hide their secret from society or face being institutionalised. When the possibility of restoring the control of Eva to how it was when they were younger arises, the girls face tough decisions, harsh realities and risk putting themselves in danger of being found out.What I most want to know is why the hybrids are such a massive threat to society? There was a brief discussion about this on one of my status updates and one of the suggestions seems to be that the government feared that two souls would heighten the risk of insanity and therefore lead to possible chaos. I'm sorry, but after completing the novel I'm just not buying into that. I like this whole idea of bodies having two souls and the problems it would cause, but I can't really see it as a threat to society. I also think that Hally's arrest wasn't very smooth and the reasons for it weren't convincing; it felt unnatural and an obvious ploy to get the plot to move in a certain direction.One of the best things about What's Left of Me is the relationship between Addie and Eva, they have such distinct personalities but work extremely well together too. I could feel Eva's frustration and sadness, but I also could feel Addie's doubt and reservations. The romance, thankfully, is very much in the background and is almost non-existent until the end - which I think works far better in this kind of life-threatening scenario. It also begins to raise questions which I've always wondered about in Siamese twin relationships - what do you do about having a romantic relationship when you share your body? What happens when you like someone but your twin doesn't? I may have to read the sequel just to find out some answers about that.I liked it. I did. But there were too many of the same old issues that I just get sick of writing about now. The personal level of the novel was brilliant - even though I would question the behaviour of the girls' parents - but on a bigger scale it just didn't deliver. We know very little about this alternative United States beyond the government's obsession with hybrids, we are told vaguely something about the rest of the world being overrun with hybrids and we are also told that hybrids are sent off to special clinics where they are never seen again. Hopefully, there's some upcoming twist about this reason for the fear and hate of the hybrids because I'm not believing it so far. Even forgetting the fact that it's quite a weak explanation, they're saying that being a hybrid increases your risk of insanity... right? This belief must either be correct or incorrect... right? So, they should obviously be observing the hybrids they have in captivity... right? What I'm saying is, there's an answer to this question and the government must know it: are the hybrids more at risk of mental illness or not? The only way I can see the author rectifying this little issue is if she has a big twist up her sleeves about some other real reason the hybrids are seen as a problem. So I shall read on and find out.A copy of this was provided free in exchange for a review from the UK publisher.. What's Left of Me go inside Book I should not exist But I do.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, andI should not exist But I do.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 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.. Please do not message me through Instead, email me at katzhang3 AT gmail DOT com I don t get on often to check messages Thank you Kat Zhang spent most of her childhood tramping through a world weaved from her favorite stories and games When she and her best friend weren t riding magic horses or talking to trees, they were writing adaptations of plays for their stuffed animals what would The Wizard of Oz have been like if the Cowardly Lion were replaced by a Loquacious Lamb This may or may not explain many of Kat s quirks today.By the age of twelve, Kat had started her first novel and begun plans for her life as a Real Live Author she was rather confident at twelve than she is even now Said plans didn t come into fruition until seven years later, when her agent sold her Young Adult trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, to HarperCollins The series, about a parallel universe where everyone is born with two souls, concluded in 2014.Her two upcoming Middle Grade novels will be released in 2017 and 2018 with Simon Schuster The first, The Emperor s Riddle, is about hidden treasure, lost aunts, and China The second, The Memory of Forgotten Things, is about parallel universes again , solar eclipses, and misfit children.Kat is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong She also contributes to Pub lishing Crawl, a site for aspiring writers to talk about books, storytelling craft, and the publishing process.. Popular Kindle What's Left of Me Actual rating: 4.5 starsDystopian novels have been disappointing me left and right these days. I don't know why. I'm not that hard to please. Yeah, I see your eyes rolling at that. *grin* But seriously, give me likable characters, solid world building and a good conspiracy theory and I'm good to go. Well, I guess there are only so many ways to tell the story of a deranged society killing off its children for the greater good. So, I went into What's Left of Me with, how do I say this? Er... low expectations. And wow. I was not expecting to love this book, but wow. I absolutely LOVED it! I mean, geez. Where do I even begin? Should I start at the premise? How about the realistic characters? Or maybe I should just make this entire review into a fangirl's shrine of amazing prose? This book is all of those things and more.Let me start with that gorgeous cover for a minute. I have a confession, which is more or less public information: I'm a cover whore. There. I totes said it. Yes, yes. I know the drill, "BOO, YOU WHORE!" It's just that I get a peek of a beautiful cover and my eyes gloss over with desire. I know I should heed the advice and not judge the book based on the cover, but I can't help it. I'm a judgy little judger. Usually, this just sets me up for a supreme let down when I actually get a chance to read the book. But occasionally, I find those diamond in the roughs like What's Left of Me, where not only does the cover scream, "Pick me up, dammit, and read me!" but the story fully captivates me. That is the bread and the apple butter, my friends.And not only does the cover look stunning, but it truly captures Eva and Addie. Eva, the recessive soul that should have disappeared according to her society, was born and marked for death. And Addie, the dominate soul, destined to forget her best friend and other half. But they share a secret. They are hybrids, a title coined to those with recessive souls that refused to just fade away. To the government they are deemed a threat to society and therefore must be locked up, contained, fixed or be killed.The best part of What's Left of Me was the relationship between Addie and Eva. I have to sit and applaud Zhang's skill at crafting two very different characters, who share the same body, yet they struggle to portray just one person to everyone else. Against her better judgement, Addie agrees to practice letting Eva take control of their body. She knows what this could mean for them if they are caught and discovered. However, she also knows how much it means to Eva to not just be the soul everyone else thinks is gone. Eva wants to be real. So they take the risk and their worst fears are, unfortunately, realized.We'd been born with our souls' fingers interlocked. What if we'd never let go?The bond and love these two sister had for one another was phenomenal and, at times, tear jerking. Though, I should say I did not cry during this novel. But I will say it was deeply emotional when the sisters internally struggled to fulfill both souls' needs without depriving the other. Of course, this was nearly impossible. Eva is the recessive soul and as such is used to literally taking the backseat to whatever Addie needs or wants. At times that frustrated me to no end because I could just feel Eva ready to burst free and be her own person, but Addie would take those moments away from her.I was caged in our body and caged in his arms and, somehow, the former was the real prison.And while I remained angry at Addie for her selfishness, Eva not once blamed her sister for the way she felt. That is not to say they always got along. There were quite a few times they stopped talking to each other in the novel, but I just loved how they made up. Side note: Can you imagine having a fight with your sibling in your head? I mean, if my sister and I shared one body... let's just say it'd be WW3 up in there. There'd be major ass kicking. Bet on it. Probably something along the lines of this: Any who...Not only did Zhang have to keep track of Addie and Eva's characters, but she created two characters in one body in several different instances. Now, I know from reading that sentence, that may A) not make a lot of sense or B) not sound very difficult. But it fascinated me how Zhang pulled it off. There were times where Addie and Eva would be talking with a character only for him/her to switch mid-conversation to their other soul. So you have two different mannerisms, facial expressions, tone, ect. for this one person and you have Addie and Eva able to not only tell the difference between the two, but to also convince the reader of the switch. And I'll even take it a step further to say that after a certain point I could tell which soul was who before Addie and Eva confirmed it for me. I think this is a testament to just how well these characters were crafted.And that is where the pacing and plot come into play. At first I thought the book was moving too fast in the beginning because I was getting introduced to a bunch of new characters and STUFF was happening very quickly, but I think it works well that way. Looking back, What's Left of Me doesn't really have much downtime because something is always happening, but at the same time it doesn't read like a thriller either because it's not exactly action packed. Oxymoron? Why, yes. But it was riveting and I felt I NEEDED to figure out the mystery to why the hybrids were treated so badly. Interestingly, I would usually take this time to point out and complain about world building flaws. There is very little mention of the outside world and how they deal with hybrids. BUT, and you're going to have to trust me on this, it works in this instance. The reader is intentionally kept in the dark until a few plot twists are revealed. Even after completing the novel, I feel like there is so much more to come.So, yeah, I rambled there a bit, but this novel was so fascinating and awesome. After all that I just have one last thing to say: More now, please.ARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss. Thank you!More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuudlebuggery Book Blog.