Book Review · Science Fiction/ Dystopia · YA Fiction

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang: Book Review

11043618I 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 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.

If you guys didn’t notice, I’ve been reading YA contemporary for a the past almost two months. So going back to science fiction was super refreshing. I like to call myself a scifi buff. So when I heard of this dystopian trilogy that I had never heard of- I  just had to get it.

This book takes place in a future where every person is born with two souls, two people in one body. By the time you reach 10 years old, the recessive soul disappears and the dominant soul remains- you settle. Although, sometimes, both souls remain equally dominant. These are called hybrids. America has fought wars against the hybrids and were finally able to win. When they did, they closed their borders from countries that were full of these hybrids.

Addie and Eva Tasmyn, the main characters of the story, had trouble “settling” as kids. Two years later, they were finally cleared as settled; Addie being the dominant soul. The thing is? Eva never went away. Eva and Addie only pretended to settle to avoid institutionalization.What’s interesting is that even though Addie is the dominant soul that controls the body, Eva is the main character. Eva lost control of using her body, but remains inside, able to talk to only Addie.

A foreign girl and her brother (it’s not told from what country) confronts the girls, telling them that she knows that they are hybrid- and that she can help them find out how to let Eva have control over their body too. Things go horribly wrong, and the small group ends up being taken into a medical facility to cure them of their “hybridity”.

This was such an insightful book; it had so many parallels throughout the plot. It wasn’t apparent in the beginning, but it addressed racism in it’s subtle and forthright forms. The way that Zhang portrayed the discrimination directed at the foreign characters was amazingly written. Additionally, the way that America shunned the hybrids and closed the borders, and the amount of hatred that is felt towards the hybrids is a fairly accurate- and scary- way of describing some people’s attitudes towards immigrants in the United States.

ALSO. I loved how there wasn’t a stupid romance sub-plot running through this. I mean, don’t get me wrong- I’m a sucker for romance, I’ve been reading only YA Contemporary for a little over a month. I just don’t think a science fiction plot needs a romance sub-plot to make it a good book, it seems kind of trashy and forced. So yeah, this book was good at that.

If you like huge government conspiracies, sadistic doctors, creepy medical centers, and original dystopia, this book is the one. I haven’t read the rest of the trilogy as of yet, but I can see this going in so many good ways.

Twitter here, if you want to ask questions or talk about books or request or anything, really!

Last review I did: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales


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