What’s Left of Me
The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Publication date: 18th September 2012
Reviewed by Rebecca
I was VERY excited to read this book. Having seen countless glowing review throughout the book blogging world, I was eager to pick up the book and devour it in a matter of hours. Did I? Read on to find out.
There have been plenty of dystopian novels out this year, some being utterly amazing and others falling by the wayside. What’s Left Of Me was a highly anticipated novel and it didn’t disappoint. In this novel, children are born with two souls. Generally, one is more dominant than the other and the weaker one ‘settles’, which is described as simply going to sleep. However, if one of the souls hasn’t settled by a certain age, these Hybrids are considered dangerous and steps are taken to rectify the matter.
Addie and Eva are in exactly this predicament. However, the world around them believes that Eva setlled a few years ago so it seems like there should be no problem. This is until they are discovered by another Hybrid child and her brother, and they begin steps with Eva to make sure she too has a voice.
Whilst Addie was the dominant soul in this novel and Eva the recessive soul, I felt that sometimes Zhang pushed Eva a little too far - sometimes Addie bowed down and did just what Eva wanted, which is a little confusing considering their roles. When they are taken away to the hospital, where measures will be taken to help them settle, Eva seems to take control throughout the whole time, just as she has been trained to by the other Hybrid teenagers. I knew that Eva would slowly become more dominant but I didn’t realise how dominant she would become and I feel it affected the story a little - when you are basing characters on dominant and recessive traits, it seems a little odd to encourage the recessive personality to become pretty much totally in control.
As with a variety of novels of the dystopian genre, there is a hint of a romance in the book, however it never really takes centre stage until the last few pages, which I felt was a good idea. Too many novels have romances which distract from the main plot of the story and I felt Zhang did well, hinting at what may happen but steering us away before it took over the story completely.
Apart from the confusion over the constant personality swapping in the novel, I loved this novel. There is only one other criticism I have - we don’t know why Hybrids are considered dangerous. We, as the reader, encounter quite a few hostile moments in the book where Hybrids are caught and taken away - but it is never fully explained just why the world outside doesn’t want them living amongst ‘normal’ people.
All in all, I really loved this book, it was a refreshing read and one that I finished within a day of picking it up! What’s Left Of Me is stated as the first of The Hybrid Chronicles series, so I look forward to seeing what Zhang comes up with next.
Thanks to Harper Collins for the opportunity to read and review What's Left of Me.