Customer Reviews for

What's Left of Me (Hybrid Chronicles Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

(I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-re

(I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins publishers, and Edelweiss.)
15-year-old Addie lives in a world where every baby is born with two souls; two different consciousness’ living in the same body and mind. Bet...
(I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins publishers, and Edelweiss.)
15-year-old Addie lives in a world where every baby is born with two souls; two different consciousness’ living in the same body and mind. Between the ages of 5 and 10, every child loses their second soul, in a process known as ‘settling’. The dominant soul fully takes control of the body, and the recessive soul simply fades away.

Addie is unusual in that she didn’t settle until she was 12. A fact that nearly cost her her life, but what nobody knows is that while Addie has full control of her body, her sister Eva still lives on within her mind. Addie/Eva are what is known as a hybrid, and in the USA this is basically illegal, if they are caught they will be experimented on or killed, so Addie says nothing, and Eva remains trapped in her own body.

When a girl at school Hally reveals herself to Addie as a hybrid too and tries to get Addie to admit that Eva never disappeared, Addie wonders if it is a trick, but Eva is desperate to find out if she could get her control back and no longer have to live imprisoned in her body.

Unfortunately though, Hally manages to get herself sent to an institution for hybrids, and tells the people there Addie’s secret, meaning that Addie is taken too, and must now find a way out, before the people there try to take Eva away from her forever.


I really enjoyed this book. I loved the relationship between Addie and Eva, and felt sorry for poor Eva being totally unable to exert control over her own body. Eva was such a strong character, stronger even than Addie who was supposedly the ‘dominant’ soul. She hung on in there, desperate to hang onto life, not wanting to fade away, always wanting to experience more, even when everybody told her that she should be gone already.
I felt sorry for Eva in the way that she was treated, even by Addie, who at one point blames their hybrid status on Eva, because if Eva had just let herself fade away like she should have, Addie would be normal.
I also felt sorry for the other children at the institute who were being experimented on. It was so terrible how their other halves were being ripped away from them, and how they were told that they were sick and wrong because they were hybrids.

I really don’t understand how people could possibly live with this kind of torture! Having a child who has two separate personalities inside, naming them different names, and then having to live with the knowledge that at some point one of them will basically cease to exist! I also find it very difficult to imagine living with someone else in your head, and having to share a body, but also, if you had had someone else in your head since birth, how would it be to have them disappear and be no longer there! The grief that the children felt about the loss of their twin was just so poignant, and sad.

The story was well paced, and the finale was so tense! My heart was racing, my hands were shaking, and I was silently begging ‘They’ve got to make it, they’ve got to make it!’
There was a little touch of romance, but nothing too much, I’m guessing that this might be explored more in future books.

Overall; I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next books in the series! If you love dystopian YA, you’ll love this!
8.75 out of 10.

posted by Sarah_UK1 on September 18, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

A little too Sci-Fi for me.

This is one of the coolest covers I've seen in a really long time! I've been staring at it for a couple of weeks and only just now noticed the profile of the other girl.

I was really looking forward to reading this because the summary sounded intriguing and unique. K...
This is one of the coolest covers I've seen in a really long time! I've been staring at it for a couple of weeks and only just now noticed the profile of the other girl.

I was really looking forward to reading this because the summary sounded intriguing and unique. Kat Zhang has done an excellent job of presenting a story that questions what it is that makes us a person. Is it our soul or is it a physical body?

This was more Sci-Fi than I expected and I did find it hard to keep track of who was who at times. For example, you might have three physical people in the same room but there would actually be six total - two souls each sharing one body. When the topic of romance came up, I felt a little awkward because how do you handle a kissing situation when both people can experience things but only one wants too? I'm sure this will be explored in future books but I couldn't help thinking that it vaguely reminded me of a Siamese Twin scenario.

I do feel this story is well written with a very interesting concept and raises thought provoking questions. While it may not have been the book for me, someone else will love it, I have no doubt!

posted by Cupcakegirly on September 19, 2012

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  • Posted September 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A little too Sci-Fi for me.

    This is one of the coolest covers I've seen in a really long time! I've been staring at it for a couple of weeks and only just now noticed the profile of the other girl.

    I was really looking forward to reading this because the summary sounded intriguing and unique. Kat Zhang has done an excellent job of presenting a story that questions what it is that makes us a person. Is it our soul or is it a physical body?

    This was more Sci-Fi than I expected and I did find it hard to keep track of who was who at times. For example, you might have three physical people in the same room but there would actually be six total - two souls each sharing one body. When the topic of romance came up, I felt a little awkward because how do you handle a kissing situation when both people can experience things but only one wants too? I'm sure this will be explored in future books but I couldn't help thinking that it vaguely reminded me of a Siamese Twin scenario.

    I do feel this story is well written with a very interesting concept and raises thought provoking questions. While it may not have been the book for me, someone else will love it, I have no doubt!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    When I first heard about it, WHAT'S LEFT OF ME reminded me a bit

    When I first heard about it, WHAT'S LEFT OF ME reminded me a bit of THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer. From its general idea of two souls living in one body. But that's where all similarities end. Kat Zhang's story goes an entirely different way.

    It's hard to describe the setting of WHAT'S LEFT OF ME. The world feel apart a long time ago, with the US in the middle of riots and fights for power. So that makes it feel like a dystopian. At the same time the protagonists' lives feels ordinary and almost boring in the first few chapters. I would've wished for a bit more action.

    The concept of living with two souls in one body, is called hybridity. It's perfectly normal to start out with two differen personalities, but children are encouraged or forced to abandon one in the process of maturing. It's forbidden to be a hybrid to ensure stability and order.
    So that's where our protagonist Addie & Eva come into play. Addie's the dominant soul controlling their body and pretending to be the only soul left in that girl's body, but there's still Eva left. Always in the background of their life. The interesting part is that the story is told from Eva's point of view. She's been the best observer all along, only concentrating on still being a part somehow and not getting lost. I enjoyed Eva's voice and her telling the story, but I've got a bunch of things that just didn't work for me.

    The first chapter does a good job of introducing us to the setting, characters and the point that our main character Addie & Eva is a hybrid, which is forbidden. We get the conflict and know what to expect in future. A clash between hybrids and the government, Eva & Addie and the rest of society.
    The next several chapters, follow the same rythm though. All the time circling around Addie & Eva being a hyrid and what it means for them, for their family, for their neighbours, fellow students. At some point I felt too tired to listed to that anymore.
    With two souls in one body it might not be easy to live together and there is a higher conflict potential, but their inner quarrels about doing this or doing that, the right and wrong thing, got on my nerve after some time. Could also be because I didn't really find a connection to Addie, and only to Eva.

    A big part of the novel is made up of inner conversation between Eva and Addie, which makes an easy to read dialogue. It's marked through special signs; so that you don't get too confused about who's speaking.
    There is action to some extend and the setting changes to something more threatening after some time into the story. Addie & Eva are confronted with several obstacles and revelations concerning the being of hybrids. They are forced to make rash decisions to not only save their lives but these of their friends, too.

    There's also a time span in which Addie & Eva mostly interact with fellow hybrids to experience what it means being hybrid. That's when they also meet the potential love interest, Ryan. The bond between Eva and him was the only thing that kept me reading til the end, because I really wanted to know how their feelings for each other unfolded and in how far a relationship would be possible with Eva who's never really been in control over their body.

    THE VERDICT

    2,5/5 **/* WHAT'S LEFT OF ME - Or better what's left of my patience. Two or three likeable characters can't increase my interest in this very slow paced dystopia.

    The HYBRID CHRONICLES are based on an interesting concept and Kate Zhang really did find a good voice for protagonist Eva and an intriguing way to develop the romance between her and Ryan. But there were just too many aspects about the story that were not to my liking. I'm not sure if I'll find the time and patience to read the sequel of WHAT'S LEFT OF ME if it's held in the same detailed and slow paced writing, but I still recommend you to give this story a try if the summary and story concept sound appealing to you.

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    Posted October 14, 2012

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    Posted October 16, 2012

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