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Once We Were: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book 2

Once We Were: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book 2

4.1 7
by Kat Zhang

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In the second novel in the Hybrid Chronicles—perfect for fans of Ally Condie, Lauren Oliver, and Scott Westerfeld—Eva and Addie struggle to share their body as they clash over romance and the fight for hybrid freedom.

Addie and Eva escaped imprisonment at a horrific psychiatric hospital. Now they should be safe, living among an underground hybrid


In the second novel in the Hybrid Chronicles—perfect for fans of Ally Condie, Lauren Oliver, and Scott Westerfeld—Eva and Addie struggle to share their body as they clash over romance and the fight for hybrid freedom.

Addie and Eva escaped imprisonment at a horrific psychiatric hospital. Now they should be safe, living among an underground hybrid movement. But safety is starting to feel constricting. Faced with the possibility of being in hiding forever, the girls are eager to help bring about change—now. The answer seems to lie in a splinter group willing to go to extremes for hybrid freedom, but as Addie and Eva fall ever deeper into their plans, what they thought was the solution to their problems might just be the thing that destroys everything—including their bond to each other.

Editorial Reviews

“An intriguing depiction of sibling relationships and the challenges of learning to live as distinct, though not physically separate, individuals.”
Lauren DeStefano
Praise for WHAT’S LEFT OF ME: “A shockingly unique story that redefines what it means to be human.”
Lissa Price
“A deeply original tale of longing for identity; so skillfully crafted, the words float above the page.”
Booklist Online
“the siblings’ desire for autonomy is intriguing, as is the exploration of the politics of enacting change.”
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Because sisters Addie and Eva grew up hiding their hybrid nature, they're now learning-along with readers-some of the nuances of what it means for two souls to share one body. Is romance possible with someone always looking over your shoulder? Can a hybrid ever have privacy? What occurs if the two souls disagree? Now that Eva is fully capable of controlling the girls' body, she's unwilling to sit idly by and allow the torture (in the name of science) that happened upon them at the Nornand Clinic happen to other children. As they meet more hybrids, they hear more and more horrific stories of abuse, and they learn of a small faction that wants to take immediate action to stop further mistreatment of hybrid children. Eva is eager to help with this plan, but Addie is unsure as to whether or not what they're planning is ethical. The deeper involved in this small revolution they become, the further apart the siblings begin to grow. Until now, they've never argued about anything this significant, and it's not clear which of the two souls will win control. Zhang has a unique challenge: she must give each character two distinct personalities, which she skillfully manages. While this book lacks some of the freshness of What's Left of Me (HarperCollins, 2012), simply by virtue of being a sequel, the lovely, atmospheric storytelling is still very much present. Zhang has envisioned a complex, unique world and deftly brings it to life.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Kirkus Reviews
In the sequel to What's Left of Me (2012), Eva and Addie must decide whether the government's latest anti-hybrid initiative justifies an act of terrorism as a response. Since their dramatic escape from the Nornand Clinic, Eva, Addie and their fellow fugitives have hidden with other hybrids--people whose bodies are shared by two souls--and grown frustrated by their rescuers' cautious ways. Meanwhile, the sisters' increasing independence is testing their bond: Eva longs to pursue her romance with Ryan, while Addie has her own secrets. Tensions reach a breaking point when the hybrids learn the government is promoting a false surgical cure for their condition. Several call for a violent protest, and they invite Eva and Addie to cast their lots with them. Zhang further develops the dystopia introduced in her first novel with mixed success. Many aspects of its history and politics remain vague, and the new characters are forgettable. Nevertheless, the sisters' ethical dilemma resonates due to the genuine horror of the false cure. Zhang's precise prose skillfully delineates Eva's unique first-person point of view, and the sisters' intense relationship continues to be deeply compelling. Newbies won't find this novel stands alone, but fans will have plenty of reasons to be impatient for the third book in the series. (Dystopian adventure. 13 & up)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.86(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

Lissa Price

“A deeply original tale of longing for identity; so skillfully crafted, the words float above the page.”

Meet the Author

Kat Zhang is an avid traveler, and after a childhood spent living in one book after another, she now builds stories for other people to visit, including the Hybrid Chronicles.

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Once We Were: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book 2 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finushed it like 1 minute ago and i am obsessed with this book i got it and i couldnt put it down it is a must read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Add me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i first realized that the hybrid chronicoes was a series, i bought this. I love this the most in the middle and at the end. Kat Zhang is the most awesomest author that i have read there stories. I dont really understand why people would rate this a 3/4 stars,because even though this book is long and take a couple days to finish for some people,this is still a good book. I hope a movie comes out with this. I kind of wabt a movie to come out and that people try out for the roles. I would try out for Eva and Addie. :)
pagese More than 1 year ago
I had it in my head that I wasn't going to read this book. I wasn't sold on the first one and I've been trying to limit my series, especially when I'm not invested into it to much. But, I already had this one for review, and I had looked at so many positive reviews that I thought maybe I'll give it a shot. Maybe it will win me over. Maybe I was wrong.... Yeah, not going to read the 3rd. For someone who has spend that last few years barely hanging on to the body that Addie and Eva share, Eva has an amazing amount of control now. I find it hard to believe that Addie was the dominant personality when we look at how easily Eva can take control. And because of this, she seems to take a mile when Addie gives her an inch. Honestly I can't blame her for wanting to experience life to the fullest, but she gives little thought to how her actions will effect Addie. She was pushy and often laid a guilty trip on Addie. I didn't really like her. The story line was up and down for me. We spend a lot of time learning about other hybrids. An over abundance of characters can make a story confusing. Add in their soul twin, and I had a down right time keeping all my characters straight. After awhile, I didn't really bother. Especially since I felt like a lot of these hybrids were taking advantage of Addie and Eva. Turns out I was right. I'm still completely unsure of the idea of twin souls. I'm not sure this can be done in a way that makes sense, but here it often doesn't. I tried to think of them in terms of multiple personalities, but it didn't work because Addie and Eva known what each other are doing (for the most part). I just can't wrap my mind around it. I'm way to much of a scientific person to accept this. I tried...I really did. But, I'm going to have to push this series to the side. There are plenty of others who enjoy it!
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
Picking up where the last book left off, the sequel brings lots of truth that all must face. Plot: Now the they are on the run, Eva must survive. She is considered unstable and dangerous. I particularly enjoyed this book because of the hard time that is faced. Eva is now joined with other hybrids who are also in hiding. Learning that there are others and the trouble that they face, Eva/Addie have a lot to learn. The ending is good and leaves me with wanting more. Love: Now this has got to be the weirdest thing ever. Fighting with the other person inside of you and finding yourself in someone’s bed with no reconciliation in how you got there because the other person in your head is in control. Yeah, these little parts made me laugh. The love interest is always interesting, giving the fact that there are two people in one body. Oh the possibilities. Ending: Yeah, the ending with all the revelations leaves me giddy. I can’t wait to see how it will all end. Especially now that new information has surfaced. I think this is a great sequel that lives up to the first book. The perfect plot of hybrids coming together as one, the building of the world of a strict government, the story has great tension. Always throwing out a new plot twist, Once We Were is entertaining and delightful.
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins Publishers, and Edelweiss.) This is the second book in the ‘The Hybrid Chronicles’, and kicks off 6 weeks after the end of book 1 ‘What’s Left Of Me’. **Warning – some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 ‘What’s Left Of Me’.** Addie and Eva have escaped, but are now living in hiding, rarely even allowed to leave the house where they live, and definitely unable to contact their loved ones. Mark Jenson, director of the administration for hybrid affairs for sector 2 is looking for them, and he’s not being quiet about it, trying to incite the public into locating them and exposing them. The hybrids have plans for ways to try and disrupt things, but as the plans get more and more dangerous, Addie and Eva question whether they can really live with the consequences of their actions. Will the hybrids really be able to change anything? And just what is it that Addie and Eva can’t live with? This was an okay sequel, but it felt quite slow, and it didn’t really get interesting until the 80% mark, which was a bit disappointing. Eva and Addie had grown in this instalment, and had learned a little more about being their own selves, separate within the same body. Both had matured and had their own ideas, and both had begun to wonder how they would deal with romantic entanglements whilst sharing a body. The storyline in this was okay, but there was very little going on really. We had a few arguments, and there was a plan in the works that Addie didn’t agree with, but things didn’t really get interesting until the 80% mark which was really disappointing. This just felt like a middle book to me, a way to get from book 1 to book 3, and the plan that was put into action just felt like a bit of a ‘filler’ story, and I don’t really feel like the main story really moved on very much during this book. To me, this felt more like a really long novella, rather than a proper story in its own right. The ending to this held the most excitement, but I didn’t end this book desperately wanting to read the next book because of what happened in this one, I ended it wanting to read the next one, because I hope that the next one will be better than this one! Which is quite an odd thing for me to feel really. Overall; an okay second instalment, but suffering from second-book-syndrome for me. 7 out of 10.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
    I enjoyed this book and it was a pretty good middle book in a series. This one focused more on Addie and Eva as individuals since they have figured out how to go under and give the other a modicum of privacy. They both even have romances in their alone time. But they also discover how much they need each other and how they value the other's presence and input.      While there was action, this was mostly character driven. Which I am down with because I love some good hints of romance and character building and growth. I liked getting to know all of the secondary characters better and the roles they play in their new life away from the institutes.     What got me thought was it seemed like Eva and Addie switched, that Addie was now in control more often and really taking charge with decision making and I guess that makes sense because she hadn't for so long, but I just wanted to see more of the Addie that I was from the last time.     The big struggle is how far is too far when it comes to rescuing other hybrids, and what risks are worth it. The moral and social issues with hybrids are really interesting to me, and I liked seeing how it all played out and I am somehow hoping for a happy ending for this series.      The Addie and Ryan romance while not drastic was one of the things that I enjoyed most and kept me turning the pages.      I will be continuing this series, and can't wait to see what happens next.  Bottom Line: I liked What's Left of Me better, but still enjoyed the character development and progression in this one.