Title: What’s Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
Release Date: Available
I’ll admit, I was a little wary before starting What’s Left of Me. Authors, I have been told, need Real Life experience before they can write anything meaningful. However, twenty-one year old Kat Zhang far outdistanced my expectations. In the world of What’s Left of Me, two souls are born into every body. Usually, the weaker soul fades away at a young age, leaving the dominant one in single possession of the body. But in the case of Addie and Eva, both souls remain. This makes them a hybrid, and a perceived threat to society. Eva refuses to disappear, although she is no longer able to control their body. She is trapped in their head, unable to influence the world outside her unless Addie follows her telepathic directions. When Eva discovers a way that she could learn to control their body again, she persuades the reluctant Addie to take the opportunity. But doing so risks social ostracization and being sent to a government institution.
Zhang creatively tells the story from Eva’s point of view, even though she is caged in her head. The relationship between Addie and Eva is fascinating; although they are closer than sisters, they are two distinctly different people. Much of the book focuses on them trying to work through their disagreements. How can they be individuals when they are so intricately linked? Zhang throws in a tiny bit of romance when Eva is interested in a boy and Addie is not, causing a clash of emotions. However, the romantic element is only a minor aspect of the book, making it a refreshing break from the love-filled novels I normally read.
I can sincerely say that this novel explores what it means to be a person. Zhang leaves it to the reader to decide if Addie and Eva are one person with two souls, or two people in one body. And how does this translate to normal, one-souled bodies? Is it the actions of our bodies that make us people, or the thoughts that lead us to those actions? Zhang subtly presents these and other questions in a thought-provoking first novel.
Review by Sami;
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