What's Left of Me is set in a world where children are born with two souls. As the child grows up one soul becomes dominant and the other recessive. Eventually in the childs life the recessive soul will fade away leaving only the dominant soul. However some children don't settle, and what happens then? At 15 Addie and Eva are faced with that problem.In a world where being a Hybrid is considered dangerous and a threat, Addie and Eva have to keep the fact that they have not yet settled a secret. But, as obstacles get in their way, can they?
What's Left of Me was great and i did love it, but i just can't bring myself to give it five stars. I would love to rate it so high because the pace was crisp; the plot is brilliant and original beyond belief, and the concept that the story is told from the recessive soul, Eva, was a great twist on the common narrator. Everything was refreshing, fun, and there was never a dull or boring moment when reading What’s Left of Me, but it just missed… something.
In What’s Left of Me, we're told straight away that hybrids are unstable and dangerous, and if you have suspicions that someone might be a hybrid, report them immediately. However during the book we arent told why hybrids are so dangerous, and all the hybrids we are introduced to seem harmless enough. So whenever they are spoken about like that all i could think was “Why?” It could be possible that they aren't any more dangerous than a normal person and they are just thought of this way because they are an anomaly in their normal society, and that's why there never was an explanation? Again, I'm not too sure, but I hope everything is cleared up in book two. As well as that little world-building flaw, there was a flaw in the writing for me that, while little at first, grew to be an annoyance the more I read the book.
Zhang’s prose is beautiful, and, like the plot, the writing is crisp and it makes for fast reading, but, unfortunately Zhang uses an overwhelming amount of repetition when writing. At first, this was something I was able to look over easily, but, like I said, as I read more and more, and the use of repetition became more and more frequent, I became annoyed, but not overly so that I was unable to enjoy the book. And lastly in the things that make me conflicted on whether I should be giving What’s Left of Me four or five stars was that the ending felt too anticlimactic given all the buildup for it throughout the novel. It just didn't have the wow factor i was looking for (and expecting)
Now onto less ranty things about What’s Left of Me’s rare flaws, and much more praising on everything else that’s in What’s Left of Me, because everything else was amazing.
Eva’s voice and experiences (or lack of) were heartbreaking, as was reading about her longing to talk, to move her fingers even—all of the things we normally take for granted—but she was physically unable to do. And, although for most of the book
she couldn't even move her fingers, she was still stronger than half of the heroines in YA literature, and that’s saying something.
Another thing to absolutely love about What’s Left of Me is that all of the characters are flawed and believable, as are all of their relationships, especially the sisterly relationship between Eva and Addie, which was portrayed expertly. And, while there is some romance in What’s Left of Me, it takes up a very minor part in the actual story, and you might even forget there was a romance to begin with (like me).
Overall, despite minor issues i had while reading i loved the book and will happily recommend it to all my friends and also to anyone looking for an original and refreshing new YA novel.