Musings on What’s Left of Me

August 25, 2013 § 2 Comments

 “Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.”

This was honestly such an interesting read. Often, with intriguing concepts like this you find poor execution accompanied by even poorer writing. This wasn’t the case with ‘What’s Left of Me.’ The story was much more captivating than I first anticipated and although the structure was a little unconventional, it only made the novel more enjoyable. I liked that the pacing shifted thoroughly throughout the book because the transition of the shifts were quite well done.

I also loved the character development. Addie and Eva, although working through the same body, were their own people; as were the other hybrids and Zhang did a really good job at developing individual voices, character traits, etc. that made them well-rounded characters despite physically being the same person.

The setting of this was perhaps what interested me the most. It was more fleshed out than I could have hoped for it to be. I liked the conflicted feelings in Addie herself about hybridity; denying herself of being one of those hybrids. I liked the initial set up of attempting to disassociate from the dark, foreign Devon and Hally and I enjoyed that the idea of foreign otherness was explored, but very subtly, with a lot left to be explored in the other books of the series.

The writing was also quite good, although it could become a little jarring at some parts and seem a little amateur. But overall, Zhang seemed like an apt writer, especially with the way she developed the plot and characters. I’m quite excited to read the next book of the series and find out more about the world of Addie and Eva. This is a book that I’d definitely recommend that people read because, if nothing else, it is an extremely interesting concept and Zhang executes it quite expertly.

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