I should not exist. But I do.
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.
What's Left of Me has a brilliant behind it, and Zhang delivers in the execution of this story. I would have thought this book was a dystopian if I hadn't seen a post on the author's blog about its genre. She said that it actually takes place during modern times, but in an alternate America where people have always been born with two souls.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Eva and Addie are basically the ultimate twins, but they aren't twins in two bodies; they are two souls in the same body. This book is told from the POV of Eva, the recessive soul who can't actually control her body anymore. The story really captures Eva's feelings of longing to have some control of the body that she and Addie share. Addie and Eva have a complicated relationship because they have to share a body. Addie wants Eva to gain control occasionally because she knows it makes Eva happy, but she also doesn't want to give up her own control. I loved both Eva and Addie, and I loved how they cared about what the other wanted.
The other hybrid characters were interesting to read about too. Between Hally/Lissa and Devon/Ryan, I thought Devon and Ryan were easier to distinguish between. Ryan was my favorite of those two, and I could see a sweet romance developing between him and Eva. Devon was more closed-off. I couldn't really see the difference between Hally and Lissa. Eva always knew which was which, so as a reader I did because she did, but otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to tell.
I thought the world-building was well done. The concept of two souls in a body is fascinating, especially when it comes to romantic relationships, which will probably be explored more in the next book. With the exception of Dr. Lyanne, I didn't like the doctors at Nornand because of what they wanted to do to the kids there.
Even though this isn't actually dystopian, if you like YA dystopian, this is a book that you will like.