What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this beautiful baby had me at hello.  When I cracked the front cover, to my delight, I discovered the inside story was just as captivating as the outside, and the picture you see summarizes the very essence of the book inside.  The two together is what makes What’s Left of Me one of my favorite most recent reads.

Now when I say two together, look at the cover.  You can see half of the face of a girl looking out at you.  Look closer.  Did you notice the wavy line isn’t just a design?  It’s a silhouette, and the face you see is actually trapped inside!  That face is Eva.

In the world of What’s Left of Me, people are born with two souls woven together in one body.  Sometimes one soul is in charge, and sometimes the other is.  Your parents love you like you are two children—because you are, just in one body.  Now regardless of how well you get along with your second soul, one of you has to “settle”–one of you has to disappear.  Eva was the soul that got weaker and weaker and was supposed to fade away, but…she didn’t.  Eva is still in there and the story is told from her perspective of having to watch through eyes that she cannot move.

Addie, the sister soul who now controls the body, is the only one who knows Eva is still alive.  She’s the only one who can know, because if anyone finds out, they’ll go to jail.  They’ll try and take Eva away.  People with two souls are called hybrids, and they’re dangerous because they can change personality at any time.

But then the girls meet the very thing they fear—other hybrids.  Is there a chance that Eva can regain herself and move again?  This is a captivating story that had me feeling emotions like I was trapped inside someone else’s head where I couldn’t move.  The book really makes you ask the question: who are you if not your actions, your choices and abilities?  Can you be yourself only manifested in thoughts?  And if you are only thoughts, what happens if your thoughts fall in love with someone outside of you.  If you ask your sister soul to talk to that person, will they fall in love with you or the sister talking.  Now what if one weak soul fell in love with another weak soul?  What would it mean if they could break through and move again?  Can you share a body when you love different people?

The mind-bending questions like these (that I LOVE) go on and on in this book, but that’s not all there is.  This story is also action based.  Say the authorities did find out that you are a hybrid…would you fight your way toward escape?  This book was so good, and is the beginning of a series that I will definitely be reading more of.  Try it out and see if YOU love it as well—hopefully you won’t be two minds about it.

Review by Gigi, CLP-Brookline

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