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giselleco

Xpresso Reads

Reading is my drug. I love to get lost in a great book to escape into worlds that are usually much cooler than mine! >.<

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Imogen Howson
The Beautiful and the Cursed
If I Were You (Inside Out Trilogy, #1)
Lisa Renee Jones
As The World Dies Untold Tales Volume 3
Rhiannon Frater

What's Left of Me (Hybrid Chronicles Series #1)

What's Left of Me (Hybrid Chronicles Series #1) - Imagine never being alone in your head, always having someone else tag along wherever you go, never ever getting any privacy. Kat Zhang has created this alternate world where humans are born with two souls until one takes over and "settles". Except, Eva and Addie never did. Eva and Addie, two completely different personalities are sharing one body - or more like, Eva is stuck in Addie's head, as Eva has not been able to take control in years. I found this very thought provoking as well as fascinating. For someone who has always been especially curious to know how Siamese twins live, I found myself quite taken by this premise. The simple thought of never being truly by yourself is scary, having to share every single thing with another self. It's intimidating to say the least. I wish it had gone deeper, however. Since this book takes place in the Americas where souls eventually settle, meaning one leaves, or dies--however you want to look at it--we don't necessarily observe how those who do keep both souls--hybrids--actually live out their lives. So many scenarios come into play when you question this way of living, I was a little bit let down to see this not explored further. Another world building issue that became a pretty big factor in my not truly loving this novel is how we never really get the motivation behind the whole plot. To realize the dangers of being a hybrid, to feel the intensity this novel tries to evoke, I need to be able to understand why hybrids are treated as a threat and a danger to society. The minute explanation we do get--that hybrids, being constantly on the outs with themselves, can become unstable--is weak and unconvincing of the threat these people make them out to be.As far as characters go, the ones we meet in this novel are all fairly well developed and enjoyable. I was especially impressed with how different, yet how fitting both of the main characters were. Told in Eva's POV--the soul hiding in Addie's body--what we get is a very peculiar narration. Since Eva isn't in control of their body, she narrates mostly by going over what Addie is doing, referring to things as "ours": Our hands, our face, we walked, etc. I was sometimes thrown off by it, but it's a unique way to position a story and also a great method to get us to understand a bit more profoundly what it means to have to share a body with another. This psychological aspect is extremely enticing, leaving us with a sense of curiosity and wonder. As much as I enjoyed Eva's considerate personality, never blaming Addie for her selfish ways, I found Addie herself to be a little less pleasant. While I understand that it must be extremely hard to live this kind of life, she can come off as very self-centered, because of which I can't say I particularly liked her. With a very intriguing start, What's Left Of Me soon loses its flair around the half way mark when things start to slow down exponentially. Due to the lack of world building I mentioned, I never got a big feeling of restlessness or foreboding from this novel, making their foray into the hospital a little long-winded. Some chain of events felt like a go-around to try to work in some deeper character/psychological aspect into the novel, which is fine, but unfortunately it also caused the plot to become stagnant.What it comes down to is a novel that has a highly thought-provoking plot with fascinating character relationships and a promising start to a series. With a little more world building, a little more answers behind the hybrids, the severity of it all would have been much more poignant, turning it into a stronger, more compelling novel. It is definitely a series that I will continue as, for the most part, it did keep my attention fully. As well, I'm sure we will get some further examination into what I'm dying to know in the next installments. --An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads