Monday, 17 December 2012


What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever. Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world. Now meet Eva and Addie. They don't have to imagine.

Ooh, *shivers*. Okay, so I was really looking forward getting my hands on this book and I was not disappointed. If I'm being completely honest, it wasn't quite as good as The Hallowed Ones, the last book I read, but it's definitely up there.

I was concerned that I would struggle to keep the two girls, Eva and Addie, separate in my mind, that they wouldn't be distinct enough, but they were. I think Addie could have done with some more development, the book is told by Eva and therefore focuses a lot more on her, and I hope this is something that will be explored in later books. That's right, this is the first in a series. And it works as a book on it's own. Points galore in its favour. I was also concerned about remembering all the pairs of names - every main character has two souls and therefore two personalities - but I didn't find it a problem at all. The only one I couldn't remember was Lyle's alter ego, and I'm pretty sure his was only mentioned once in the entire book.

The thing that really stuck with me, though, was how much this book reminded me of Philip Pullman's Northern Lights, a book that I adore. The idea of the daemon, and the later determination of certain people to separate children from their daemons, was one that really struck a chord with me when I read it years ago, and one that came back to me whilst reading this book. People - ostensibly, the government - don't want two souls to exist within one body. They want to separate them, and my thoughts just kept coming back to Northern Lights. Maybe that's one reason I liked this book so much, despite the fact that at times the dialogue seemed strange to me and the teenagers sometimes seemed an awful lot older than they were supposed to and Addie just wasn't as characterised as she should have been. Because I did like this book, a lot, and I've read lots of reviews by other people that loved it. So maybe I just shouldn't worry about why I liked it so much, and just be pleased that I did. Bring on book two.

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