What's Left of Me: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book 1

 
Intriguing tale of two-souled girl bogs down in repetition.

What parents need to know

Educational value

What's Left of Me provides only the bare minimum of world-building in presenting an alternate America in which each member of the populace is born with two souls in one body. The neurological or spiritual implications of hybrid consciousness is glossed over.

Positive messages

The young characters in What's Left of Me struggle to maintain their hybrid status to prevent one of their souls from fading away into oblivion. The importance of empathy is emphasized as they learn to protect themselves and watch out for others.

Positive role models

Eva and Addie share a body, but they're very different individuals. When they learn that Eva may be able to take more control, they have to re-evaluate their relationship. As they run afoul of the government and are taken from their family home, they develop the courage to fight back to preserve their individuality.

Violence

Young children and teens are subjected to unwanted medical procedures, although the bloody details aren't portrayed. Addie and Eva physically attack one of their captors and knock him unconscious.

Sex

Eva shares a quick kiss and a cuddle with one of her fellow hybrids, but it doesn't progress very far.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The protagonists are given a drug, stolen from a hospital, that inhibits Addie's dominance and allows Eva to control their body.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that What's Left of Me has an intriguing premise: a society in which children are born with two consciousnesses in one body. Unfortunately, the plot bogs down in a series of repetitive scenes. But there's no profanity, little sexual content, and only a small amount of violence.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Addie and Eva are hybrids, twin consciousnesses that share a single body. They were supposed to \"settle\" years ago, with Eva fading away and Addie staying behind as the remaining \"soul,\" but they didn't. When they meet another girl with two souls, Addie and Eva dare to break the longtime habits that have kept them safe, and they attract the attention of the government that wants to \"cure\" them once and for all.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

WHAT'S LEFT OF ME has an intriguing premise, but it bogs down in a series of repetitive scenes and conflicts. Although much attention is paid to the moral implications of "killing" one soul at the expense of another, the neurological and philosophical aspects of this alternate reality are virtually ignored. Presenting characters with two distinct personalities each would be a challenge for any writer, and author Kat Zhang doesn't make this literary conceit work completely.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it might be like to share your body with another consciousness. Do you think it would be interesting or creepy? 

  • Why do you think evil governments are at the core of so many science-fiction books? Can you think of others? 

  • Why would a government be afraid of hybrids like Addie and Eva? What steps might the government take to protect itself from them?

Book details

Author:Kat Zhang
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs, Science and nature
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:September 18, 2012
Number of pages:352
Publisher's recommended age(s):13 - 17
Available on:Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

This review of What's Left of Me: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book 1 was written by

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old July 25, 2014
age 8+
 

i love this book you have got to read it right now it is so awesome you MUST read it if you want to say you've truly lived.

this is the best book ever! and the best part is, it gives an accurate depiction of our society and trying to find peace with yourself without glorifying violence or sex. but there's some violence. evil doctors attempt to give innocent children unnecessary surgery, and they mention that only one person has survived it. so, not good for people under 8, but everyone else should really enjoy it! tell me what you think of this review down below!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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