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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Eva shares a quick kiss and a cuddle with one of her fellow hybrids, but it doesn't progress very far.
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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.
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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.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.