Nov 29, 2013

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

the basics

Title: What's Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles
What's Left of Me (September, 2012)
- Once We Were (September, 2013)
- Echoes of Us (September, 2014)
Add it: Goodreads

goodreads summary

I should not exist. But I do.

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren't they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

In short

Addie and Eva are supposed to settle but they never do despite acting like they did. A girl from high school, Hally approaches them and reveals that she and her brother, Devon, are hybrids and can help Eva move again. Addie reluctantly agrees to it and they work on Eva for a month. However, in her desire to meet more hybrids, Hally gets caught running after one that the police is after due to his involvement in an incident. They question Haly and take her away to Nornand and then come for Devon and Addie. At Nornand, Addie discovers that the hybrids are being drugged in order to kill off one of the souls and forced to get surgery if that doesn't work. Addie and Eva decide to escape. Meanwhile, Eva slowly starts regaining her motor controls. A delivery boy approaches Addie and Eva with an escape plan. Eventually, with the help of Peter and his sister, Dr. Lyanne, they escape along with Hally, Devon, her roommate Kitty and Jamie who's the first kid to survive hybrid removal surgery. They go to another city. Peter and Dr. Lyanne tell Eva that America is not as isolated as believed to be and learns more about hybrids.

What went down

  • Addie and Eva live in an alternate reality where everyone is born with two souls in a body. The dominant soul eventually takes over while the recessive one fades away. Eva, being the weaker one, is supposed to fade away but she wouldn't let go and fight for control. Their worried parents take them to doctors. 
  • Eventually, Eva's outbursts begin to disappear and the doctors declare that she is gone. Meanwhile, Eva has basically lost her motor controls but is still present in the head; able to watch and listen. Ever since they were eleven years old, Addie has been letting Eva come out during the nights. No one else knows about their secret because of the fear that they might be taken away forever.
  • Their parents move to a new neighborhood so they could have a fresh start over. 
  • Fast forward to three years later, Eva and Addie are doing okay. Hally, a girl from one of their classes in high school, starts trying to befriend them by talking to Addie every chance she gets and eventually invites her to dinner to which Addie reluctantly agrees. 
  • At Hally's, Addie and Eva sense a change in her who says that she is Lissa now and wants to talk to them. Addie is numb with shock and thinks that Hally is playing a joke on her. She denies Eva's presence but Lissa's insistent shouting gets to her and she falls on the floor crying. Ryan and Devon, Hally and Lissa's brothers comes to their rescue. After Addie calms down, Devon tells her that they know Eva's still there and can teach her how to move again. the revelation is too much for Addie who runs home. 
  • At night, Eva says to Addie that they have to go back but Addie is adamantly against the idea, going as far as to say that Eva doesn't have a choice which hurts Eva intensely and she stays silent for a couple of days. Addie finally speaks to Eva saying that they can't go back and Eva says that if their situation was reversed, she would go back in a second. 
  • The next day, Addie and Eva look for Hally to tell her that Eva wants to learn. They decide to meet after school. At the Mullans, Lissa serves her tea and Addie asks her why did she choose them to which Hally responds that they got Devon to check her files due to her suspicious behavior and got to know that she settled very late. Suddenly Addie faints and disappears. Eva stumbles and fall searching for Addie deep within but it's like she never existed. Someone calls Eva's name to which she responds but no one hears her. Devon tells Eva that Addie's just sleeping and ask her to try and move. Frustrated, Eva shouts that she can't and is heard. Eva immediately tells Addie that she spoke and feels her waking up. They find out that Hally put Refcon in their tea in order to suppress the dominant mind.
  • After that, Addie and Eva go to Hally's daily after school to work on Eva. Some days Ryan is there instead of Hally and Eva finds another reason to keep fighting. 
  • A few weeks pass during which Eva keeps trying to regain control. Addie never asks about Eva's progress and when Hally tells her she doesn't respond.
  • One day, Addie and Eva meet with Hally and Ryan in the city. They are talking when police cars arrive to collect a hybrid lose in the city. Hally runs towards the hybrid in order to catch a glimpse of him. Back at home, they watch the arrest on TV and Addie tells Eva at night that they have to stop. 
  • Three days go by without them seeing Hally at school. On the third day, they see Devon waiting for them outside their class. He tells them that the police took Hally away to question her and then a man from the clinic convinced their parents that Hally's in danger and needs to be corrected. He tells her that they are coming to take him and Ryan away now and are likely to come for Addie and Eva as well so they should run. Then a man comes to take Devon away. 
  • Addie doesn't run. At dinner, the doorbell rings and the same man from the school, Mr Conivent, arrives. He says that Addie is under the suspicion of hybridity, ask her all sorts of questions and tells her parents that Eva might still be there. He says that they know Hally is a hybrid which means that they have to run tests on Addie at Nornand which is a three-hour flight away. 
  • At the airport, Addie discovers a small metal disc in her pocket while going through the metal detector. She holds it in her hand which turns red when she spots Devon coming out of the restroom in the plane. She gets the signal and meets Devon in the restroom who is relieved that she bought the chip which Ryan put in her pocket so that they can find each other. 
  • At Nornand, Addie meets Dr. Wendle who runs a scan test on her. Right after the test is over, she sees the chip turn red and so asks the where the restroom is. She doesn't find Ryan anywhere so goes back to Dr. Wendle's office who sends her with Dr. Lyanne for breakfast. 
  • On the way to the cafeteria, they comes across a boy on a gurney sliding past and she realizes that he is Jamie as she saw his file when she was looking for Ryan earlier and ran into someone carrying them. She pales when she realizes that he's just had surgery. 
  • In the cafeteria, there are thirteen kids including Devon and Hally. Devon says that they should focus on getting out of there. They also exchange suspicions that Jamie hasn't been sent home. 
  • After breakfast, all the kids are expected to do their homework during which one of the kids, Eli, starts having a seizure and is taken away. After a while, a nurse comes to retrieve Devon. After lunch, Devon comes back but Addie sees that he's Ryan now, he tells Addie that it's a lie which confuses her. At Dr. Wendle's, Addie is told that she going to get her missed tetanus shot. When Addie steps outside his office, she faints. 
  • Eva wakes up in a darkened room and calls for Addie who doesn't respond. Eva gets frantic when she sees the fire siren go off on the ceiling. She tries to get up and succeeds after a few painful attempts. As soon as she opens the door to the hallway, Ryan holds them up and tells Eva that there is no fire, that it was just a trick to bring her out. Eva is then determined not to let them cut her out. 
  • The next morning Addie and Eva are shifted into the Ward room with Kitty. Her parents call to inform her that Lyle, their brother, is now on top of the list for a kidney transplant which means that Addie has to stay at the hospital until she's better. 
  • The next morning, instead of the Study room, all the kids are taken into a waiting room to meet with the review board. When Eli's name is called, he refuses to get up and is manhandled by Dr. Wendle. Addie screams to let him go. He doesn't listen and she is forced to stay calm. 
  • The next day while in line to go into the waiting room, Addie gets a chance to sneak into Dr. Lyanne's office when she leaves the door open. Lissa follows asking what is Addie doing who's looking for Eli's file to see what they are doing to as he hasn't returned. During her search, Addie comes across Refcon in a file tilted Vaccinations. She finally locates Eli's file and discovers a shocking secret and is just putting the files back into the cabinet when she's discovered. 
  • Caught red-handed, Addie says that she knows that one of the souls are killed off with the help of drugs. She asks why is Cal forced to respond to Eli's name to which no one answers and Addie is taken into her room. Immediately, Lissa starts screaming non-stop. Addie goes to Lissa's room through the windows to see what's wrong and injures herself in the process. 
  • Lissa is hysteric and informs Addie that she is having surgery next when a nurse catches them through the window. They decide to escape through the window to the roof. On their way up, a guard grabs Lissa by her waist and in a struggle to free her, Addie falls off the roof. 
  • Eva wakes up to find that they are in the surgery room and tells Addie to get out. Looking for Lissa, they find a panel window besides one of the rooms and open it to find Jamie inside. She presses the button to speak to him and he limps toward the glass door. His words are feverish and he's jerking constantly but Addies catches him saying that they took him out and now he's gone. 
  • Addie backs away from the room and starts to run when she smashes into Dr. Lyanne. Dr, Lyanne sees that Jamie is crying and goes to calm him down. Addie accuses her of the state Jamie's in but Dr. Lyanne says that she has never done anything to any hybrids and is quiet when Addie asks her for help. 
  • A delivery boy, Jackson, leaves a note for Addie and Eva and later tells meets her in secret to tell them that there are people working to get them out of Nornand. When Addie is having her blood taken, she asks Dr. Lyanne about the other hybrids who informs her that Jamie is the first hybrid to survive the surgery. Addie begs her to help and even tells her about the escape plan. Dr. Lyanne tells her that Peter, one of the people working against Nornand, is her brother. After much persuasion, Dr. Lyanne tells her the code to the basement where Hally is being kept. 
  • The next night, Dr Lyanne comes to retrieve Addie and informs that Jamie and Hally are not going to be with them. Addie refuses to accept that. She goes with Kitty to grab Ryan and then get Jamie from the basement. They catch a nurse and a guard holding a screaming Lissa and rescues her, too. The sirens go off and Eva realizes that something is very wrong. She tells them to go ahead as she needs to check on the other kids. The sirens stop. On the third floor, Eva catches Mr. Conivent inquiring Kitty about the other kids. Eva cannot take it and smashes a metal tray on Mr. Conivent's head who crumples to the floor. Ryan comes looking for them and together, the three rush towards the exit and escape in a van.

How did it end?

They take a flight to another city and arrive at Peter's apartment. Ryan and Eva finally kiss which makes Addie so uncomfortable that she cries. Eva and Ryan stop interacting. They find that the rest of the children have gone to institutions as Nornand is declared a failure. The public knowledge of the surgeries, though legal, have the doctors and staff saving their own skins. Dr. Lyanne informs Eva that the medications are from overseas and America is not as isolated as it seems; everything is a lie. They visit the ocean where Jackson catches Eva looking at Ryan and informs her that hybrids can be alone if one of them goes to sleep. Eva approaches Ryan, they talk a little and go deeper into the water laughing. Eva feels lighter than ever as she realizes that while Addie makes up their half, she is Eva all the way through.

Anything else

Hybrids - People born with two souls.
Settling - When one of the souls take control of the body and the other fades away.
Refcon - A suppression drug used to suppress the dominant mind.
Nornand - A government clinic where hybrids are treated.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this, I adored this book but it feels like a lifetime ago that I read it, I will need this recap for when I get the second!

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