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.
(Description from Goodreads)
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
This book kept showing up on my goodreads.com account, so I finally decided to check what it was about. I LOVE this dystopian idea that everyone is born with two souls, but once children reach a certain age they “settle” and only one soul remains. However, there are some who don’t settle, but rather become “hybrids,” as it is out of the normal way of things for a person to remain with two souls. This is how it is for Addie and Eva; Addie is the dominant soul, while Eva is the recesive soul, but she’s the one who tells the story. I kept imagining what it would be like to have two people in one body…what if we all had someone else sharing a body with us? Weird, right? But kinda cool at the same time. Of course, privacy is an issue, but at the end of this book, the girls learn that they can learn to change that. But that will be for the next book in the trilogy to explain. I loved the characters in this book. Eva/Addie, Ryan/Devon, Hally/Lissa, I absolutely loved the hybrids. I couldn’t help but wonder if the people that had settled ever felt guilty about basically killing their other half. I mean, I know I would. You grow up for around 10 years with this other person sharing a body with you, and then one day they aren’t there? That’s especially tough for a kid to go through – that other half is basically their best friend. I love the connection that the hybrids had with their own two souls. Of course, we only truly get to see the connection between Addie and Eva, but every so often we could see Hally and Lissa’s relationship and a few brief moments of Devon and Ryan’s. Zhang did a magnificent job at portraying the relationship between Addie and Eva; they’re like sisters/best friends who just happen to share the same body. They would fight together, they would cry together, they would laugh together, and then they would even have separate emotions together (Addie could be mad, while Eva could be sad.) Even so, the girls always managed to pull through for the other and they would stick together (no pun intended.) There were moments though that I just wanted to hit Addie upside the head and fuss at her for being so selfish when it came to Eva; here Eva has been the recisive one for many years, but as soon as she gets to chance to control her body again, Addie gets upset and mad with her for doing so. Calm down, Addie…poor Eva has been doing whatever you want for so many years; cut her some slack! But again, that just shows how awesome Zhang is at writing if the reader can feel that way towards the characters. Plus, Zhang is a pretty awesome writer if she can write in a few extra characters of great importance, yet give them their own personalities still…she had double duty when it came to creating characters, which is very impressive.
The first part of the book moved really fast; it’s like bam, bam bam, okay slow down time. I haven’t decided yet if I like that it was speedy in the beginning or not; I understand why it was done, as the story itself couldn’t really progress if it remained back in Eva/Addie’s “normal” life. Still, I think maybe it could have slowed down a little bit, mostly because in real life things don’t usually happen that fast (or maybe I’m just a slow paced person and it seems fast to me.) Either way, the book became incredibly interesting once the hybrids were pulled from their lives and into Nornand, the clinic that made hybrids “better.” After that, the book’s action never slowed down, so I suppose that made up for the fast paced nature of the beginning of the book.
I still don’t know how I feel about the ending. Yes, I know that there are still two books to come in the trilogy, but I couldn’t help but think that things still should have ended differently, considering how action packed it was the entire book and then it just goes poof, time for a breather. Most people probably like the little bit of a breather at the end, but I just couldn’t imagine it, especially after everything that happened before the end. Maybe I just need to keep telling myself that happy endings aren’t bad, but then again…if they don’t really fit the tone of the book, it leaves me feeling incomplete.
Awesome book trailer by the way! Check it out if you’re interested in reading this book: