Summary (via Goodreads):
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
Zhang created a very unique idea in this novel, having two souls sharing one body. The implications of living like that and how everyday situations would be different was intriguing. Where I couldn’t follow was that questions I had were never answered. I needed to know why people were born this way and why after time the souls ‘settled’ leaving only one soul where two had been.
I felt that the pacing was slow but not dull. We followed Addie and Eva through their normal life and the stresses of being different yet having to hide it from everyone, even those you love. Zhang did an excellent job giving each a voice that was uniquely theirs and desires and needs that varied. I was never confused whom I was following or what their motivation was. I found the dialog between the two very intriguing and overall it kept my interest.
Near the middle, the pacing picked up yet slowed again for the last third. This section was too slow for my liking and I was eager for the story to wrap up and for some conclusion to be made. Zhang succeeded in creating an antagonist I disliked. She gave them all the bad but I never understood their motivations for what they were doing so I didn’t feel they were very well rounded.
Though I wanted more world building I believe that many of my lingering questions will be addressed in the next book, Once We Were.
What’s Left of Me book trailer: