Author: Kat Zhang
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Pages: 343, Hardcover
Rating: 3.5 stars
Summary from 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.
"Addie started to cry but she no longer controlled enough of our body to produce actual tears. Her crying was silent and invisible to everyone but me. Like mine had been to everyone but her all those days, and weeks, and months after we first settled. After I was shunted aside and locked up in my own body. My skin a straightjacket. My bones, prison bars."
This book reminded me of a crossover between The Host and Delirium!! If you liked those two books I would suggest picking this one up!!
Addie and Eva were born as two souls that share the same body. Eva, being the recessive soul, should have faded long ago, and left Addie, the dominant soul, alone and in full control of
her their body. However, Eva didn't go away. Although she lost full control of her body, she now resides in Addie's head as a silent observer to Addie's life. If people discovered that Addie and Eva never "settled" they would be taken away for posing a threat to society.
“I was terrified. I was eleven years old, and though I'd been told my entire life that it was entirely natural for the recessive soul to fade away, I didn't want to go. I wanted twenty thousand more sunrises, three thousand more hot summer days at the pool. I wanted to know what it was like to have a first kiss. The other recessives were lucky to have disappeared at four or five. They knew less.”
It has to take some serious writing talent to be able to create two distinct personalities in one body, and keep them clearly separate and distinguishable throughout the story. Not to mention, both characters were extremely relatable too. I felt for Eva. She lost the ability to move her own body, make her own choices, hell, not even her parents knew she still existed. To the outside world it was just Addie. Eva was forced onto the sidelines to watch Addie have everything she was denied. I could also relate to Addie. She was the dominant soul which according to society meant she was entitled to that body. But now Eva was in her head which meant that Addie could never be alone. And Addie had to display a unified and normal front to society for fear of the truth coming out. Addie also depended on Eva. She was usually the first one to give in after they fought. But Addie loved Eva and Eva loved Addie. Their bond was a beautiful testament to sisterhood. Even though Addie hated to relinquish control and was terrified of being discovered, she knew what it would mean to Eva and so she agreed to certain risks out of the love for her sister. Addie and Eva are the best part about this book.
Early on, Addie and Eva meet Hailey/Lissa and Devon/Ryan, other Hybrids who taught Eva how to become strong again and be able to take back control. But too soon they are captured and whisked away to a facility for hybrid children. When they are there they start to discover secrets that are being kept, lies that are being told, and ultimately have to fight for their lives. Ultimately the plot moved along well and this book was interesting.
BUT I needed more detail. I needed to know the background story and the world a little better. Why are there two souls in a body? How does that work? Why and how does one just fade away? How can some recessive souls stay? Why are hybrids considered a threat? I didn't fully understand or believe it nor did I feel the threat that this book kept alluding to. Furthermore, I felt like things were a little too simple and avoided a lot of the complexities of two souls inside one body. Eva and Addie do not agree on everything. When Addie overrided some of Eva's wants and feelings I couldn't help but be like "HOW CAN YOU BE SO CALM EVA?" "HOW CAN YOU LET ADDIE DISS YOUR FEELINGS LIKE THAT EVA?" And what about when two strong souls want to have control of their shared body at the same time or to say something, etc. How would that work? Addie and Eva's specific problem was briefly addressed at the end but overall I felt like these details were avoided and things were too easy.
Anyway, I'm thinking that most of what brought down my rating this time around won't be a problem in the next book. And since I enjoyed this book regardless, I will definitely be reading the sequel!