Release Date: September 18th, 2012
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.
I've been following Kat Zhang for a very long time, and I've been interested in reading this book FOREVER. But for some reason, I never got around to it. Oh, how I wish I had.
First off, the writing is fantastic. Kat really has a way with words; there's no doubt about that. I especially love how she writes character interactions, and I think that's what made the book so strong. Although I love, love, love Eva/Ryan, the most interesting character interactions are between Eva and Addie themselves. I have to admit that I'm not particularly sure how I feel about Addie (especially after reading Once We Were), but I can say that I love the way they interact and react to one another. It feels so real. I can understand where both of them are coming from, even if I don't always agree.
I also enjoyed the premise. I know a lot of people label this book as dystopian, but I don't view it that way. I'm not going to go that far into this particular matter, but I think the idea of two souls sharing a body is a really cool and new idea. I think Kat set everything up extremely well, and I could imagine living in that kind of world. I felt as if I were a part of the setting and of the book. It felt real. The explanations weren't too complicated, and they were well-woven into the plot.
However, the world-building also came with some consequences. Mostly, it was the fact that having to set everything up slowed the plot down. It wasn't boring or slow per say, but it didn't keep me as interested in the book. I get it--it was important to set everything up. All of it was necessary information. When you build a world, this happens a lot. And while I think Zhang's writing made up for it, plus the fact that I knew it would become more fast-paced, it made it hard to get into the book. Even the "fast-paced" parts did feel slow, but that may have been more from what I've been reading prior to the book than the book itself.
All in all, what stands out about the book is the characters and their relationships, the very premise of the book, and of course, Kat Zhang's spectacular writing. I'd definitely encourage everyone to read this book!