Author: Kat Zhang.
Published: September 18th 2012 (first published September 1st 2012)
Sort: Part one of ‘The hybrid chronicles’
Source: I got a review copy from HarperCollins International.
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.
Everyone has two souls when they are born, but around the age of five, you are supposed to be settled. The dominant soul will live and the recessive one will slowly fade away into nothing. When that doesn’t happen, you become a Hybrid and you will be taken away to an institute. Hybrids are dangerous and the government must take care of them.
Eva and Addie never settled, but the doctors pronounced them healthy after years of therapy and medicine. Eva always clung to Addie and is now only a shadow; she can’t shift into their body, but she can talk and feel. When they become friends with Hally and Devon, their life is about to change. They are Hybrids as well. Hally/Lissa and Devon/Ryan want to help Eva to break free, but they are caught and shipped away to an institute.
When Addie/Eva slowly find out what is going on, their world is falling apart. Everything they are told is a lie and they must do everything to escape with her two friends before it is too late.
I loved this book! I could connect with Eva and I felt incredibly sorry for her. It must be so hard to be locked up in someone’s mind. Everybody around you slowly forget you ever existed and you are supposed to be gone. At the same time, it wasn’t easy for Addie either. She is in constant danger of getting caught, but she’s still trying to help Eva. I appreciated that a lot, despite her egoistic moments. Their struggle and bond is fantastic portrayed. They depend on each other, but they still have their fights and silent treatments. I can't really describe how Zhang did it, but she managed to create two different characters with an own voice in one body. It’s nice that all the secondary characters are also well-written and developed. Ryan/Devon is a wonderful guy and I really liked this love interest. (There is no instant-love. Finally!)
The fast-paced, pleasant writing-style and interesting plot made this book a great read. The world-building is good, but I need more answers about the other Hybrid countries and why they are so dangerous; that’s why this book got 4.5 stars. I’m pretty sure we will find out in the next book.
Conclusion: Unique concept, great execution and I can’t wait to read the sequel.