The March book club selection, What’s Left of Me, is a young adult speculative fiction novel set in a world where bodies are born with twin souls, with one soul who will “settle” — meaning fade away. The story starts with Eva, a soul who never quite finished fading, who is stuck motionless and, to some extent, totally helpless in the body that only her twin sister Addie can move.
A big part of What’s Left of Me is about Eva’s personal journey, but because of her situation, her relationship with Addie is undeniably important in the course of the story. At the start of the novel, Eva is just an observer in the body she and Addie share — she’s been too weak to move their body since age eleven. But when they meet another hybrid, Hally and Lissa, the possibilities open wide.
While our book club won’t officially be meeting at Main Point Books for discussion until Saturday, we had the chance to ask a few questions of the book’s author, Kat Zhang, who visited Main Point shortly after it opened in 2013.
One reason I enjoyed What’s Left of Me so much is because I have a sister, too, one who’s so close in age that I can’t remember being without her. Do you have a sister of your own who influenced Eva and Addie?
When my editor first bought the book, she actually asked me the same thing, and was surprised to hear that I actually don’t have any siblings! However, I’ve been lucky to have some really close friends that I’ve known almost all my life. I guess it’s not the exact same, but it helps me imagine that sibling relationship :)
The two sequels to What’s Left of Me – Once We Were and Echoes of Us – are out now. Of the books in The Hybrid Chronicles, which was the most challenging for you to write?
Hmm, they were all challenging in different ways, but I think ONCE WE WERE was the toughest at the time. I’d never drafted on a deadline before, and I was also learning how to navigate the publishing world for the first time.
What books or authors would you say have influenced you the most as an author?
It’s hard to say exactly, but when I was first starting to write longer stories as a kid, the His Dark Materials series and ENDER’S GAME, along with GREEN ANGEL really inspired me.
What have you been reading lately?
Last two things I read were THE WINNER’S CURSE and I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN :)
Will you be joining us to talk about What’s Left of Me? Have you checked out Once We Were or Echoes of Us? Let us know what you think of this series in the comments below.