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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Review: Once We Were

Synopsis: "I'm lucky just to be alive"

Eva was never supposed to have survived this long. As the recessive soul, she should have faded away years ago. Instead, she lingers in the body she shares with her sister soul, Addie. When the government discovered the truth, they tried to “cure” the girls, but Eva and Addie escaped before the doctors could strip Eva’s soul away.

Now fugitives, Eva and Addie find shelter with a group of hybrids who run an underground resistance. Surrounded by others like them, the girls learn how to temporarily disappear to give each soul some much-needed privacy. Eva is thrilled at the chance to be alone with Ryan, the boy she’s falling for, but troubled by the growing chasm between her and Addie. Despite clashes over their shared body, both girls are eager to join the rebellion.

Yet as they are drawn deeper into the escalating violence, they start to wonder: How far are they willing to go to fight for hybrid freedom? Faced with uncertainty and incredible danger, their answers may tear them apart forever.

My Review: When I read the first book in the Hybrid Chronicles, I was pleasantly surprised, and the sequel was just as good.  I was really worried that the plot was just going to go off the wall crazy and there'd be a lot of running and having Addie and Eva always being hunted down.  Glad to say that my fears were unfounded.  Zhang did a great job of continuing the plot at a natural and well thought out pace.  

Having escaped the hospital were fellow hybrids were being surgically separated from their twin souls, Addie and Eva are now living in hiding with the people who broke her  out.  Eva and Addie have escaped one prison only to go to a new one.  They can't go to school, are discouraged from going outside, and most importantly cannot call home.  The only thing making life bearable is their old friends Hally/Lissa and Devon/Ryan are there with them.  Addie/Eva are tired of feeling useless in the fight for hybrids.  They're only 15, but they want to help.  Meeting a few older hybrids that are part of the organization that broke them out, is their dream come true.  These older teens want to make a difference and bring about change, faster than Peter, they're leader, is willing to go.  Addie/Eva are completely on board.  That is until their new group of friends get steadily more daring in their ideas and increasingly more violent.  

Like I said before, I really loved the plot progression of this novel.  These books aren't particularly thick, but they are just perfectly paced.  While the little plot twist to this story wasn't a real "OMG" moment, it was still impactful and Addie/Eva's actions are quite admirable.  Have to say, I really loved how this book ended.  It wasn't a filler book and had a very strong plot of its own to continue on the story.  

The aspect I most enjoyed about this novel was the growing development of Addie/Eva.  In the first novel, Eva was just getting back to being able to control their body.  Now, Addie and Eva switch back and forth between them easily.  The only trouble is, they both want different things, and different people.  Eva is out there trying to discover who she is and what she stands for, and if she tunes out Addie's protests or inhibitions its really not intentional.  Addie and Eva both want time just to themselves and they both struggle to balance both of their desires.  

All in all, a great sequel to a fine series.  Keep 'em coming Zhang!