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ONCE WE WERE by Kat Zhang


From the Hybrid Chronicles series, volume 2

by Kat Zhang

Age Range: 13 - 18

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-211490-7
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

In the sequel to What’s Left of Me (2012), Eva and Addie must decide whether the government’s latest anti-hybrid initiative justifies an act of terrorism as a response.

Since their dramatic escape from the Nornand Clinic, Eva, Addie and their fellow fugitives have hidden with other hybrids—people whose bodies are shared by two souls—and grown frustrated by their rescuers’ cautious ways. Meanwhile, the sisters’ increasing independence is testing their bond: Eva longs to pursue her romance with Ryan, while Addie has her own secrets. Tensions reach a breaking point when the hybrids learn the government is promoting a false surgical cure for their condition. Several call for a violent protest, and they invite Eva and Addie to cast their lots with them. Zhang further develops the dystopia introduced in her first novel with mixed success. Many aspects of its history and politics remain vague, and the new characters are forgettable. Nevertheless, the sisters’ ethical dilemma resonates due to the genuine horror of the false cure. Zhang’s precise prose skillfully delineates Eva’s unique first-person point of view, and the sisters’ intense relationship continues to be deeply compelling.

Newbies won’t find this novel stands alone, but fans will have plenty of reasons to be impatient for the third book in the series. (Dystopian adventure. 13 & up)