Today is a very special day.
On March 21st, 2010, Let The Words Flow received an application from a girl named Kat Zhang. It was pretty clear from the beginning that she was ‘one of us’, and she joined the group not long after.
I first read her novel, at the time titled HYBRID, on April 25th, 2010. As I was reading the very first finished draft, I knew the manuscript was something special. Kat was something special. It was no surprise when Kat received offers from multiple agents, or when she sold her book to HarperCollins.
Now, just two and a half short years later, Kat’s novel WHAT’S LEFT OF ME is debuting into the world :-)
You’ve got to watch her book trailer; it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.
And are you SEEING this book cover? I was in the car with Kat on a roadtrip when she was emailed the first draft of the book cover. After having read multiple versions of her story it was… breathtaking to see her receive such a beautiful and unique cover. It demonstrates her book’s concept perfectly; two girls, two souls, living in one body.
If you haven’t heard, that’s the concept for this fast-paced alternate-universe fantasy. From Goodreads:
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.
You guys, like I said above, I’ve read multiple versions of this story. I’m honored that Kat used me as a CP during her editing process, and each time I read the manuscript it gave me goosebumps multiple times throughout. Kat’s writing is minimalist but so powerful. Eva is a prisoner inside her own body. The glory of being able to break from that prison, the horror of having her self stripped away, and the warm chords of friendship throughout this story are masterfully represented.
I’m very lucky that Kat lives only 2 hours away from me during the school year. I’m a total wimp about driving long distances though, so I only go see her a few times a year, but I’ll be in Nashville this Saturday at her first book signing!
If you’re looking for something a little dystopian, a little horror-y, with a lot of tension and a very unique concept, I guarantee you’ll like WHAT’S LEFT OF ME. Especially if you like institution stories! It’s been compared to The Uglies and The Golden Compass, but I’d like to add Girl, Interrupted, and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Next.
Congratulations, Kat! Always knew you could do it <3