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Scott Reads It!

I blog over at Scott Reads It! I'm a reader, a writer, a blogger, and a humanitarian. I'm prone to fanboying about the latest nerdy films and books on a consistent basis! I'm nerdy and I know it.

Once We Were: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book 2

Once We Were - Kat Zhang Check out Scott Reads It! for reviews, giveaways, & more! There are slight spoilers for Once We Were... Once We Were is the sequel to the amazing, What's Left Of Me by Kat Zhang and I have to say that I'm largely disappointed. Much of the formula that I loved in What's Left Of Me is discarded for a slow moving, typical dystopian plot. Once We Were is not what I expected from Kat Zhang and it's with a heavy heart that I have to say that Once We Were suffers from "middle-book syndrome". What's Left Of Me was a psychological thriller and it was very introspective; the reader really had to emotionally connect with Eva and Addie. So much of What's Left Of Me was thought-provoking and extremely poignant, Once We Were is a whole different book. Once We Were is all about the struggle for Addie and Eva to share a body and to participate in a rebellion. Most of Once We Were is dialogue and the plot is extremely slow-paced to the point where it became tedious. The action scenes are few, and far between in Once We Were and I can't help but wonder if this book really is essential to this series. There really isn't much going in Once We Were and the story progression is thin and transparent. If you have read any other dystopian books, you'll immediately be able to discern which the story is going. I completely understand that there is such a thin line between rebels and terrorists. I know how important of a theme this is, but it just didn't really work for me. It was such an obvious choice on Zhang's part and it seemed like the easy way out. It really rubbed me the wrong way because I know Zhang is such a talented storyteller and I expected her to do something more unexpected. In What's Left Of Me, I loved both Addie and Eva, but in Once We Were, my views of them took a change for the worst. I know Eva has always been recessive and has longed for control, but I really didn't like her attitude throughout Once We Were. She had a constant agenda and it seemed that she wasn't really thinking about Addie at all. Her actions would affect Addie so directly and I really can't believe Eva wouldn't think about collateral damage. I feel like the portrait that is painted of Addie and the other characters in Once We Were was like an unfinished piece of artwork. I liked what I was seeing and then Zhang completely lost me. We saw only a miniscule view of characters like Hallie, Lisa, and Addie; I really love these characters and wanted more of an opportunity to revisit them. Despite it's extremely slow beginning, I really enjoyed the rest of the novel. The few action scenes were well-written as was the ending and these scenes really reminded me why I fell in love with What's Left Of Me. Once We Were isn't the sequel I was expecting to read, but it did succeed in entertaining me. It's really a shame that Once We Were didn't have that emotional punch though. Though Zhang has let me down with Once, I really hope that book #3 of The Hybrid Chronicles ends with a bang.