Tuesday, September 17, 2013

ARC Review: Once We Were by Kat Zhang + Giveaway!

Title: Once We Were
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #2
Author: Kat Zhang
Published: September 17th 2013 by HarperCollins
Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Print ARC via Publisher
Genre: Science Fiction > Dystopia
Reading Level: Young Adult





"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.

Purchase Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | The Book Depository | Kobo


Back in September 2012 I read and reviewed book 1 in the The Hybrid Chronicles, What's Left of Me and simply adored it. The concept of one body sharing two souls is both different and unique. This truly fascinated me to no end. Author, Kat Zhang has done it again and totally blown my mind. Her sequel novel, Once We Were picks up almost directly after What's left of Me ended. Addie and Eva along with a few of their hybrid friends have escaped the government and are now in hiding. Addie and Eva are now living a safe house with their friends who support hybrid's. Both trying to august and settle into their new lives; for now. 

More than anything Addie and Eva long to learn how to "fade away". This is where one soul sleeps or pretty much disappears leaving the other one alone in the body but only temporary. Being able to fade gives each soul, Addie or Eva time in their body alone. This is something neither of them have ever had and so desperately want to experience especially when romance comes into the picture. 


Addie and Eva long for a normal life and to be able to stop running; to live among others and to stop being looked upon as a Hybrid. Although that may never happen. The Government is still on the hunt for Addie/Eva and all Hybrid's. They will stop any nothing to find them; but how far will the Hybrid's go to secure their safety?


Once again Author Kat Zhang just totally rocked my socks off. I could not get enough! Addie and Eva's character's grew in leaps and bounds. Not only did their relationship grow with each other but with others in the book. I love seeing Eva fall in love and seeing "Addie" becoming more understanding of Eva's feelings. 

Also, there was SO, SOOO much more action in the book. So much planning, scheming, and finally taking change when it comes to overruling the government. Although the way they decided to do it was not good but sure did bring a lot of conflict and action into the story. 

The only thing I found a tad bit annoying was the pacing in the book. The beginning and ending was great but the middle was super slow and with some unnecessary dialogue. Overall the book really did live up to my expectations and without a doubt was a beautifully written sequel to What's Left of Me. Bravo Kat Zhang Bravo! I can't wait to find out what happens next!

 Totally Awesome! I loved it, would read again.

About The Author: Kat Zhang

Find Kat @


Kat Zhang spent most of her childhood tramping through a world weaved from her favorite stories and games. When she and her best friend weren't riding magic horses or talking to trees, they were writing adaptations of plays for their stuffed animals (what would The Wizard of Oz have been like if the Cowardly Lion were replaced by a Loquacious Lamb?). This may or may not explain many of Kat's quirks today.
By the age of twelve, Kat had started her first novel and begun plans for her life as a Real Live Author (she was rather more confident at twelve than she is even now). Said plans didn't come into fruition until seven years later, when her agent sold her trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, to HarperCollins. The first book, WHAT'S LEFT OF ME–about a girl with two souls–will released September 18, 2012. Book 2 in the series, ONCE WE WERE, will be released September 17, 2013.
Kat is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong. She also performs as a Spoken Word poet and contributes to Pub(lishing) Crawl, a site for aspiring writers to talk about books, storytelling craft, and the publishing process. Kat has also had the pleasure of remote interning for a literary agent, specializing in Young Adult fiction.
When she is not exploring the world of her characters, she is exploring her own. To date, she's had the pleasure of visiting five countries, including more than half of the United States. She hopes to always keep writing and traveling.



I hope everyone really enjoyed reading my review for Once We Were. This series just keeps getting better and better. ;) Thanks to the lovely people at HarperCollins I was given an additional copy of the book for a giveaway on my blog. As seen below:


Giveaway Rules & Policy:
  • US ONLY 
  • Use the rafflecopter form below to enter
  • Winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize.
  • No cheating. No using multiple names. You must complete each entry otherwise it will not count.
  • There is one (1) mandatory entry but all others will increase your chances to win.

Update: Rafflecopter form entries have been fixed. Sorry for the confusion.

7 comments :

  1. I'm not sure what I would choose. If it was a $50 GC for Amazon than maybe I would choose that only because I would be able to buy at least one more book. But I think it's cool that we get to win Once We Were :D Thanks!

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  2. Great review! This looks so good! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  3. Love the excerpt. The story sounds so interesting I can't wait to read the book when it is out.

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  4. great review!! I have read the first book and i thought it was great--very unique!! The way it had left off i cant wait to read the next to see what happens next!!!

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  5. I haven't even read the first one yet! But I've heard totally good things!

    ***entered as Rachelle***

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  6. Your problem with this book was my only problem with the first one. The pacing was frustrating. I enjoyed the book, but the middle started dragging and my attention waned. I hate that it seems book 2 does the same, but I am still very interested in continuing Eva and Addie's stories. It is such a unique and interesting concept. And I am super excited that there is more action in book 2. It is definitely on my wish list. Thank you so much for the review and the giveaway!

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  7. Great review. I can't wait to read this

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