HCCB acquires title by 20-year-old author

HarperCollins Children's Books has acquired a YA novel by a 20-year-old debut author.

Editorial director Nick Lake pre-emptively bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Australia, to What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang, as well as two sequels. It will be released globally in the United States, the UK, Australia and New Zealand in autumn 2012.

What's Left of Me is the first book in the Hybrid trilogy, and is the story of a girl living in a world where people are born with two personalities inside them. Those who do not resolve into one person by the time they are teenagers are threatened with having one half of their soul torn away.

Lake called it a "brilliantly original piece of fiction". He said: "I was blown away by the freshness and crystalline clarity of the voice, as well as by the emotional resonance of the conceit. This idea—the awful and poignant threat of being separated from the person in the world you're closest to, the other half of your soul—makes the book phenomenally moving from start to finish."