More of Me pulled me in from the summary. A girl who goes home to 11 other clones of herself? A girl who is patiently (or impatiently) waiting for the day she, too, will become a non-aging clone watching the most recent Teva live her life? Sign me the frick up for this roller coaster. Is she mentally ill? Is this some sort of strange coma dream? Or is Teva really some sort of mutant that splits in two each year?
This book is riveting, honestly. There were parts at the beginning that were a little slow, but they work well within the story. All of the slower parts are a result of the main character’s personality. Teva — at least, this Teva — is obsessed with having some semblance of normalcy in her life. Of course she clings for dear life to her best friend and her boyfriend. They’re both normal, non-cloning people. She wants to be with them and forget about the 11 other Tevas she’s left at home. She wants to believe she might be crazy because if she’s crazy, she won’t have to split in two and watch the new Teva inherit her life.
More of Me got me emotionally invested. At times, I thought Teva was crazy. At times, Teva thought she was crazy. Is she, though? No spoilers here. Maybe she ends up finding out the other 11 Tevas were in her head. Maybe she ends up finding a cure to her condition. Maybe it’s neither, and she just becomes another clone hiding at home. You’ll have to read More of Me to find out. I promise, though, that it’s worth it — I haven’t read many truly unique YA books, but this was one of them.
I also want to point out that this book won the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award in 2016. Sure, yeah, another award, right? Actually, this is kind of historic. Kathryn Evans is the first YA author to ever win this award, which is only for debut authors. She was up against 45 other amazing authors, but she won out. Evans said it best in an article published on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website:
“So often children’s fiction is seen as the poor cousin to adult books – yet in it, we tackle some of the hardest subjects in the most innovative of ways. I am so proud to hold the banner up for YA fiction.”
I hope Evans keeps holding the YA banner high and proud. She deserves it. More of Me doesn’t make teenagers sound shallow or dramatic; Teva is a well-rounded character who surrounds herself with other well-rounded characters. Her personality is obvious from the beginning, and you can tell that Evans really let Teva shine through. None of the decisions Teva made in More of Me seemed uncharacteristic or strange — the narrative flowed easily around her.
This book easily gets four stars from me. I’m glad I got to read about Teva.
More of Me comes out on June 13 in the US, though it’s been out since February of 2016 in the UK. Find it on Goodreads here.