A powerful page-turner based on what is likely to be one of the most original concepts of 2016. A must-read for teens and adults alike.
At school, sixteen year old Teva Webb seems normal. But at home Teva’s life is about as far from normal as it’s possible to get. Locked away in what everyone outside thinks is a haunted house are eleven other Tevas, all different ages. Why? Because every year Teva separates in two with the new Teva going out in the world while the previous Teva is kept inside, trapped as her younger self.
In the modern book market, a good concept is essential if the story is going to stand out from the crowd. In this area More of Me doesn’t just stand out: it’s practically on a platform. However, this is more than a book with a great idea – it’s perfectly crafted too. I was particularly impressed how debut author Kathryn Evans manages to weave in all the information we need to know about Teva’s life while still pushing the narrative forward.
Written in the first person, we immediately identify with the sixteen year-old Teva. All her other selves are also cleverly characterised: it’s easy to believe they’re all the same person but they’re all sufficiently different to avoid confusion. I especially liked Eight with her obsession with Enid Blyton and the feisty and resentful Fifteen. However, for me, it’s best-friend Maddy that really jumps off the page.
In terms of plot, this is a definite page turner and I read it almost in one sitting. Be warned – this is one of those books that stops time and there is a risk your real life will be put on hold while you follow Teva’s story.
I read most plot-driven books with anticipation, turning those pages while trying to guess what’s going to happen next. With More of Me, however, I was reading open-mouthed unable to conceive what could possibly happen next and how the story could ever be resolved. Admittedly, I did suspect the mysterious internet Mr Fixer wasn’t who Teva thought he was but I still didn’t anticipate his true identity (you’ll have to read the book to find out more!).
On her website author, Kathryn, describes how it has taken a long time for her writing to reach readers. (I couldn’t help but smile at the description of her agent in the acknowledgements as the ‘Agent of Never Giving Up’). However, there is no doubt that it was worth the wait and I, for one, am hoping I don’t have to wait too long for another book by this talented writer.
This book is so unique it’s hard to make a recommendation of something similar. However, my money’s on this being one of the hot YA books of 2016, so why not check out some of the best of 2015. Why not try The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson or The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell.
Publication Date: February 2016
Author: Kathryn Evans
Review first published on The Bookbag