Reviewed by Jackie Marchant
First of all, a confession. The author is a good friend of mine, and this review may well be thoroughly biased. But I am being absolutely honest when I say I love this book, because I’ve been with it for such a long time, since Kathryn first tentatively asked her writing buddies (of which I am very glad to be one) to have a look at this mad idea she had for a novel. I’ve been with it since I suggested that it was indeed mad but, if she could pull it off, it would be brilliant. Of course, I didn’t doubt her for one moment . . .
And now I have the wonderful joy of reviewing the actual, published, much talked-about brilliant debut book!
More of Me is about Teva, a sixteen year old girl with a very unique condition – every year she splits from herself and a new Teva emerges. That is, a whole new person, while the old one is left behind – whole. While the new Teva goes out into the world to lead the life, the old one is left behind at home with all the other Tevas, shut away with their mother, who will do all she can to keep their secret hidden from the world.
If that wasn’t enough, the new Teva is faced with a couple of problems. One is that her old self, now called Fifteen, does not want her near Ollie, the boy she began a relationship with, while the new Teva has her own inherited feelings for Ollie. Then there is this constant feeling that there is a new Teva waiting to emerge, one that will confine existing Teva to the prison of home while living the life she should be leading.
The conflict between Fifteen and Teva drives the narrative along with a conflict like nothing else I’ve come across. At the same time, the real living younger versions of herself are perfectly portrayed, a bunch of identical siblings, each a year apart. Then there is the mystery of how they came to be like that, and the dark secret that their mother is hiding. But, as the Tevas grow older, the questions start demanding attention.
Along with shades of gruesomeness about splitting from your own self, there are moments of great warmth and humour in this book. Teva is/are immensely likeable, which makes their situation all the more difficult to bear, until the dramatic ending when the truth is revealed.
I don’t think I’m being biased when I say this is a witty, original, refreshing read – but you could always grab a copy to find out. You won’t be the only one – I think this book is going to be hugely popular.
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