Kathryn Evans’ debut, More of Me, is as marvellous a story as I had hoped for. The concept is very slightly off-putting, to be honest, but it makes perfect sense when you read the book, and it is of the unputdownable kind. You might want to give it a go.
Teva is 16 and has a best friend and a boyfriend and she likes school. At home she has her mum, as well as a dozen copies of herself. Every year a new Teva emerges from the ‘old’ Teva’s body, looking the same, but a year older. The discarded Tevas remain at home, staying the age they were when they were the ‘real’ live Teva.
Fifteen is really angry with her successor, who has her life, her best friend and her boyfriend. For the earlier versions of Teva, it’s been longer and they are used to it. But the new Teva is determined she will not be a victim to this annual change into someone else. She wants to stay alive and out there, enjoying the boyfriend Fifteen found and fell for.
This kind of plot nearly does your head in. Is it real? How can it be? Is Teva crazy? Is her mum crazy? And whatever the answer is, how can this end well? In fact, how can there be an end, with Teva after Teva emerging?
The answer wasn’t what I’d imagined, even though any imagining was quite difficult. But the concept is both fascinating and has a lot of reality about it. I’m not the same person I was at ten or 46 or whatever. We change, while still being mainly the same as we were. I’m just grateful I don’t have a few dozen younger Bookwitches hanging around, giving me attitude.