Thursday, 3 November 2016

More of Me - Kathryn Evans

More of Me - Kathryn Evans

More of Me - Kathryn Evans
This was the first debut I’ve discovered on this year’s Carnegie nominations list and I was very impressed. Seems a silly thing to say – being impressed by a debut – but, there, I was: More of Me is a lovely solid novel that weaves a gripping and fascinating concept into time loved high school frolics and dramas.

The story concept is intriguing and it maintained my interest the whole way through. Teva is sixteen. She’s just stolen her previous self’s life both literally and not so literally. Horrifyingly and painfully, every year, a new Teva tears her way physically out of the previous Teva. So Teva lives with her mother and no siblings  - but lots of younger Teva’s. But nobody else knows. So, obviously, things are going to be socially tricky and emotionally, mentally, physically torturous for the Teva who is soon to be 17!

More of Me delivers a quietly funny sixth form school story full of boyfriend troubles, friendship circles and worries about personal statements and career choices as well as a sci-fi element exploring the essence of Teva’s being (and maybe even stretching to touch upon self-harming). By weaving the two strands together, the novel also convincingly manages to look at the different stages of childhood and captures the changing emotional and intellectual moods and swings of the teenage years very lovingly.  Talk about an identity crisis!

For all the horror that the concept involves, the novel is actually a light pageturner and probably easily suitable for readers of all ages. I really enjoyed this one. And, there is no cliffhanger!

There are some great book group questions that Kathryn Evans has posted on her website (there are spoilers though so read the book first!).

More of Me won the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Award 2016 and has been nominated for the 2017 Carnegie Medal.

Publication details: Usborne, 2016, London, paperback
This copy: review copy from the publisher

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