Published by Amulet Books on June 13, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Sexual Content: Kissing
Reviewed by: Rebecca
Teva goes to school, studies for her exams, and spends time with her friends. To the rest of the world, she’s a normal teenager. But when she goes home, she’s anything but normal. Due to a genetic abnormality, Teva unwillingly clones herself every year. And lately, home has become a battleground. When boys are at stake, friends are lost, and lives are snatched away, Teva has a fight on her hands—a fight with herself. As her birthday rolls around, Teva is all too aware that time is running out. She knows that the next clone will soon seize everything she holds dear. Desperate to hang on to her life, Teva decides to find out more about her past . . . and uncovers lies that could either destroy her or set her free.
Clones can be an overdone concept in sci-fi but MORE OF ME offers a fresh perspective with its teenage protagonist. Teva is sixteen years old and the sixteenth Teva in her family. On each birthday, her body splits and a new Teva emerges. This new Teva gets to go to school, see friends, lives a life, but the other Teva’s are stuck at home, in hiding. The crises that teens face (do they really like me for me, does anyone notice that I changed, what will happen when I grow up) become nuanced when Teva realizes that she’ll be forever stuck at sixteen, inside her house. It’s unbearable and she’s desperate to break the cycle.
How Teva manages her condition and interacts with her other selves is fascinating and well-written. While she can be moody and self-involved but it’s never without merit. Teva is equally worried about her future, her boyfriend, and her best friend. She’s not sure what she wants and isn’t even sure she wants what she has. Even though we only get glimpses of the other ages, all of those versions feel authentic. I really wanted more of those other clones. Though reading Teva’s attempts to gain control over her body and find someone to help her is enjoyable, you can’t help but wish there had been a little more plot to pad out the story.
The story barrels forward in the last couple chapters as Teva forces her mother to answer questions, but there needed to be more. The ending of MORE OF ME is lovely but ultimately unsatisfying. What does it mean to be a girl who is always 13 years old? Six year old Teva still needs help using the bathroom even though she’s technically the oldest. What is it like to live with that? Always seeing the person you used to be, never realizing the person that you are. An epilogue attempts to tie up loose ends but doesn’t address the more complex questions of the novel. MORE OF ME is very much a story about growing up, it’s so easy to identify with Teva’s worries about her body and concern for the future. A little more digging into the uglier aspects of Teva’s home life would have resolved any lingering issues with the plot. If you’re interested in clones and want a story that accurately addresses teenage neuroses, this is the book to pick up.Series Titles: