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.
Almost every year around her birthday, Teva Webb's cells divide, and an older version of herself emerges, leaving behind a growing trail of dejected younger clones while the new Teva assumes life as usual. In this highly inventive look at the ever-evolving self, Teva's current 16-year-old incarnation is determined to stop the process; she's also dodging her doctor-averse mother and her manipulative 15-year-old self, who is demanding to be released to see their boyfriend (the clones are kept hidden at home to protect Teva's secret). Debut author Evans's visceral descriptions of the new Teva clawing her way out of the old give the physiologically bizarre premise credibility ("There, next to my bandaged little finger, the ring finger was sporting two nails. Nausea swirled through me"), and the tale serves as an allegory for mental illness while challenging social stigmas and bigotry. At its base, though, it's a relatable look at growing up, negotiating changes in one's body and personality, and learning to accept one's present self and honor one's past. Teva just has a more literal view of the subject than most. Ages 13 up.