Author: Patrick Ness
Publication Date: September 10th 2013
Pages: 480 (Hardcover)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . .
Guys, you all know how much I love Chaos Walking and A Monster Calls, right? Well, if you didn’t before, now you do. I freaking holy shit you can’t even believe it love them, and when I heard about More Than This, I was ecstatic. A new book by Patrick Ness?!? About a boy who dies, but then wakes up again?!?! If that doesn’t sound intriguing, then I don’t know what does. No question about it, I just had to read it.
And I’m so glad I did, because I really, really enjoyed it. :)
More Than This is, as it says in the synopsis, about a boy called Seth, and only a few pages in, he is already dead. No trick, no joke, he most definitely dies…but the next moment he finds himself outside his childhood home, naked and confused out of his mind. What has happened? What’s going on? Well, that is something you won’t find out from me.“I don’t like this.” “Don’t like what?” “Not knowing stuff.”
I know it can be a bit tough, and I had quite a difficult time myself feeling so clueless, but going into this story completely oblivious…that’s basically the one and only way to read it. At least in my opinion.
You see, one of the best parts about this book, is that you never really know more than the characters do. Every time Seth got a new clue, I was just as surprised as him. He thought the exact same thing I was thinking, at the exact time I did, and that made me feel more part of the story — more connected to the characters. Plus, Patrick Ness, brilliant as he is, handled the whole thing beautifully. He kept dropping small pieces of information in perfect intervals, often enough to keep my attention, but not so often that everything became obvious.
Of course it’s kind of impossible to head into a book not expecting anything, and me myself had a pretty clear idea of what I thought this book would be like. When it suddenly took a turn straight in the opposite direction, you’d think it would have bothered me, but it didn’t…it only intrigued me more.
When it comes to the characters, well…Seth was really great. As I sort of mentioned above, his reactions and way of thinking were very realistic. He felt so true, and that made me feel for him like he was a real human being. I cried for him, I suffered alongside him, I was afraid for him, and I missed people I’ve never met. Some of the things he goes through in this story…let’s just say they’re my worst nightmares!
Sorry, didn’t mean to yell, but seriously….that’s some terrifying shit.
More Than This is a beautiful, yet terribly ugly, original, heartbreaking story, that kept me on my toes through and through. It was quite different from Chaos Walking and A Monster Calls, but still insanely good. It made me experience some of my greatest fears, it made me cry (at school), it made me smile, and it made me want to scream at the top of my lungs. The last 40 pages or so, I basically held my breath nonstop. Ness has this talent of writing great endings, you see, but endings that make you want to hit the wall….so brace yourself.
But yeah, if you really can’t handle being kept in the dark, this novel is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you like a little bit of mystery in your life, definitely pick this up. It’s so worth it! Me? I just want more.
Two of My Favourite Quotes:
“It was solitude, but it was solitude that wasn’t lonely. Solitude that could sort things out.”
“And at first it’s okay, you know, not perfect, but okay, and you get used to it. Then it gets a little worse, and you get used to that, too. Then one day you wake up and you don’t have the first freakin’ clue how it got that bad.”