Number of Pages: 472
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: September 1, 2013
“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. . .”
Interestingly enough, I decided to read this book because I knew nearly nothing about it. But that’s the great thing about More Than This- you have to go in knowing very little about the plot, because even the smallest hint can contain major spoilers. Any basic summary, such as the one on the back cover of the book, only includes information about the first part of the book. After that there is a twist, and the direction of the book changes in a way I never saw coming. If this review seems strangely vague, that’s why- I don’t want to give anything away!
I really enjoyed this book, despite the fact that it was very different from what I originally expected it to be. I liked how both the reader and the main character learn information at the same time. It makes you feel as though you are part of the story, or like it is happening in real-time. Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was Patrick Ness’ writing style. It isn’t overly flowery, and yet it is nevertheless beautiful. Everything flows seamlessly together and the shorter chapters make it a fast-paced and engaging read. The flashbacks to the main character’s past that were sprinkled throughout the novel were a great addition that added a lot of depth to the story. Instead of one plot line, there were now several to keep track of. I was hooked from the very first page, and whenever I put it down I felt the immediate urge to pick it back up again and keep reading. Needless to say, this made for some pretty late nights. 🙂
Throughout nearly the entire novel, there is a question lingering in the back of the main character’s mind: Is there more than this? In other words, is this really all life holds for him? Reading a young adult novel with such a meaningful underlying existential question was really thought-provoking and quite refreshing. Too often young adult novels focus solely on an overused idea, such as a love triangle filled with conflicting emotions. But More Than This is a truly unique and creative story unlike any I have read before. The title of the book fits the story perfectly, which I loved as well. By the time you finish reading it, many details like this come full circle and suddenly click into place.
The unique underlying question, the countless surprising twists and turns, and characters you can’t help but root for all made this a brilliant book. Don’t let the lack of initial information steer you away from this novel- once you start reading it you’ll be hooked!
My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) :0) 5 out of 5 smileys.
Would I recommend it to a friend?: Absolutely! It’s got a little bit of everything in it- suspense, science fiction, romance, action, mystery, etc.- so it can appeal to a large group of people.
Have you read More Than This, or any other books written by Patrick Ness? What did you think? Let me know in the comments section below!