Title: More Than This
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: YA thriller/sci-fi/dystopian/I don’t even know how to categorise this book
Length: 480 pages
Published by: Walker Books
Source: received for review (THANKS, WALKER BOOKS, I LOVE YOU)
“Books are often described as ‘mind-blowing’ but this is one of the few books in which, while reading it, I have exclaimed aloud, ‘Oh. My. God.’ on multiple occasions … Just read it.”
A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.
Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.
How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?
As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?
Yeah, so um, if you haven’t already figured out, this book KIND OF blew my mind. So let’s start with plot, because that’s the most memorable part of this book.
It’s very hard to categorise this type of book into a genre. It crosses into several genres, and that’s really exciting to me. For some reason. There are elements of sci-fi, dystopia and thriller, and lots of philosophy, and…yeah, it’s lots of things. It’s very difficult to say much about the plot, because most of what I can say would be spoilers. Throughout the book, different parts of the story unfold, and at some points my mouth was literally gaping open. This dude sure knows how to create tension.
But at the same time, it did have quite a slow pace at the beginning. I mean, this is a rather large book – it’s like 500 pages, guys. The beginning took a long time to start getting exciting. There was a significant amount of description, speculation and Seth’s loneliness. That’s why, in the end, I took a star off.
CHARACTERS, THOUGH. So we have:
Seth. Seth is our main character. He beats himself up a lot. I feel pretty sorry for him. All that stuff with his brother is HEAVY. I’m not saying anymore, though. My lips are sealed.
Thomasz. Unfortunately my brain is stupid and kept pronouncing his name as “Tom-arse.” Which is not quite right. He’s so funny! He’s a lot younger than the others, and frankly adorable. Also he’s Polish and that’s quite cool.
Regina. Now she is awesome. I’m pretty sure the book could have been from her perspective just as easily as Seth, because she just jumps off the page, she’s so well-written. She’s got attitood, guys. And she gives Seth the tough love he really needs.
Gudmund. So he’s from the “real world,” before Seth died. I mean, real world is debatable, but just…let’s go with that. Seth is gay, and Gudmund was his boyfriend.
YAY DIVERSITY. I’ve been banging on about diversity for ages (I’m sure you’re sick of me hearing about it). This checks the awesome boxes because a) it’s a fantastic read and b) it doesn’t focus purely on their diversities.
There was also a nice realistic element to this story. We got to see glimpses and flashbacks to Seth’s life, and the friendships/family relationships/romantic relationships there. Reading about Seth’s brother Owen was so sad.
The POV was different to what I normally read. It’s in third person, which is usual, but present tense. I’ve read a couple of those books that I absolutely HATED, because it seems to distance the reader. But in this, the writing style managed to give the story an air of mystery and a literary feel.
Also, JOHN GREEN recommended it, okay? THIS GUY:
And he said “just read it.” So I did. (he has great recommendations, by the way)
Oh oh oh I also forgot to mention that this books wins the award for “Most Amount of Times the Title Is Used in the Actual Book.” They said “more than this” quite a lot. I’m impressed with such a versatile title.
Overall, this is a powerful, philosophical read, with incredible writing and diverse characters. How does it end? You’ll have to decide for yourself.
Rating: 4/5 Wonderkitties