More Than This
author : patrick ness
pages : [hardcover] 480
memorable quote : A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while.
favorite character : seth
From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.
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. . .
I love Patrick Ness and his writing. I think what’s so wonderful about it is that it seems uniquely great in every book that he writes. I loved A Monster Calls, which is geared toward children and has a dreamlike quality. I read the Chaos Walking Trilogy, which is impossible to accurately describe because it is just so fantastically written and the emotions evoked are one that I, three years later, still feel and am able to reflect on. Now, of course, I was going to read More Than This as soon as it was released. I ended up waiting until I could get it from my local library and absolutely loved the voice used to tell this story though I’m left uncertain by the ending.
The entire plot of More Than This is both complicated and fascinating because Seth only knows as much about what is going on as we do, which is nothing. Is he dead? Is he living? Is this some kind of dream? Is he about to die? These questions and more pop up even in the first few chapters of the book and continue to accumulate throughout the story. I loved how the place where Seth woke up was built and the mystery surrounding it. I especially loved Seth’s trying to reason with it because he questioned and reflected on things almost all of the time when I was doing the same thing and this really made me think about how relatable Seth was. The other characters were built with their complications, flaws, and quirks as I’ve come to expect from Ness.
The ending was both what I expected and what I was hoping wouldn’t happen. I could understand the necessity of it and was almost happy with it, until I realized that I’d wanted something more. And than realized that there was really nothing more than this when the book concluded . . . Which, I suppose, ties in rather well to the entire thing, doesn’t it?
If you love a good mystery, this book is certainly for you. New complications and revelations come at every turn and leave you guessing and trying to figure out the puzzling truth! If you like great characters, world building, and an interesting story, you should also pick this up. And, last but not least, if you’re just looking for some great writing, More Than This has that for you.