More Than This is the first book that I have ever read by Patrick Ness. And it certainly isn’t going to be the last. I was recommended by one of my best friends to read this last year and I finally decided to read it.
I was quite weary of reading this, as the blurb doesn’t give away much about the book, and I like having some inkling about what the book is about before I start reading – all I knew is that a boy dies and wakes up in an unknown place.
It does sound very interesting though, doesn’t it?
A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.
Then he wakes, naked, 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?
The first thing to say about More Than This is that it’s a very very strange book. The first 100 pages are setting the scene of this deserted place, a place that the boy has to adapt to, a place where the boy has to figure out.
The first 100 pages are us following the boy around the place and getting to see this strange setting through his eyes.
Even though the book is written in the third person, Ness has written it in a way that it feels like the first person. Everything feels so personal and that we the boy, we are walking when he’s walking, we are hurt when he is hurt. It’s just beautiful and brilliant writing.
After the first part of getting to know the setting, the plot starts to drive forward. The action starts and the flashbacks that the boy has to his life give us a glimpse of what his life was before he died. The flashbacks are brilliant. and you will get so many feels from them.
Once I had finished this book, I had no idea what had just happened – not in a bad way like The Lover’s Dictionary – but in a good way. It was a brilliant story, it had brilliant characters and writing but I didn’t understand.
“‘A book,’ he thinks at one point, rubbing his eyes, tired from so much reading. ‘It’s a world all on its own, too. A world made of words, where you live for a while.'”– Patrick Ness, More Than This
I feel like this was what Ness was going for. The boy in More Than This didn’t know what was going on in the place where he woke up, he didn’t know at first where he was, he didn’t know what had happened, he didn’t know why he had ended up there. Things start become clearer throughout the book and then as soon as they become clear, Ness brings in something that confuses everything again. This is what the boy goes through in the book and even though the ending has a sort of conclusion for the boy, it is no conclusion for the reader as we are still confused as to what the place was.
I can’t say any more because of spoilers, this is a very hard book to review without giving anything away, hence why the review may seem very vague.
Just know this: this book has beautiful writing with beautiful descriptions of how the characters are feelings, beautiful descriptions of the settings, the dialogue is brilliant and the plot will take you on a wild rollercoaster that will leave you asking questions at the end. I thoroughly recommend this book.