I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Candlewick Press on September 10th 2013
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Buy the Book •
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. . . .
More Than This can be classified as one of those books that was so amazing and so thought-provoking that I don’t even know exactly how to review it. Here is my attempt.
Here is the boy, drowning.
The very first line and it is exactly how we start out, with our main character Seth as he drowns. But then in the next chapter he wakes up and discovers he is in the dusty and deserted house where he grew up in an English suburb before a tragedy rocked his family. This house is also across the world from where he died in the Pacific Northwest. And he is very much alone.
Seth immediately assumes this must be hell. I mean, he died, right? His dreams are filled with memories that get him lost in the moment, feeling so real and a breath away, like he is reliving them. Can that be part of hell too? He struggles to find the necessary tools of survival as he explores his surroundings, afraid of any hidden dangers that may spring out at him, and trust me, they do!
I honestly had no idea what to expect when I opened this book with a synopsis that was somewhat vague and of course the author took it beyond my wildest dreams. The book is split into four parts and each drastically changed the dynamic of the story, unraveling more layers and making my jaw drop and my head spin, in the best of ways of course. There is so much mystery and heart and then it becomes somewhat philosophical and wow, when I got to that point I realized just how incredibly amazing this story really was.
Of course it wouldn’t be Patrick Ness without a sense of adventure and action… and a character that once again reminded me of Michael Myers who just doesn’t die! (Remember Aaron from The Knife of Never Letting Go, anyone?) But above anything else, this book is about life. It’s about realizing your worth, to get as much out of life as you can. It’s about self-discovery, confidence and going out there and grabbing onto your dreams. It’s about discovering just what the title says, that there IS more than this.
I thank the author for writing a YA novel that isn’t just filled with excitement and intrigue, but also makes you appreciate life and what you can get out of it. It’s a story that stays with you and I’m so thankful to have read it.
“Haven’t you ever felt like there has to be more? Like there’s more out there somewhere, just beyond your grasp, and if you could only get to it?”