Day: May 15, 2017

Growing Up, Getting Less Than What You Expected, and Canned Food: More Than This by Patrick Ness Book Review

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Tea and Paperbacks, posting every Monday. In this post, I would like to share with you my thoughts on an amazing book, More Than This by Patrick Ness. This review is spoiler free!

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Patrick Ness, oh man, where do I begin? This is my fifth Patrick Ness book, and I am still begging for more. I bought this book at Book Depository last year because I just knew I would love it. The story starts with our main character Seth dying, and then waking up in his old house he hasn’t set foot in years. He discovers he’s alive, but couldn’t find any other human being in the neighbourhood. It’s hard to define the genre of this novel: its a mix of young adult, dystopian, but also has a deeper meaning and content inside.

Title: More Than This
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher:Walker Books Ltd
Date Published: May 2014
Num of Pages: 480
Date Read: 9th March, 2017
Goodreads Link
Book Depository Link

This story was very different from what I expected. Well firstly, I didn’t really expect much from this book, I didn’t even read the premise other than what was written on the back of the book. I just knew that it was Patrick Ness, and that I’m pretty sure I would love it, just as I had loved all his other books. I mean, literally ALL. This is a young adult novel, and it has aspects of a dystopian novel that I would probably dislike if someone else had written it. Lately I’ve been in the mood for something more on the adult fiction side, more literary and developed than an action-packed, romance-packed book like the ones I used to love 5 years ago. Yet this book was able to just captivate me and make me not want to stop reading it.

Throughout the first part of the book, the character we find is only Seth. However even with reading about Seth exploring the new world he’s in, we also get glimpses of his past, we got to know him really really well and it made us feel like we don’t really need to have other characters. I will not discuss what happens in the last parts of the book, but I can assure you that it gets even better after that.

“I don’t believe in guardian angels,” Regine says seriously. “Just people who are there for you and people who aren’t.” (p.446)

The plot of the book moves slowly at first, but then picks up quickly by the middle. At the end, it’s so filled with twists and turns and there was almost never any time for the characters to actually have some time to rest. It has the The Knife of Never Letting Go aspects, in which it’s so filled with so many experiences back to back, that it’s both thrilling and also tiring. For some people it might not be their type of stories, but I loved it! Sure sometimes it got a little tiring to read, but most of the time, I just couldn’t take my eyes off the pages, wanting to read more.

You said we all want there to be more than this! Well, there’s always more than this. There’s always something you didn’t know. Maybe your parents didn’t love you enough, and that sucks, yes, it does, but maybe it wasn’t because you were bad. Maybe it was just because the worst thing in the world had happened to them and they weren’t able to deal with it. (p.368)

There are so many different themes that were explored in this book that were perfectly portrayed. From internal problems with the characters, like feelings of regret and sadness, to self-hatred and depression. Also relationships between the characters with others, like familial relationships, discovering your sexuality, your love for your parents but also your dislike towards them. It’s all so complicated and in the end as you read it in this book, nobody is really the “good guy” or the “bad guy”, the “villain” or the “hero”. Everyone is just human, with their own issues and insecurities, and everyone makes mistakes. Parents do the best they can, teenagers have problems that they think are huge but might not be that important compared to others. There also that feeling everyone gets, that hope for our lives to have something more than we already have, something more than this. It was all discussed in this book, and it’s educational and eye-opening but at the same time entertaining. On the other hand, there’s also the underlying knowledge of the possibility of escaping reality, a touch of science fiction on top of the realistic obstacles the characters faced, the possibility that in the future, such a technology exists where you can create a whole new world of your own.

It’s amazing how Patrick Ness can cram all these up into a single book, a young adult book that contains a lot of action, great dialogue and writing style, plus excellent characters (and character development). It has an amazing premise and the whole idea was executed brilliantly. I enjoyed every second I spent reading this book.

4 stars

What do you think of More Than This? Are you a fan of Patrick Ness? Let me know in the comments! Until the next post, see you!

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