4.5 stars

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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May Wrap Up

So this is super late, but welcome back to Tea and Paperbacks, where you can find new posts every Monday! May passed by so quickly, and as we came into June I realized that I didn’t read that many books this month. I don’t really know why – maybe it’s because I had alot going on at school and in my personal life, also because I had been traveling (to Paris, in case you haven’t read my Sunday Updates). And I have been sort of inactive in my blog as well, so sorry about that. Anyway, here is the books I read in May, and a little bit on my plans for June.

The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern by Lilian Jackson Braun

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This is the second book from the cozy mystery series Cat Who, and I really enjoyed this second installment. It’s light and more fun than the first book. It wasn’t special or anything, but I had a great time reading this little adorable book. And cats!!!

3 stars

The Raven King by Maggie Sitefvater

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OH MY GOD thIS BOOK. I made a full review of my thoughts about this last book of the Raven Cycle series that has been super hyped for the past few years in the book community. I loved this last book, I thought it was a great conclusion to the series. Sure, there were some small problems, but overall I was blown away (as usual) by the writing and the adorable characters. The plot was alright, but it was made better by the amazingly written characters. Check out my review for more of my rambling about this book!

4.5 stars

A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

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This was the last book I read in May, which was so disappointing. I borrowed it from the library because I heard it was one of the most famous books that are set in Italy, and I have a task to read a lot of books set in Italy. I really enjoyed this book, it wasn’t amazing or anything, I did struggle a bit at the beginning and the middle, but overall the story was alright and the characters were great. I will make a review for my Triple Book Review, which I will post (hopefully) soon!

3.5 stars

2016 Resolutions Updates

  • Read 55 books (21/55: I’m two books behind schedule!)
  • Borrow more books from the library (3 books borrowed from the library, and 1 book borrowed from a friend)
  • Read 2 hours a week (2 hours 6 minutes reading in avg per week)

So those were the three books I read in May! It wasn’t a very productive month, I know, but I’m planning to do a readathon in June, plus school will be over by the end of the month so hopefully I’ll be able to make up to it!

What are the books you read in May? Any of the books I read above that you liked? Let me know in the comments down below and let’s talk about books together ❤

Header image by Nathalie Ouderni @ Behance

March Wrap Up

Goodbye March, hello Apriiiiiillll!!! The month of Game of Thrones season premieres, the celebration of Earth Day, the time where green leaves start to appear in the trees. I absolutely cannot wait for April! But right now we’re gonna talk about March. Reading wise, March was quite okay. I read some excellent books and some meh books. Read more to find out!

Books I Read In March

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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A gripping page-turner, and such a gorgeously written book, I devoured this novel within the first days of the month. I didn’t think it was perfect, but it was damn near it. For more of my gushing feelings for the book, check out a review I made here.

4.5 stars

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

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I’ve heard a lot of things about this book, and I finally decided to borrow the book from the university library and read it. I actually started the book in February and only finished it in the middle of the month. It took a really long time for me to read it, maybe because the plot wasn’t very engaging or because I just wasn’t in the mood to read it. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the book at all.

Story-wise I did think that the plot was super slow. But what lacked in the plot was shown in the characters. Zadie Smith makes really amazing characters that feel like real people because of how sophisticated they are. And although the story focuses on the two main characters Samad and Archie, we also got to know the inner feels and thoughts of their family and friends. My favourite is probably the last parts, where the story was focused more on the twins (Magid  and Millat) and Irie. I liked that generation most. But I really enjoyed reading about all the other characters as well. All of them, from the main characters to the random people they meet, are all so well-written and original.

Overall, I rated the book 3.5/5 stars, mainly because I just think it didn’t really stick to me. When I wasn’t reading it, I didn’t think about the book or feel like I want to read it. And I do love the writing style, and the themes discussed in the book, especially aspects like being an outcast in someone else’s country, or falling in love, or being more comfortable in someone else’s family than your own.
Some parts were funny, and when I actually decided to sit down and read the book, I’d flow through it effortlessly. And the ending was actually really perfect. But it just didn’t have that “it” factor that made me love the book that much. Still a great piece of literature, and I can’t wait to check out Zadie Smith’s other works.

3.5 stars

St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

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I read this short-story collection mostly because Mercy’s Bookish Musings kept raving about it, and also because I decided that I need to read more short story collections. This is a magical realism short story collection located in the same region throughout the book and focuses on adolescent main characters with very unique situations. I really enjoyed all of these short stories. I loved how unique and creative they all are but still have the same thread of similar themes that you can feel throughout the book. It makes you feel like each short story is different and memorable but still part of a book. Some of my favourite stories were the one about the dead sister and the one with the sleep camp. I adored also the title story with the wolfish girls, and also the story with the baby sea turtles on the beach.

The characters were all young people, at their preteen age, and although I rarely ever read stories with those age range nowadays, I really enjoyed reading it from a child’s perspective. Added to the gorgeous writing style with lyrical narratives that make me want to drown in the words, I never got bored or tired of reading these stories.

What I don’t really get about short stories is how short they are. I hate how you just start to get to know the characters and learn the vibe and plot of the story, and then it just stops in the middle and you just have to sit there and think about the story. I don’t really know how Karen Russell knows where to stop in the story, but I always feel like they’re a little abrupt. And I feel like basically all the short stories are that way, so maybe I just need to read more short stories to get used to it.

But all in all, it was a very beautiful collection. It made me feel a lot for the characters, the lyrical writing was phenomenal, and it left me wanting more. Big thumbs up for Karen Russell, and I’m looking forward to reading her novel because I’m sure it’ll be amazing as well.

4 stars

Animal Farm by George Orwell

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My second book by Orwell, and a book I chose to read because I loved 1984 so much and also because it was part of my 100 Books List where I plan to read at least one book from that list every month. Animal Farm is a world-famous satire on the reign of socialist/communist Stalin in the Soviet Union.

This book was amazingly good. It was super short, but packed a huge message which would chill any reader’s bones. I really enjoyed reading it, because it was so relevant even until today, that it’s scary. The writing and the characters itself was meh. It felt like a fable and the characters weren’t very memorable at all, except of Napoleon of course. But other than that what gripped me (and I’m sure all the other readers as well) is the metaphor it holds, the hidden message that felt so obvious and yet so touching.

The ending especially had gripped me really hard, and I just can’t believe what a last sentence can do to make a person just sit and close the book and feel like they want to just stare into the distance while thinking, shit, what the hell did I just read? Another job well done for Orwell, not as good as 1984 but still a really great piece of work.

3.5 stars

Books I’m Currently Reading

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

I’m about halfway through this second book from the Jackson Brodie series. I was planning on finishing it in March, but during the last week of the month I didn’t have much time (or I just didn’t make the time) to read. I’m positive I will finish it soon, though!

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I was reading it in my Nook alongside One Good Turn but then I stopped because I kept getting the characters of the first and second book mixed up. The fact that both of these novels involve crime and detectives made it even worse. It’s not that The Girl on the Train is not good – it’s super captivating and I’m only a third through anyways, and I know I will like it more than One Good Turn, but I’ve put it aside until I’ve finished one book and then continue with this one.

2016 Resolutions Updates

  • Read 55 books (10/55: 2 books behind schedule)
  • Borrow more books from the library (2 book borrowed from the library)
  • Read 2 hours a week (3.6 hours reading in avg per week)

I have decided not to add an April TBR in this post, because I am going to attend a readathon at the beginning of the month, and I’ll be sure to post a TBR for that readathon soon. But those are all the books I read or am currently reading in March! How was YOUR reading month in March? Did you read any of the books I read this month? Did you like them? Let me know your thoughts and the books you read this month down below in the comments!

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