This is partly a review…and partly a discussion! (Because discussions are full of win.) I have a few questions for YOU at the end of this post.
Thanks to Walker Books for this review-copy! More Than This by Patrick Ness hit shelves in May, 2104.
“Books are often described as ‘mind-blowing’ but this is one of the few books in which, while reading it, I have exclaimed aloud, ‘Oh. My. God.’ on multiple occasions … Just read it.” John Green
A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.
Then he wakes, naked and 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?
Why did I read this? Well, because John Green told me so. And who am I to argue, okay?
I knew next to nothing about the book as well, which, weeeell…proved to be both good and bad. I thought I was getting some sort of ghost story with some smushy contemporary romance perhaps and high school drama.
What did I get?
Yeah I don’t even know what to say. This should be an interesting review…
The writing was good. And I don’t mean “meh, okay”, I mean “extremely and incredibly good“. Even though I’d put it on the too-wordy side, the writing was absolutely beautiful. Our narrator is Seth and, even though it’s written in 3rd, it’s written in such a personal way. I felt totally connected to the book and therefore couldn’t put it down.
I…I read it one day, okay? And it’s huge. It’s 470-pages.
The cover is awesome. Call me a shallow bookworm, but I have serious cover love. And this?! It’s fabulous.
Also, it has fabulous friendships. I adore friendships I can root for, and the relationship between Regine and Tomasz and Seth was very dynamic. I don’t want to say too much, because: SPOILERS. (This book is seriously hard to review!) Everyone’s personalities were miles different — they clashed, they argued, they worked so well together. But I will pop in a word about Tomasz! He’s hilarious. He’s Polish, and his English is broken and so, so funny. I love funny!
Description? I see it. I see it all. My only negativity to that is: there was a loooot of description. On one hand, I felt really submerged in the book, but on the other hand…enough with the dribble GET ME SOME ACTION.
I am very, very confused. The ending. The middle. The twist. The villain. Oh, wow, I’m just going to say every-second-thing-was-very-confusing. Would it kill to say something definite?! Everything was so…interpretable. I still have no idea why it ended like it did. A quick re-con on Goodreads showed me I’m not the only one left thinking “WHAT” at the ending.
It’s kind of huge, okay? There was a lot of interior monologue. A lot of chapters covering the same desperation, confusion, silent exploring. So while that really made me connect with Seth, I felt a bit…bored? When the action started it was high-speed and heart-pounding. And erratic. LOVE. Being stuck with Seth alone in his head for the first 100-pages was a bit tedious though.
When I closed the book, you know the only thought I could formulate? What. What. What.
I really need to talk spoilers after that ending…so highlight to read:
What was with The Driver?! How about no. It seemed incredibly odd and there were never any answers as to “what” it was or “what” it really wanted to do.
Actually the lack of answers for EVERYTHING bothered me. Like how many people entered this “alternate reality”? How were their bodies still functional? How was the human race not dying? Why was Seth’s coffin in his house and not with everyone else’s? Why were their alternate realities sucky?! Why not have “perfect” ones? Come on! Also: WHY did Seth choose to go back, and what was the exact reason? Just to forgive his friends and then pop back and live with Tomasz and Regine? I am so, so confused right now…
Despite being confused: I loved this book. I loved the characters (characters are the winning ticket for me) and I loved the writing.
Basically Tomasz can sum it up for me:
“That means WHAT?” Tomasz says. “I am not happy with not being told what this means.”
Cait wins the award for the review that tells you NOTHING! Yay! Confetti and cake! She demands it! Besides reading confusing books, she’s still plodding away at her rewrites. Slow going. Her narrator is also difficult to write because he’s so dang positive. Please. Can the glass be half-empty for five minutes so we can have a little break of the happiness?