More Than This

More Than This


Title: More Than This

Author: Patrick Ness

Series: N/A

Publisher: Walker Books

Release Date: September 5th 2013

Rating:

Five Stars

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.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“At first it’s okay, you know, not perfect, but okay, and you get used to it. Then it gets a little worse, and you get used to that, too. Then one day, you wake up and you don’t have the first freakin’ clue how it got that bad.”

Ever since reading The Rest of Us Just Live Here at the end of last year I’ve been meaning to get around to more of Patrick Ness’s books. I’ve heard amazing thing after amazing thing about the Chaos Walking series, but after hearing high praise for this book as well I decided to start with More Than This. The blurb gave nothing away, and I don’t want to give much away in this review either because this is a book that is so much better to go into blind.

Seth dies at the beginning of More Than This, he’s struggling to survive but the waves are too powerful. He dislocates his shoulder crashing against the rocks before knocking his head and blacking out. But then he wakes up again; naked and alone, covered in strange bandages and small cuts. At first he isn’t sure where he is but he soon recognizes the house he woke up in front of. Seth has no clue why he ended up here, the house that used to be his home, but the more he explores and the more he discovers the more convinced he is that he’s ended up in hell.

“Now that I know there’s more? I want to have more. If there really is more to life, I want to live all of it. And why shouldn’t all of us? Don’t we deserve that?”

As he explores this new world, alone, Seth is forced to come to terms with what he did and what happened that led him to his death. The writing of this book was powerful. Seth is forced to faced the events of his life and we discovered alongside him what it was that led him down the path he walked. We see the events leading up to his death, his interactions with his friends and his brother and his parents which forced him to believe there was nothing left for him.

The story is attention-grabbing; the blurb doesn’t give anything away and I don’t want to give anything away in this review either because the whole joy is discovering everything as Seth did. As I was reading I came up with hundreds of theories as to what had happened to Seth and where the story was going; an alternate world, alien invasion, possibly the end of the world and other various post apocalyptic scenarios. I was wrong about every one of them and honestly I couldn’t have predicted were this book was going.

…The Characters

“He wanted something, he realizes now. Wanted an answer other than the ones he’d been given. Wanted to find out this whole world had some purpose, some particularpurpose. For him.”

Seth is a quiet character, he lived his life under the radar and didn’t have a large or outgoing personality. He felt overlooked by his parents and possibly by his friends as well. Things weren’t good for Seth before the events that led to his death but the more time he spends in this new world the more he thinks about everything that happened; with his parents, with his friends, and with the people closest to him and starts to see things in a different light.

More Than This is all about Seth’s journey. He sees his past through dreams that are so powerful they feel real and it allows him another look at what happened in his life that made him believe ending it was his only option.

His mother shakes her head. “Everyone thinks they know what’s best. Everyone.”
And then a voice behind him says, “Sometimes you need to find out that you don’t, though.”

In some ways I felt Seth was a selfish character, although maybe not in the way you’d expect. He made a mistake when he was a young child and it is something he bears the weight of on his shoulders. He refuses to believe there is another option, another way to look at the situation and what happened, he doesn’t understand that everyone deals with their own pain in different ways.

None of the characters we meet, both in Seth’s dreams and outside of them, are without their faults. They are all struggling to live their lives, making the best of what comes their way, and yes they make mistakes. In the case of Seth’s parents and his friend Gudmund they made terrible mistakes, but they keep going because they have to believe there is something better out there.

…The Setting

“He’s seeing the actual Milky Way streaked across the sky. The whole of his entire galaxy, right there in front of him. Billions and billions of stars. Billions and billions of worlds. All of them, all of those seemingly endless possibilities, not fictional, but real, out there, existing, right now. There is so much more out there than just the world he knows, so much more than his tiny Washington town, so much more than even London. Or England. Or hell, for that matter.”

The world that Seth finds himself in after his ‘death’ is abandoned. There is no one else around and it becomes a place that forces him to relive the worst times of his life. It’s very dark and a little depressing, it’s almost as if the world has been abandoned for years. There are no other people around, the shops and houses are empty, all the food is uneatable, and half of the landscape Seth can see has been burnt to nothing. Everything Seth discovers leads us to believe it’s a post apocalyptic nightmare he’s stumbled into. A lot of his journey includes discovering the new world around him; why he ended up in a place where humanity has all but disappeared, a place which could be hell or a limbo before Seth’s real afterlife.

This feels like a short review compared to what I normally post but it’s hard to describe the book without giving too much of the plot or character development away. Part of the joy of reading this book for me was discovering everything Ness had written and every place the story led me.


I really loved the first Patrick Ness book I read but I thought More Than This was so much better than The Rest of Us Just Live Here. It was a brilliant read and despite being a little confused about where the story would go in the very beginning I couldn’t help but get sucked in. I understand why everyone loves Patrick Ness’s writing so much and I cannot wait to get to the rest of his books now.

What did you think of More Than This? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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54 thoughts on “More Than This

  1. Great review! I’m soo happy to see that you loved this book! 😀 It makes me even more exited to read it! I think this is going to be the next Patrick Ness book that I’m going to read. So far I have loved everything that I have read by him and I do hope to read everything that he has written. He is definitely one of my favourite authors!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anna! God it was an amazing book, I would definitely definitely recommend it if you haven’t started it already! 😀
      Honestly it’s so easy to see why he’s your favourite author. I’ve only read this one and The Rest of Us Just Live Here but I really enjoyed both so I cannot wait to see what his other books are like! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The cover is so unique, and I started at it for a good minute. I love the design 🙂 The synopsis is unique, in that it doesn’t capture your attention by divulging too much about the book. In fact, the sparseness of it is genuinely intriguing. I like how the author seems to expose the faults of each character, as it makes them more relatable. I’m very curious to see what happens, and this is going on my TBR list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it’s definitely a unique cover, I think it does fit with the general theme of the book as well.
      I had no clue about what More Than This was about, and it felt like the synopsis covered the first chapter and then after that I was going in blind. Honestly though I thought everything about More Than This was brilliant and all the character’s are just very real, them being flawed made them feel more human.
      Ohh yay! I really hope you like this book in that case! 😀

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  3. I’m so, so happy to hear you enjoyed this book so much, it’s one of my favorites, and just like you, I tried, but could NEVER guess what was really going on. That ending was kind of frustrating, I can’t believe it ended this way – but at the same time, it leaves us with so many more questions, and that’s how I end up still thinking about that book now, months – even well, a year and a half – after reading it. Great review, Beth! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it was definitely amazing! I can see why it’s one of your favourites because it’s one of mine now as well! 😀
      I think part of the fun was guessing though, you knew you were never going to get it right but you still guessed anyway. And yes that ending! I can’t believe that THAT is where More Than This ended but I guess it kind of fits with the theme and style of the story Ness was trying to create.
      I’ll be the same, still thinking about it this time next year as well! 😀
      Thanks Marie! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. During my teen years I tried to read The Knife of Never Letting Go and I got about 2 pages in before DNFing … Since then I haven’t tried another Ness book!! This one looks interesting though

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a shame, I’ve heard nothing but good things about The Knife of Never Letting Go but I guess not everyone can enjoy the same books. Either way if you’re willing to give Ness’s work another go I would highly recommend More Than This, I thought it was an amazing read! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It would be like reading a dialect that you don’t know … Cockney for example – unless you know the dialect, you’re stuck. That’s basically how I felt with the book

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a little late jumping on the Patrick Ness bandwagon as well but I would highly recommend his books, and it’s not just me everyone seems to love at least one of them!
      I haven’t read A Monster Calls, it’s next on my to-read list, but I do think it’s a great story to start off with, I hope you love it!
      And thanks, I’m glad you liked my review! 😀

      Like

  5. Your review has me even more intrigued about this! I need to pick it up soon. I actually have copies of a few of his other books but haven’t read those yet either. I keep hearing incredible things about all of his books though so I need to give in one of these days lol. Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, I’m glad I could interest you in this book then! I have a copy of A Monster Calls so that will definitely be what I buy next, and I need to get around to the Chaos Walking series really soon but I’m the same. I keep hearing amazing things about his books and it just makes me more desperate to get my hands on them and start reading!
      Thanks I’m glad you liked my review! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve almost bought A Monster Calls so many times while in the bookstore. I need to actually buy it soon lol. I’ve seen the trailer for the movie and it looks like it’s going to be good and I definitely want to read it before I see it. The Chaos Walking series are the books I own by him. Impulse buy from the used bookstore that I need to read soon as well 😂. One of these days I’ll get to them. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was the same but I finally caved and brought it a few weeks ago! It’s such a gorgeous edition as well I can’t really regret it. Ohh the trailer looks really good doesn’t it, and yeah I’m the same I need to read the book before seeing the movie.
        I don’t own them yet but they are next on my to-buy list so it won’t be too long before I’ve caved and have brought them as well! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The one I always eye at the store is a gorgeous edition too. I think the next time I make I’m at the bookstore I’ll have to buy it lol. It really does! And yes! Though there are a few book adaptations where I saw the movie first. Mainly because I didn’t know they were books. 🙈

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Is it the one with the illustrations by Jim Kay? That’s the one I got and it’s just so beautiful! It’s was on my to-buy list for a while before I finally got around to it though.
        There’s only a few for me, but if that does happen I always try and read the book afterwards so at least I can say I have read it!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yep! It’s that one! It really is 😍.

        I try to as well. Though sometimes I end up not being into the book. I had that problem with My Sister’s Keeper, all the medical talk threw me off. I think it was because I was younger and wasn’t really into books that were considered Adult. I really didn’t like how different the endings were too. That’s my only book adaptation pet peeve, ending changes.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It’s definitely worth the money, the book is gorgeous!
        Ahh that is a shame, I’vebeen lucky so far in that all the books I’ve seen as movies I’ve then really enjoyed as books as well. Well, I still need to read Cloud Atlas, and Me Before You so it could be that those are the exception to the rule!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I’m supposed to be going to B&N for a signing tonight so if I see it I might go ahead and buy it. 🙈

        You’ll probably love Me Before You! There wasn’t much of a difference between the movie and book at all. I really loved both. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I still have A Monster Calls and The Knife of Never Letting Go to get around to, and I get more and more excited for them the more I hear about both as well. I’m definitely saving the best till last I think! 😀
      I know what you mean, I had a little trouble getting into this book at first but once I did I couldn’t put it down!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I agree, I think as far as books go The Rest of Us Just Live Here was a fantastic introduction to Ness’s work and honestly with each book of his I read his writing and the stories just seems to get better and better. I have really high hopes for the Chaos Walking series now.
      Have you read any of his other books or just TROUJLH?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just that one. I liked TROUJLH, but I don’t think I’ll be reading anything else by him unless it’s more fantasy. I was expecting more with what he had as a premise: I thought we would be part of some of the crazy plot. I did like how the side story was told as chapter headings. But I’m a fantasy and sci-fi girl at heart. 💖

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yeah I think in terms of my usual and preferred genres TROUJLH didn’t really match what I would normally pick up. I still thought it was a good read; and, well, I bowed to peer pressue and picked up the rest of his books because of all the amazing reviews for them all.
        Same here, a fantasy and sci-fi girl at heart, but I do appreciate well-written books from other genres as well! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I actually didn’t like TROUJLH (my, what a long title) but A Monster Calls was GORGEOUS. I’ve heard that More Than This is a bit strange from my BF, who is a Patrick Ness fan, but it’s good to see that you really enjoyed it! Thanks for giving us a summary – it made the whole story more concrete in my mind and it also sounds pretty intriguing. I think I might give Ness another chance. Great review, Beth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I’m gonna have to use the acronym as well rather than writing the full title every time I want to speak about it! After reading More Than This, and hearing all the positive things people have to say about Chaos Walking and A Monster Calls I think TROUJLH is probably the weakest of Ness’s books. I’m going from the worst to the best as I work my way through his books, next is A Monster Calls and then the Chaos Walking series!
      That’s all right, yeah the blurb gives nothing away which is great for the tone the book wants to set but it’s nice to have a little extra information about the story as well. I didn’t spoil anything though so I reckon you’ll be surprised when/if you get around to this book! 😀
      Thanks Reg! ❤

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      1. Yeah, that’s the impression I got too! I LOVED the premise of TROUJLH but the execution was a bit boring to me, unfortunately. Hopefully you enjoy the rest of his books – his ideas seem quite unique and unexpected to me. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, it could have been a beyond amazing book because the premise sounded like it could have gone so many different ways. I guess I was a little let down as well but it was still an enjoyable read.
        Oh I have high expectations for the rest of his books, and I can’t wait to get started on them soon either! 😀

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      3. Yes, exactly! Like it would’ve been SO interesting to read about the non-chosen ones… although in the same vein, it almost makes sense that it’s not too exciting because, well, they’re not the chosen ones. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well yeah, the whole point of the book was that they weren’t the chosen ones. It wouldn’t have worked as a story if all of a sudden they were chosen. I think I would have just liked to see more on how the events the chosen ones do face actually affect their lives you know. I think I just wanted a little more from that angle! 🙂

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    1. It’s an amazing book, and I don’t really think More Than This is similar to any of John Green’s books (although the only one I’ve read is The Fault in Our Stars) so if that was what was putting you off I wouldn’t worry about it at all. 🙂
      I hope you enjoy More Than This! 😀

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  7. Enjoyed reading your review. I have been very hesitant to pick up another Patrick Ness book since I didn’t enjoy The Knife of Never Letting Go. However, I keep hearing great things about this one so I might give it a shot one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and actually this is the first I’ve heard of someone not liking The Knife of Never Letting Go, although obviously there are people out there who didn’t enjoy the book.
      I can’t say for myself whether More Than This is better than The Knife of Never Letting Go but if you’re willing to give Patrick Ness’s books another go I would recommend this one! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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