This Review contains Spoilers.
“Real life is only ever just real life. Messy. What it means depends on how to look at it. The only thing you’ve got to do is find a way to live there.”
Published: 2014, by Walker Books Ltd.
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction, LGBT, Dystopia.
Contains: Suicide, Strong Language, Violence.
‘More Than This’ tells the story of Seth, a teenager who committed suicide and wakes in an empty world.
I wanted to adore this book, having heard so much about Patrick Ness’ work and every time I told someone what I was currently reading I was instantly met with “Oh my god, I love his books!”. The beginning hooked me instantly, as a story which involved the protagonist immediately dying would; however, after that, it kinda fell flat.
After Seth awoke in this unexplained world I found myself having to forcefully continue, being met with hundreds of pages worth of him wandering around alone and pitying himself. Although, a complex concept such of this would have logically included this, the actions began to become a bore fifty pages in. However, eventually we meet Regine and Tomasz, two other teenagers who appear to be in a similar situation as his own. Yet there’s still not much that seems to happen to progress the plot until Seth seems to form plans on the spot which works every single time.
The characters I mostly loved, finding Tomasz enthusiasm and sharp remarks enjoyable, whilst Seth’s backstory was mostly why I read to the end. However, Regine’s responses of hearing of Seth’s suicide irked me. In any work of fiction, the act of writing on suicide is a risky one, and as someone who’s experienced the act, reading the words ‘selfish’ whilst speaking on it made me uncomfortable enough to have to take a break for a while. Although, I understand the need for opinions and flawed characters in fiction, it felt worth mentioning, especially considering there’s a large majority of young people who experience similar thoughts.
The concept as a whole I did enjoy, the overall mystery of the place they were in and the fact that it was never solved was something I both hated and loved. Even after the book is finished I feel like I need more information or a second book explaining more, regardless of how I know the purpose is to know nothing.
Overall, although I wanted to fall in love with this book alike many others who have read it in the past, I didn’t. The narrative was well written and the concept intrigued me, yet the dialogue felt forced on multiple occasions, and the length of there being little plot was something I couldn’t bring myself to reread.