Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Recommendation: 'More Than This' by Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness is a magical author; I absolutely adore his Chaos Walking trilogy, and can read it over and over again. I was therefore equal parts excited and nervous to hear about his new Teen novel, More Than This

There was no need for the anxious feelings though, Patrick Ness exceeds my expectations with this one!

The story begins with a boy named Seth, drowning, desperate and alone. Then he wakes. But how is this possible? Seth vividly remembers dying; he remembers the death blow of his skull upon the rocks. Yet here he is awake, alive, naked, and in a eerily familiar place. It looks like the small English suburb that he had lived in as a child, before a tragic event resulted in his family moving to America. The only difference is that this neighborhood is abandoned, overgrown, and covered in a thick dust. Every time Seth closes his eyes, he is forced to relive painful memories that seem more real than the town around him. As Seth begins to search for answers he increasingly hopes that he might not be alone, that this world he has woken up in might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there is...more than this.

More Than This has a beauty that creeps up and consumes you. The story is a moving, tragic tale that tackles big issues around existentialism, grief, suicide, identity, and the preservation of our world. Aspects of science fiction are included but in such a way, as good sci fi does, that the ideas do not seem quite so far from possible reality. Another key feature of this novel is that the main protagonist is gay, an aspect that is still very rare in YA fiction, but it isn't what defines him! This is just one of the ways in which Ness breaks the mold with this book.

More Than This is a beautiful and unique piece of story telling, it is challenging and enchanting. I highly recommend this book; it will entrap you in its world and make you sad to leave it.

Title: More Than This
Author: Patrick Ness
ISBN: 9780763662585
Published: 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press

 - Bryony, Central City Library


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