More Than This Synopsis:
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? – Goodreads
More Than This Review
“More than this” I think is a phrase every person has said to themselves at some point. I think that’s why the title of this book calls to so many people. Because we’ve all been at that point where we’ve thought or said [there has to be]”More than this”. Its true, too. There always is “more than this”. Now, whether its a good or bad thing an entirely different matter for discussion at another time and place.
I have to give Ness credit too, for how he writes the circumstances surrounding the boy’s death. He did it with his usual easy grab at the emotions that put you right there, in the boy’s body, as the end approaches. He makes you feel, makes you know, makes you want to grab and keep him safe even as a small (or large – depending on your state of mind) part of you is nodding and going “Its going to be okay. It’ll be over soon.” even when you know it won’t, because obviously the blurb tells you the boy lives.
My favorite quote, and I like it because it sums up my own feelings so well:
“I don’t believe in guardian angels,” Regine says seriously. “Just people who are there for you and people who aren’t.” – Patrick Ness, More Than This
More Than This is full of raw, ugly emotions, and redemption, and forces you head on to confront child abuse, suicide, and murder, and it should be this fantastic book that leaves you sitting back, uncomfortable, thinking deeply, and being awed at Ness’ talent. In a way, it does. Several days after reading the book, I’m still vaguely uncomfortable when I think about it.
Unfortunately, More Than This is the weakest of the Patrick Ness books that I’ve read, and I maintained that impression even while it screwed with my head over and over and over again. I struggled to get through the first 80+ pages, determined I would give it to 100 pages, and if it hadn’t hooked me by then, I’d give up. Well, it finally got interesting, and then just as swiftly went back to its wobbly status of “could be good, but just quite isn’t.” Then it did it again. And again. It was almost awesome so many, many times.
But ultimately, it just wasn’t. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, though.