Review of More Than This by Patrick Ness

More Than ThisMore Than This
By: Patrick Ness
Release Date: September 10th 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Barnes and Noble

An electronic copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:

Summary (via Goodreads):
A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . .

My Thoughts:
More Than This was the first book by Patrick Ness I have read though I’ve  heard wonderful things about his writing and ability to tell a story. I wasn’t let down, he is a wonderful writer and More Than This was a very thought provoking and deep story.

The story takes place with the main character, Seth, waking up after drowning in the violent ocean. He wakes up believing he has died and that he is now in his after-life, though it is nothing like what one might imagine hell, purgatory or heaven to be like. Seth wakes wrapped in bandages, completely alone and at a place that looks mysteriously like his home in England from his childhood. He is obviously in a state of confusion and seeking answers to where he is and what is happening (sort of had the feel of  Maze Runner to me). We follow his journey and exploration of this deserted place trying to find the answers as he does. Not only is he haunted with loneliness and confusion, when he slept he experienced vivid flash backs to some of his most meaningful and painful life experiences.

To be completely honest, I didn’t care for a large part of Seth’s back-story. It was very depressing and touched on a very sensitive topic to me (about one of my greatest fears concerning children). This subject matter made me uncomfortable and wasn’t what I wanted in my reading experience.  I love for the books I read to have heart and they can be dark, but when they discuss issues that are only to real in our society (especially regarding a child–one about my own child’s age) I don’t particularly care for them.

With that being said, I loved the mystery surrounding this world Seth woke in and the journey to figure out why. Ness also created characters full of depth that felt incredibly realistic and heart-felt. None of them felt like caricatures or in any way stereo-typical. Their interactions were heartfelt and gripping.

Final Thoughts:
I am giving this a high rating because though I was disturbed by some of it I couldn’t stop reading to find out where Seth was and why. I think that Ness did a very good job of keeping the reader’s interest and creating an intriguing, though often depressing story. I have no doubt about his writing ability and did enjoy the style very much. I hope to try another of his books at some point. I recommend this to anyone that is a fan of dark stories with a dash of hope, coming of age and Patrick Ness’ writing.

More Than This Book Trailer:


  1. says

    Sounds like a very interesting read, and you’ve just made me very curious about what really is going with Seth! Great review, will have to add it to the TBR list!

    • says

      It was a very interesting book. I really did appreciate and enjoy Ness’ writing style. He is very talented. I wish it hadn’t been as dark as it was but it was still very much worth the read.

  2. says

    I’m also adding it to my TBR. It looks very dark and I’m a little worried because while I do enjoy most dark stories, there is a certain line I have that, once it’s crossed, I can’t stand to read. Still, I am curious.

    • says

      wonderful! I can’t wait to see more opinions as people read this one. I don’t think the style and technique could be criticized. I hope you enjoy it and that it doesn’t cross your over the line for you.

  3. says

    I haven’t read anything by Patrick Ness before, but I’m hoping I can finally make a start on his Chaos Walking series this year. I’m really curious about this book! Although you didn’t care for a large part of Seth’s backstory, I’m glad you appreciated the book overall. Lovely review. 🙂

  4. says

    <3 so glad you loved this book, even though it was hard for you at times and heartbreaking. But glad the writing is good and that the story was good 🙂 Cannot wait to read this book. <3 Thank you for sharing your awesome review 🙂

  5. says

    This one was crazy heartbreaking but was so well-written. What a nutso storyline.. so glad I read this one though. Glad you enjoyed this one to an extent. 🙂

    • says

      I agree Bonnie–was very heartbreaking and nutso is a great way to describe the story! I had trouble reading certain parts but, like you, so glad that I did. I will def be reading more of his work.

  6. says

    I’ve heard a lot about Patrick Ness and his writing style, but I haven’t ever tried anything by him.
    I’m intrigued by this one for sure.
    More Than This sounds like a powerful and emotional read. I understand what you mean about being slightly disturbed by the events in the book. Still, I’m glad that you thought was writing was good enough to deserve 4 stars.
    Lovely review! 🙂

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