Saturday, November 02, 2013 11:42

Review 211. Patrick Ness – More than this.

17262303Title: More than this.
Author: Patrick Ness.
Pages: 480.
Published: September 10th 2013 by Candlewick Press 
Sort: Stand-alone.
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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.
Rating:
????

This book is a huge mindfuck. I seriously had no idea what was going on and I still have a feeling I don’t get the ending. lt’s probably at bit too spiritual to me and it just didn’t make any sense. Which is a shame, because I enjoyed the writing-styles and the characters. Up to 71% I was thinking around a 4 star rating, but with that strange and unfinished ending, I’m not sure anymore. It’s more around 2-3 and I’ve a feeling this book could have been more than this. This is also a very difficult review to write, but I’ll do my best.

This book starts with an intense scene. You are immediately plunged into the story: a boy is drowning and he dies. But, he wakes up in the middle of the street. It’s an abandoned city and he soon finds out that he is back in England in the house he grew up in. When his life was happy; before the incident around his little brother.

The city is abandoned. There are no people, hardly any animals and Seth finds himself alone and confused. He has the vague idea that he is in Hell and the whole situation is just so bizarre. Together with Seth, we have NO CLUE what is going on. During his search for answers, he teams up with two other kids who save him from a dangerous and mysterious man. This part gave me the creeps. Regine and Tomasz share their suspicion about this strange world with him and the whole idea is rather mind-blowing. I adore Tomasz and his brave, quirky actions.

What I also liked were the flashbacks to Seth’s past in the form of dreams. It was interesting to see piece by piece what happened and why he grew up to be such a troubled, sad boy. There were several times where I wanted to hug him and tell him everything was going to be all right. So when it comes to characters, Ness did a great job in painting them. They felt realistic and I was scared and anxious together with them. I was rooting for them and the mystery and weirdness was fascinating and annoying at the same time.

This book would have been so much better with a more conclusive ending. I just felt I missed something. Perhaps I just don’t get the whole meaning of this, but I wanted more answers. Better yet, I want to have one burning answer to a question I won’t tell, because it would spoil the whole book. I’d say, this is definitely something you have to see for yourself.
author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

61 comments:

  1. Aww darn! I wish that there was a more conclusive ending, I really hate those because it makes no sense and it ruins half the enjoyment of the novel.

    Lovely review, Mel! <33

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  2. I hate vague endings. Boo. Patrick Ness is a writer I can't crack; he's just…he's way too intelligent for me, sadly.

    I'm glad you were able to take away the good from the bad at least.

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    1. I think you are right. I think he tried to make this book really smart.

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  3. It's a shame that this book started out so strong and then kind of went downhill. I think I'll still read this one but I did notice a trend of Patrick Ness books being more on the thoughtful side versus entertaining. Great review and thanks for the warning :)

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    1. It's quite heavy, I'm looking forward to your thoughts :)

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  4. Oh, that sucks that the ending was so open-ended with no real conclusion. This one is sitting on my shelf. Hmm, I'm wondering if it's worth the read, but if it started out good, then maybe it'll be okay. The flashbacks sound really appealing to me. I love books that make you want to hug the main character. Great review, Mel!

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    1. I think this is a book you just need to experience for yourself! It's so weird.

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  5. Haha, you immediately got me with your initial description. I've been seeing this title around and I can honestly say that this isn't for me. But I loved your honesty. :D

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  6. Bhahahaha. That rating, Mel! LOL. I'm sorry the ending basically ruined the book for you. I'm note one for open ending either :( They really rarely work for me. Though.. the rest of the book seems magnificent! I've seen this one in some of the yt book hauls and it has a great cover design in real life and since the premise seems good, then.. idk. Perhaps if it's on sale in my local bookstore, I'll give it a chance :)

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    1. This is the second time I honestly don't know how to rate a book! And funny, but I'm not really digging the cover design. I like the little door, but it's not that attractive to me.

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  7. First sentence had me laughing so hard! I've not had the opportunity to check out the author, but I really want to give him a try. Endings like that can be a killer to the book. But it does sounds like a pretty interesting read :) Great review!

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    1. I think I'm going to give his other books a shot!

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  8. Aw, I'm sorry the ending ended up being like that :( Not sure when I will get to read this book, but probably soon. The rest of it sounds amazing, though :) Great review Mel. <3

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    1. Yeah, if the ending was different, this might have been a 5-star book.

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  9. Oh no, the RATING. @_@ I am dying to read this so I won't read your review just yet, but my peek at the first couple of sentences of your review has me wildly curious!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Haha, I'm really interested in your opinion!

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  10. Yikes! I've had Ness on my TBR list and I've yet to get around to him. I think I'll stick to his other works and maybe skip this one.

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    1. I can't wait to see his other work. I hope he has better endings there.

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  11. Wow. This book does sound pretty strange O_O I've been interested in reading another one of Patrick Ness' books after A Monster Calls, so More Than This was a release I was really anticipating. However, it seems confusing ^_^"

    But, I've found in some other experiences that confusing stories appeal to me sometimes, so may I'll like this, even if I don't completely "get" it. Don't know about that ending, though...

    Great review!

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  12. Oh wow, great review! you captured how completely crazy this one was. I had no idea, and I have it sitting innocently on my shelf lol. Thanks for sharing your honest opinion!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. Haha, it doesn't look so messed up, but it is!

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  13. This book sounds interesting. I've heard it described as a mindfuck multiple times now and of course that interests me. I'm also curious about the open ending. I'm pretty 50-50 on those. In general, More Than This just seems like a really weird story.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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  14. To be honest, I never really enjoyed his books nearly as much as everyone else seemed to, And I don't like feeling lost and confused if there's no resolution in the end, so I don't think this is the right book for me.
    Great review, though, Mel.

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    1. I don't think you would enjoy this book in that case, Maja :)

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  15. Sorry to hear the ending didn't do the book justice. Open endings are so hard to do sometimes they completely go over my head, <3

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    1. Open endings can turn out GREAT or a disaster..

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  16. You got me hooked to read your review with your first sentence! LOL I never picked up any of Patrick's books but I'm hoping too, especially this one. Even you gave it no exact rating, I'll definitely look forward to it like you said :)

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

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  17. Oh, this book sounds weird! I didn't know about it, but now I don't think I'll read it!
    So sad it ended like this!
    Happy reading!
    Lis @ The reader lines

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  18. oh wow.. that does sound a bit messed up!! and on top of that there isn't really an ending? how annoying!! Books like this frustrate me.. Thanks for your review! Don't think ill ever be reading this one!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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    1. It was definitely frustrating and weird and.. many other things :p

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  19. Wow, no rating? This book sounds too intense for me and not my kind of read...

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    1. Intense is definitely a word to describe this book.

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  20. You are not alone, Mel. I didn't really know what to make of this book either. It was good. I think? I feel like I could read it twenty times and still not be sure exactly how I felt about it.

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  21. Darn, this was on my TBR.
    "This book is a huge mindfuck." is the best way to start a review, though, lol! :) Will there be a sequel? I hate endings that don't satisfy.

    Great review! :D

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    1. Haha, that was the only way for me to describe it :p No, I believe it's supposed to be a stand-alone.

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  22. Hmm, in some ways I am even more curious now to read this one just to find out what this ending is all about. Umm, that is if I can figure out what the ending is about. I really hope I can because Patrick Ness is one of my favourite authors. And I hate feeling like I am missing something. It's too bad you didn't take to this one, but I hope you give another one of Patrick Ness' books a try sometime. Like A Monster Calls - AMAZING!

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    1. I think as a Ness fan you will like it, because you are familiar with his writing-style? I'm interested to see what you think! And yes, A monster calls is high on my list :)

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  23. You are spot on with this review. I really liked the writing but I felt like I missed something at times too. Your first line is a perfect description. :-)

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  24. Welllll....I'm all for mysterious books, but it's very easy to cross the line to downright confusing, and it sounds like this did. I'm hoping I have a better experience - I still haven't read anything by Patrick Ness, and I've got this checked out from the library right now.

    I appreciate you saying that maybe you missed something with the ending. When I get that feeling, I wonder if I'm the only one who missed it! I think a lot of times that can happen if a book doesn't really engage you, because it's easy for the mind to wander.

    Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia

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    1. I can't wait to see what you think! And I thought it would be honest to say that I didn't get it, but perhaps it's just me :)

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  25. This sounds really intense! I've heard so many good things about this book, but I don't like when there's an inconclusive ending. I think I'll still check this out, though. Amazing review, Mel! :)

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  26. Well, it definitely sounds interesting!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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  27. I love this sentence of yours: "I’ve a feeling this book could have been more than this." ;D
    I've read 33% of More Than This, then kind of gave up. It had a solid 3 star from me at that moment, but I just didn't feel THAT urge to read on, if you know what I mean. :l

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  28. I'm sorry the ending didn't live up for you! Personally I didn't mind the ending. I felt like the point was not what happened afterwards, but that Seth had reached the point in his character development where he wanted to live and wanted to fight for that. I got a real sense of hope from the ending, which made it good enough for me.

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    1. Oh, that's a great way to look at it! Thanks for sharing that insight. It does make sense in some sort of way.

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  29. Sorry this one didn't work out so swell, Mel. I've heard quite a bit about it, though the strongest sense I have about it from reviews and the synopsis is that it's going to be odd. Perhaps very difficult to read, if I'm able to get through it.
    It's never nice when the ending itself is the thing that pulls the book apart, and I'm sorry that this one didn't work for you as it could've.

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  30. Hmm I am not good with confusing books, books with multiple layers of meaning, or endings that you have to interpret because I never understand them. If you felt like you were missing something, I probably will too. I might just pass on this one.

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  31. OHHHHHH this makes me nervous. I only recently accepted a review request for one of Ness's other novels, and I sincerely hope it is not a mindfuck like this. And considering the one review I read about the book said it was "different" from most... EEEEk. Spiritual. Hmmm.

    "Up to 71% I was thinking around a 4 star rating, but with that strange and unfinished ending, I’m not sure anymore." <-- IT IS THE WORST FEELING EVER when the endings just RUIN your former impression. So maybe it won't be that the book is another mindfuck with lots of anxiety-inducing turns but the ending will just be unfinished and all literary and spiritual and and and *bites nails*

    "This book starts with an intense scene." -- Also similar to the book.

    I like how you've set this book up though... Hell? Purgatory? I'm now wondering whether that title is supposed to be a vague literary allusion to something I should know and I'm more than a little curious by him finding no one but two boys and a man who's chasing them o.o.

    "There were several times where I wanted to hug him and tell him everything was going to be all right." D'aww. And I can see how those flashbacks would work well; I read a few pages in The Crane Wife and he's really good at being very in the moment, huh?

    "This book would have been so much better with a more conclusive ending. I just felt I missed something. Perhaps I just don’t get the whole meaning of this, but I wanted more answers." -- I remember reading a review from you about Requiem, I think, and someone told me what the ending was, and I get the feeling that this book is very much like that one. All symbolic and open for the reader, but you just want something more concrete. If that's at all like it, then I wouldn't like it either. So frustrating when authors don't give you enough. There's open and then there's so open, it's not even an ending.

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    1. I HATE that feeling. It ruins the book and everything you liked about it. I hope that it works better in The Crane Wife. Yes, he is very good with his flashbacks :)

      That's exactly what this ending is like.

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  32. I feel like you about this book, I mean about the rating. It was 4-star material till I reached the part where Seth confronts the Driver. After that, I've been left wondering how to rate it, though I temporarily gave it 3 stars on Goodreads. Without spoiling the book too much, I can only say that it's difficult to get attached to a character and care for him if you're not even sure he's real in his own book. Because what happens in that showdown, well...Personally, I don't mind books that mess with your brain, but I need a solid basis for them to lay on. Same for open endings - I'm perfectly fine with them, but I need to know WTF I just read!

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