Review: MORE THAN THIS by Patrick Ness



Patrick Ness
Published: September 10th 2013 by Candlewick Press
Pages: 480

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?


Know yourself. And go in swinging.

I was a bit hesitant to pick up More Than This, but after reading A Monster Calls and having about ten different people tell me this book was absolutely wonderful, I’m glad I took a chance. Because, this time, people were right: More Than This was great!

I went into this pretty much blind. I knew only two things about this book before starting it: 1) it featured a LGBT+ main character and 2) it was a complex and surprising story. And let me tell you, that was the best way to come into this new world. I had no expectations about the story, which meant I was very confused and delighted as I read along.

Ness’s writing once again captivated me right from the prologue. I was hooked from the very first sentence, trying to understand what was going on. When I thought I finally figured out what was going on, the rug was swept from under my feet and I was left wondering all over again.

The shifts between present time and Seth’s life from before were a great way to develop the story and give depth to Seth’s character. It was very intense at times, and a little difficult to read as more was revealed about Seth and everything he and his family went through. Actually, More Than This had a pretty diverse set of characters, which was so refreshing to read about.

Another thing I loved was that this really was a complex story. Every time we thought we found answers, a new set of questions opened up. Nothing was easily solved, and one twist lead to another. It was messy and confusing and unique.

There was one quote that pretty much sums up my feelings on this book:

“Well,” he says, “that is not what I expected.”

More Than This was an incredible book, though. It was not at all what I thought it was going to be, but it was still amazing. I read it in once sitting, and I’m still left with a thousand unanswered questions. I know this book is going to stay with me for a while, and I couldn’t be happier about it.


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