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“You said we all want there to be more than this! Well, there’s always more than this. There’s always something you don’t know.” 

Author: Patrick Ness                                 Published: 2013                               Pages: 480

More Than This is a novel which begins with a teenage boy, Seth, dying. But even though he remembers the pain of dying, somehow Seth wakes up. Back in his old house, after apparently having died, Seth explores his new and desolate surroundings unable to understand how he is still alive and how he managed to get to England (he lives in America.)  His only explanation: he’s in hell. The narrative is interwoven with flashbacks from Seth’s past and creates questions not only about Seth’s past, but what is wrong the the world in which he used to live. Ness uses Seth to suggest the reoccurring thought that there must be “more than this.”

While this is a YA novel, a genre which is usually predictable in my opinion, Ness has successfully broken free from this stigma. His novel reflects upon not only how cruel people can be but also how most people forget to look deeper than the surface and don’t realise that there is more to anything if you just look hard enough: “There’s always beauty if you know where to look.”  More Than This portrays a bleak, but all too possible, future where humanity has finally taken their lust for perfection and progression of technology too far. The book is very relatable and realistic too. It poses deep questions while also reflecting on the strong and unbreakable bonds between people, even strangers.

Although the ending is a little disappointing in terms of action, Ness makes up for it with the poignancy of the book. Ness leaves the reader with a compelling thought about whether there really is “more than this.”

Review overview



5.9Compelling, Underwhelming, Poignant

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