Thursday, 20 February 2014

More Than This - Patrick Ness

Source: Borrowed Proof
Pages: 480
Publisher: Walker


There have been times in the last few crazy months where I've been very low about the blogging part of my life. I felt that I'd built this book orientated world around me, working at Waterstones, my A levels and my blog yet it felt like that didn't matter.
However, the day when I was handed this book into my hands to read, that day it made me realise how much I love what I do and how much I love books.
On that day, I was at work and met my friend who had just lost her job at the independent Lion and Unicorn Bookshop, that has recently been shut down. It was a sad time to meet her. This was a place where she had grown up, done work experience at and then had her first job there all while I was over the road at the big chain Waterstones store. She's told me that we're not the reason they've closed although we certainly didn't help but I still feel bad about it all. Anyway, this was the last proof she had received there and they allowed for her to keep it.
The thing about Patrick Ness is that his books have that habit of bringing people together. It was actually this friend that told me to read his Chaos Walking series all those years ago when I'd just become friends with her. I read the first page of The Knife of Never Letting Go, looked at my friend with an expression that read 'Really?' until she assured me I should carry on. And I did. And I realised HOW good his books were. How much I loved reading in general and most of all, that I finally had friends that appreciated reading at the same level I did. It was brilliant. So when my friend handed me this book, it brought together all that.

Synopsis: In one shocking yet chaotic moment, Seth drowns. He is dead. Yet in the confusing moments afterwards, he wakes up in the village he grew up in. Yet the village is now deserted. Houses abandoned, electricity vanished and no traces of people who disappeared a long time before Seth arrives. This is a type of hell, Seth is sure. Until he meets two other young people - Regine and Tomasz - who help try to come to terms with the events that have let them to this moment and discover the mystery behind this abandoned world they now live within.

Review: There are two definite things I love about Patrick Ness.
1) As many, I LOVE his writing, his fluid writing that really puts you in the moment with Seth; the mix of the present and past woven together through the narrative mixed with the different styles of language from the three protagonists that give that distinctive originality of character - there aren't many writers that have the power to that all, and all done incredibly well too.
2) One of the reasons I really love Patrick Ness' writing and himself as a person is his understanding. It's so clear that he understands teenagers and young people and many people will agree with me in saying that there needs to be more people like that around. I've known about Ness' books since I was about 14 and throughout that difficult period of adolescence, it's remarkable how much I can say his books teach you in becoming your own person. Patrick Ness truly made me find friends, the same two people who are my best friends even now, and helped me realise that loving to read wasn't all that bad and that I shouldn't hide it. Anyway, basically, Patrick Ness gets young people. And there are so many party poppers I want to let loose at that statement.

MORE THAN THIS is quite something. There are plenty of issues within this book - sexuality, suicide, depression - which I'm sure some single-minded adult will pick it out as 'reasons why teenagers shouldn't read' or whatever but that is exactly why I liked this book. It's hard to define a genre really for MORE THAN THIS with it being clearly contemporary yet also dabbling in science fiction and mystery to create a novel that is utterly compelling and becomes quite an addictive read. I'll say it now that this book is LONG and for me the first part when Seth is alone, it dragged on a little bit for me. Although soon the narrative starts up and I got kind of hooked on the plot, desperately wanting to know what would happen next.

This book is a lot of things. It means a lot to me for different reasons than others. But apart from that, this is a book that deserves to be tried by everybody, regardless of your normal tastes, walks of life - whatever. This is a book that just needs to be read and shared and read again and shown the love it deserves.

I give it a 5 out of 5


Related Reviews: 
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
The New World - Patrick Ness (short story)

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