More Than This: Book Review

“Here is the boy, drowning.”

There’s a certain emptiness that you feel when you read a book that truly messes with your brain. I don’t mean the whole romantic-despair emptiness that you get reading young adult romance novels. I’m talking about the whole ‘inception’ cross ‘matrix’ messed up. I’ve had a few existential/fear-of-oblivion crises from reading books before (e.g. The Fault in Our Stars), but this kind of takes the cake.

I’m not much of a sci-fi or thriller reader and I didn’t really know what I was in for when I ordered More Than This by Patrick Ness from The Book Depository. This is actually my first book by Patrick Ness (sorry, am I late on the bandwagon?) and I just really dug the cover and how mysteriously interesting it was… which leads me to admit that yes, I most definitely am one of those people who buys a book because of its cover. So I leapt eyes first into this book without any clue as to its genre or plot content.

I literally got shivers reading the first few pages. I mean, I should have known from the beginning that I would be on a literary journey of suspense and non-stop-terror. I mean, how could it not when it begins with a boy drowning. His name is Seth.

So it’s no surprise that this is not the kind of book that I would usually pick up and read (I am much more inclined to the soft, fluffy, lovey-dovey type of romance novels with a hint of drama). I mean, on occasion I would willingly read a little crime and thriller here and there (e.g. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and anything written by Meg Cabot). So what made me continue reading More Than This? Well, there is no other explanation than that it was really intriguing. I genuinely wanted to know what was going to happen.

More Than This is a Young Adult novel, but what’s so great about it is that it breaks the traditional stigma of a YA novel. What I’m saying is, you won’t find any loved-up vampires in love with clingy tweenage girls or rich CEO’s with a S&M fetish for innocent brunettes (oh wait, 50 Shades of Grey is totally an adult book, right?).

EN TOUT CASE! ANYWAY, back to More Than This. The book is in 3 parts, the first being very dystopian and as though you’ve been teleported into a state of oblivion. The second is when the plot starts to pick up pace. Seth is introduced to a fiercely “tall, heavyset black girl” named Regine and a twelve year old polish boy named Tomasz (pronounced Toh-mawsh). This is when the whole sci-fi thing kicks in. The third part is when answers start to be revealed; although it does end with a hell of a cliff hanger that will literally make you put down the book and be like “WTF WHAT IS MY LIFE?!” like I said before, very inception-ish.

I recounted the novel to Mattias (albeit, very badly… I’ve never been good at explaining storylines to other people) and he said that it sounded exactly like the Matrix (which I have yet to watch, don’t judge). So if you’re into the whole sci-fi, alternate world, f*-up your brain type of novel, More Than This is definitely in your court. It’s not a book that I, personally, would read again but it’s definitely one that will linger in my brain forevermore.

“Real life is only ever just real life. Messy. What it means depends on how you look at it. The only thing you’ve got to do is find a way to live there.”

I rate this book 4 stars!