Thursday, May 15, 2014

More Than This: Book Review

So I decided to start doing book reviews for my blog. Partly for my readers to see what type of books I read, and also to help them discover new books. I think I am going to try to not post spoilers in these for that reason, but I am not making any promises.

Three months ago I joined my local bookshops's Teen Book Club. I felt kind of "meh" about the first book we read, so I wanted to post my review about our most recent book discussion.

In April we read Patrick Ness's More Than This. I have had Ness's The Knife of Never Letting Go on my to-read list for a long time, but have never gotten around to reading it, so this was my first foray into his writing style. To be honest, I was completely prepared to hate this book.

More Than This starts out with our narrator Seth waking up after he had died drowning. Late at night, by himself in the ocean. The context clues are there early on on how he came to be in the ocean, but later in the book it is fully revealed. AND I WAS TOTALLY RIGHT! Anyway, Seth wakes up thinking he is in hell or purgatory, which looks an awful lot like the English town he grew up in.

At first I felt like this book read way too slow, and I was waiting for it to get to the point. Ness tells the story of how Seth comes to be in "hell" in a series of dream sequences, which I actually liked, because otherwise it was pretty boring. If the book had continued with Seth dreaming about his past mistakes while he was in "hell" I don't think I would have liked this book. At that point I hadn't been that far into the book, but I knew there had to be more to the story. Something was going to happen; something big, and I was determined to find out what that was.

I don't want to give it away, but Seth does meet other people in this "hell" of his. The thing I liked about this part was that Ness actually told you how to pronounce the two characters names. Do you know how many books I have read where I had been mispronouncing the characters name the whole time? Too many!

This book is not necessarily a philosophical discourse on death, but it does have a lot of commentary on the way we live our lives in this day and age. In the digital age. This story is very much a hero vs. villain story, with a villain who is not exactly evil. You'll see what I mean when you meet The Driver later on in the story. (Side note for those we have read: Did anyone else picture Daft Punk when he came into the story?)

I can't really tell you much more about this book, without giving away more details that I think are too essential to the plot. What I can say is that this book is a game changer. This book will test your patience in the beginning, but I promise if you plow through it, in the end it will be worth it. This book was a huge surprise for me, and I really like a book that spins you on your head and keeps you guessing.

Who has read it? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Happy Reads Everyone!