From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.
A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . .
(re: Goodreads @ More Than This by Patrick Ness)
Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:
- Myriad of interwoven genres.
- Characters are interesting, fun, and you can empathize with them.
- Undertones of philosophical and modern issues; life-lessons to be considered.
- The world building is unassuming but peaks with suspense at the right moments.
- The writing. Just that.
I was immediately drawn to this book as an answer to the question: what’s beyond the white light? It’s apparently a world of vintage memories and unnerving solitude. But is that it? Maybe. But probably not since anything we think we ought to know about everything is likely just a superficial layer of something much deeper. This novel, my first by Patrick Ness, is a resilient coming of age story even postmortem and it is as unpretentious as it gets.
I’ll tell you why.
Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.