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More Than This

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A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

From multi-award-winning Patrick Ness comes one of the most provocative and moving novels of our time.

480 pages, Paperback

First published September 1, 2013

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About the author

Patrick Ness

42 books18.2k followers
Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for Radio 4 and The Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Born in Virginia, he currently lives in London.

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5 stars
21,634 (33%)
4 stars
24,542 (38%)
3 stars
12,712 (19%)
2 stars
3,798 (5%)
1 star
1,470 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,377 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
May 26, 2022
this book treated me like a dog treats a ragdoll.
and i have no idea where to begin.

patrick ness has written a game-changer that i'm not even really sure how to approach.

this is a YA novel. i've lost half of you book snobs right there. but i think that is my point. YA has been breaking free of its presumed confines for years. when i was a teen, YA novels were largely disposable, empty-calorie entertainment trifles meant to keep us off the streets, off drugs, and not full of babies. they were either morally-didactic or cheesy horror-mysteries with very little intellectual fiber. and when i finally came around on the contemporary YA fiction bandwagon, i was impressed with both the variety of topics and treatment of those topics and most importantly, the range of sophistication of the writing itself. sure, loads of them are still silly and forgettable, but there are also complete gems of books out there for stronger, smarter teen readers looking to be exposed to something new, something challenging.

and this book delivers that with a brainpunch i'm still feeling.

this is how i felt after i read beauty queens, after i read piper's son,which while they are COMPLETELY different kinds of books, did things to me that i didn't think could still be done to me, not in YA anyway. which sounds like i am undermining what i just sad about YA-sophistication, but my reaction to these titles is more about my being completely knocked off-balance as a reader, and at having my expectations about the book completely rocked, but also my expectations about what books could be.

does that make sense? because it's not that i am impressed that there are well written YA books out there - i'm beyond that realization. this is something more fundamentally mind-blowing.

i promise there is a review coming, but i really gotta work through this here. i'm all gobsmacked.

beauty queens stunned me by not being, as i had expected, about a bunch of lovely and spoiled girls going all lord of the flies and killing each other on a deserted island after a plane crash. in fact, it was the complete opposite of that storyline, which forced me to question what that said about me that i wanted that story in the first place, and brought a little tear to my soul and stirred up all the sisterhood feelings all bottled up in me. piper's son redefined the boundaries of YA commercially by having one of the two main characters be a fifty-something woman experiencing her first pregnancy. and it redefined the boundaries for me personally because it made me cry. and that doesn't happen.

and this one. this one just takes genre and convention and coyly toys with it. when you think you know what is going on, when the characters think they know what is gong on, that's when things start to go all slipstream on you.

more than this is like a giant book-jenga, with different kinds of books making up its tower, and just when you think you know what you are reading, that darn patrick ness will change the game slightly, yanking out a piece of the puzzle, slyly addressing what he is doing and what he is not doing and what he could be doing and letting the reader know that he knows what they are thinking, but think again, please! it is an aftermath novel. it is an afterlife novel. it is an afterlove novel. it is an afterloss novel.

he pulls and teases and backtracks and sidetracks in this elegant dance of misdirection and metafiction.

and then he does the unthinkable! and it's hard to even tiptoe around, and it may not count as spoiler but basically - AND THAT IS ULTIMATE MINDFUNKERY!! and it becomes this crazytime philosophical and humanist exercise, but like if solipsistic humanism was a thing, you know? it blows my freaking mind with all my brainparts that still cannot comprehend that this is a freaking YA book.

also - tomasz is the new manchee. and i love him.

i can't do anything for this book. it's too much in my heart right now.

come to my blog!!
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,992 reviews298k followers
September 13, 2013

Look. Here's the thing. I am not generous with my five star ratings. Five star readings must have shocked me or blown my mind or done something really original or otherwise awesome to get me to throw that final star in their direction. So a four star rating is, for me, really really good. I want you to remember that and realise how good this book is when I say I just expected something more from Ness. Let's make a joke about it: I just expected more than this. Ha. And maybe it's because I'm too hard on Ness. Maybe it's because I expect him to continue churning out five star books as if it's as easy as breathing. But this book made me feel like something was missing.

More Than This is a compelling read with a wonderful and diverse set of characters. It's creative and different. It has you on the edge of your seat, turning pages as fast as possible and making a nearly 500-page book fly by at an almost impossible speed. It's philosophical and clever. It's sad and creepy. It throws in some funny dialogue to lighten the incredibly dark mood. It's a great book. Really. And yet it felt like 480 pages of build-up that never actually reached a climax. But, honestly, I was never bored for a single second. I was mesmerized, horrified, confused, excited. So much so that I think the lack of a climax bothered me even more.

This book is about existentialism. It's about those old questions: what is the meaning of life, the universe and everything? What is "reality"? Is there a pattern amid this chaos or can it all really be random? And, of course, is there something more than this? Ness is a genius and I love what he does here. I love the message. I love that every answer opens up five more questions. I love that every time you and the characters think you know what's going on, he throws another surprise into the philosophical pot and stirs up this crazy story a bit more. And what it all comes down to, what this whole book is really doing, is answering that question above all questions: do any of the answers really matter anyway?

Ness also finds himself back in familiar territory when telling the story of unlikely friendships blooming in the most unexpected places. He isn't the kind of author who wastes secondary characters and he delivers small pieces of heart-breaking humanity to even the most fleeting glimpses of those we never see again. I love authors that can do this. It lends an extra layer of believability to the story when it feels like that person who only appeared for a couple of pages went on living past what we saw of them. I was also delighted to see a gay protagonist; there is still nowhere near enough of them in YA books, but then I suppose Ness has never shied away from breaking the mold.

I do love me some existentialist philosophy and More Than This is full of quotes that could give me goosebumps if I spent too long thinking about them. I guess there's always something a bit scary about it, isn't there? When some book (or whatever) lays out a haunting piece of truth that you didn't even realise you knew was true until you read or heard it. Then you're like: Oh shit, yeah. That's true. That's life. That's me. Ness just writes about things we all feel or worry about or obsess over. And he writes about it beautifully. Here's a couple of quotes I liked but there were so many more:

"Haven't you ever felt like there has to be more? Like there's more out there somewhere, just beyond your grasp, if you could only get to it..."

"People see stories everywhere," Regine says. "That's what my father used to say. We take random events and we put them together in a pattern so we can comfort ourselves with a story, no matter how much it obviously isn't true. We have to lie to ourselves to live. Otherwise, we'd go crazy."

So, believe me, I liked this. If you're excited about More Than This, you can stay excited. If you're thinking about maybe reading this, I say YES! If you didn't really like his other books but think this sounds pretty interesting, I again say YES because this isn't anything like his other books. It's just me, I guess, always expecting too much from Ness. Just being stupid. Just being human and always expecting more than this. Ha.
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
December 2, 2020
“A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while.”

You should read this.
Because it is beautiful.
Because it is scary.
Because it is mind-blowing.
Because it is nothing like you expect it to be.
Because it is hard not to love Tommy.
Because it is a book like no other.

Find more of my books on Instagram
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.5k followers
January 3, 2019
A book that literally starts with the main character dying and waking up... that's how you make me pick up your book.

More Than This is a YA coming of age book with some LGBTQ+ representation that follow the main character as he struggles to figure out if there's more after life.

Very interesting concept, the book will keep you on your toes and the writing will keep you engage.

(4.5) Totally recommend!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
August 11, 2018
huh. what an interestingly bizarre story.

ness’ ‘chaos walking’ trilogy is one of my favourite series ever, so i was very eager to finally read some of his other works - but this was not what i was expecting. it was a little strange, a little confusing, but somewhat intriguing.

this rating probably deserves to be higher, but i just dont think i was in the right mindset for something that was so… out there. and i think i need to learn how to set a book aside when that happens and pick it up when im ready, rather than just pushing through it, because its not really fair to the book. and theres honestly nothing wrong with this story - the ending was actually quite moving - it just caught me at a bad time and didnt really hold my interest as much as i wanted it to.

however, i will say this is the perfect book for someone looking for a well-written but quirky sci-fi/dystopian novel that develops nicely into a lovely message!

3 stars
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,818 followers
December 30, 2013
After reading:


Well. I guess it's no secret that I'm obsessed with Patrick Ness's work and I worship the ground he walks on and yada yada. I anticipated this book for a long time and then put off reading it forever because ... I don't know, I guess I was nervous that it wouldn't live up to my expectations.

But I shouldn't have doubted, because this book was fantastic. Very emotional, intense, vivid, and engaging, and with a great cast of characters. There are still some things about it that confused me, and I have to digest it for a while ... but over all I still loved it. Not as much as the Chaos Walking series (although I kind of doubt I'll ever love anything that much) but it was still amazing.

Full review:

Coming eventually!


Before reading:

UPDATE: AAHHH NOW THERE'S AN EXCERPT. OMGGGG. Ugh it was too short. But it was beautifully written and so mysterious and intriguing and I NEED THIS BOOK NOW.




Well, whatever it is, I'm sure it'll be amazing as balls because everything Patrick Ness touches turns to gold.





Profile Image for Lara.
4,154 reviews340 followers
September 18, 2013



Okay, so, I totally don't know what to make of Patrick Ness at this point. I hated The Knife of Never Letting Go (couldn't even finish it), and absolutely loved A Monster Calls. This? Like I said.

I think the concept is pretty interesting up to a point. And I liked the characters up to a point. And the various mysteries kept me interested up to a point. And, okay, the very very end is really good. I get what Ness is saying here (I think?), but I wish this book were only about half as long as it actually is. And I wish that the action were less over-the-top-sci-fi-action-movie ridiculous and that the creepy parts were...creepier. And I wish I had been more convinced by Thomasz's speech patterns.

The thing is, I really enjoyed the beginning. And then I found myself like 150 pages in and still nothing much had happened. And by the time stuff finally did start happening and new characters got introduced and things started to be explained a little (or at least postulated about), I just didn't really care all that much anymore. I never did manage to connect again (ha!).

I think that for whatever reason the real life and sci-fi aspects just didn't mesh well for me, maybe because I had a hard time taking either world seriously--neither ended up feeling entirely believable to me. I don't know, maybe that's the point.

Anyway, in the end this one is more like a 2.5 for me. Definitely more than just okay, but I really can't quite say that I liked it.

Does that make me a horrible person? :(
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
February 18, 2016
I'm not sure what I was expecting that to be, but it was not that....in the best way possible.

I loved the characters and the plot and the world......but I don't really want to say much about them.

I'm of the opinion of most everyone else that you should go in knowing as little as possible about this book!
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,096 reviews17.7k followers
May 11, 2019
"People see stories everywhere," Regine says. "That's what my father used to say. We take random events and we put them together in a pattern so we can comfort ourselves with a story, no matter how much it obviously isn't true. We have to lie to ourselves to live. Otherwise, we'd go crazy."

This is a book about hope. More Than This is about existentialism and is stuffed with insane plot twists. Yes, true. But more importantly, this book tells us there's always hope, as long as we hold on, as long as we don't let go. It's such an important message and it's so well executed and I just love terrible books with hopeful endings?? So much??

More Than This follows a boy who dies and wakes up in his childhood home in England, thinking he's in hell. From there, things get weirder... and more intriguing. All you really need to know is that I picked this up at 9 pm, thinking I would just read a bit before bed. I somehow finished at 1 am - yes, I did read this 500+ page book in four hours flat - and I don't even regret it.

♔ The plot is mind-blowing. Every twist is built up so well and makes so much sense, but there's no way to guess any of these twists. Nothing's out of left field, but you don't see any of them coming either. It's the perfect balance. Ness makes the book so suspenseful and intriguing it's impossible to put down. This is a 480-page book, and I did not put it down once.

♚ While parts are open to interpretation, and the ending is a bit open, this book doesn't completely leave you hanging. There are answers to the big questions in the actual plot. But given that this book is about mortality, don't expect to get through this without analyzing it and asking yourself "What does this even mean??"

♔ I know a few reviewers hate the ending, but I somewhat... adore the ending. Okay, it's a little confusing, but it doesn't feel like copy-out. I think the somewhat open ending was fitting for this story - it's hopeful, but not unconditionally happy than anything we could've gotten otherwise, let's face it.

♚ Despite being written in third person, it's easy to feel empathy for the main character, Seth. Seth feels like a real, fully formed person; he is just that well-written. His relationship made me cry actual tears. There are so many multifaceted, developed side characters here as well - no one is one-off.

VERDICT: A powerful, well-written, and mindblowing story. I honestly cannot recommend this enough— it's just too good.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,452 reviews2,406 followers
January 16, 2022
I like this book so much! Gave me the thrills of I, Robot plus The Terminator 2 plus The Matrix plus The X-Men vibes throughout the 4 parts fo the book!

The dystopian feels got so real! And wow. I did check the publication year because I really wanted to believe this book didn't get published that many years ago (of course, it did!).

But hell yes, this book talks real sht.

***Calm down, reader. Calm down***

*Warnings for domestic violence, self-harm, suicidal tendencies, death and grief, homophobic and racist remarks

I love the flawed characters too much! They are so real. I love Seth, Tomasz (get over it, Tam!) and Regine. I love this trio so much!

And I did cry knowing their story and tried my best to understand which world they were in.

Yes, the story has some flaws towards the later half. Because most part of the book was built up quite strong that I just couldn't help myself to expect a bit more towards how the story would end.

Well, the ending was a bit underwhelming but the characters are developed in such a way that the story ended well and wholesome.

Love, love, love the writing!

It felt like the book was only a few hundred pages while I was reading it. Yes, it's that fast-paced and interesting!

***I love saying "Tomasz" too! Like annoyingly. Repetitively. 😌
Profile Image for Lucie.
100 reviews30 followers
July 29, 2020

A boy drowns, alone, in a cold turbulent ocean, waves smashing him into the unforgiving rocks. He succumbs to broken bones, lack of oxygen, and hypothermia... and dies.

.....Then he wakes up. WAIT. What!??

Seth finds himself completely naked, dirty, thirsty, lying on a deserted sidewalk in a completely desolate, empty city. Not another soul in sight.

Ummm...... WHERE is he? What IS this abandoned place?? Is he...... DEAD??? What is happening????

This story takes you on the quest to answer those same recurring questions.... What IS life? Is it real? Is it imagined? Are we dreaming? What happens when we die?? Is there something more than this? More than we currently know?

The ending is purposefully left open to interpretation, but you're given enough information to be able to decipher what you believe and make up your own mind. This is a very thought-provoking story with plenty of heart-stopping moments that will leave you breathless. I just loved this one.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,987 followers
August 20, 2018

While I try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, my overall impression of this book may this time be a spoiler in itself, so proceed with caution!

This is a fairly mind warping dystopian mystery left open to so much interpretation after 470 pages, it's kind of amazing. I mean, after that many pages you would think you have some pretty good idea about what is going on. But, instead, each page adds more to the mystery.

This book was very easy to be intrigued by. The writing is very good and the troubled characters fascinating. Sometimes dystopias can be cheesy and/or way too unbelievable to be taken seriously. But, in this one it was so well presented I just wanted to find out more. Also, I give this book a big thumbs up for keeping me interested and not wanting to put it down.

If asked to come up with a complaint, the only thing might be a little repetition here and there, but not enough to ruin it. Also, some of the ideas are not completely original in sci-fi, but not so much to feel like any of it was taken word for word or idea for idea - just shades of other sci-fi tropes.

Dystopian/speculative fiction fans, if you haven't read this, you should. It may become one of your new favorites!

Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
940 reviews14k followers
November 6, 2015
This is a genius idea for a book. It's hard to talk about because it's great going into without knowing much, but I will say I really enjoyed this. From the gay main character to the addicting premise, it was fabulous. I just found myself not really able to connect to the characters, and the ending was a bit too ambiguous for me. But I highly recommend this!
Profile Image for La Coccinelle.
2,251 reviews3,562 followers
April 18, 2014
This is the first book by Patrick Ness that I've read. Judging by some of the other one-star reviews on Goodreads written by fans of his other books (particularly the Chaos Walking trilogy), More Than This may not be a very good representation of his work. Unfortunately, it was my first exposure to the author, and it didn't make a very good first impression. In fact, it made an awful one.

The synopsis of this book makes it sound like it might be some sort of philosophically deep psychological thriller. What this book actually is, however, is an implausible, unoriginal sci-fi dystopian that rambles through almost five hundred pages just to come to the conclusion that life is uncertain and nobody has all the answers. There's no resolution to the ridiculous plot. We don't even know what's real and what isn't.

The characterization was weak. Beyond the racial stereotypes of the angry black woman and the Polish kid whose English (supposedly gleaned from English-language movies) sounds more like something he picked up from other non-English speakers ("She would very much like to be hearing you talk this way. Yes, she would be very much liking this indeed."), we have Seth, who might as well have been any other teenage boy. He's gay, he likes to run, and he blames himself for a tragedy in his past. Beyond this, his character isn't really developed.

The pace and writing, though, were what had me making copious angry notes. I'd heard that Patrick Ness was a really good writer. Well, I'm sorry, but I don't think that someone who doesn't know the difference between further and farther, between who and whom, and between any more and anymore; who has his characters shrug, smile, nod, and frown their speech; and who continually says things like "nothing still happens" is a very good writer. In fact, with the exception of that last example (which may or may not be some weird regional thing), those are pretty basic concepts that a writer -- and an editor -- should know. And this book was excruciatingly slow. I almost gave up at the point where it took Seth a couple of pages just to decide whether or not to pass through a doorway. So much of the story seemed dragged out unnecessarily. There would be parts where one of the characters would imply that they had an answer to something they'd been wondering, but then it was almost as if they said, "I know, but I'm not going to tell you!" This happened more than once, and it was extremely frustrating. Just get on with it.

The narrative is mostly from Seth's point of view (third person, present tense), and it's often in a stream-of-consciousness style. I say "often", because it wasn't really consistent. Some parts read like a middle-grade action novel while other parts read (or wanted to be) like deadly serious literary fiction; the last chapter was especially treacly. There were flashbacks throughout the story, which were related in the past tense. I thought, perhaps, there was a clue within them that would lead to some earth-shattering realization and make everything in the rest of the book make sense. But they were even weaker and more boring than the main narrative, and perhaps ultimately pointless (depending on your interpretation of the ending).

I also didn't think this book was very original. Large parts of the plot seemed like a direct ripoff from sci-fi movies like The Matrix. But, unlike that story, More Than This didn't offer any plausible explanations (or a coherent timeline) for why things were the way they were. The only way the plot even makes sense is if More Than This takes place in a parallel universe, where they somehow went from the technological level of using CRT monitors and not having cell phones to suddenly being able to breed human beings in sophisticated computerized coffins while their consciousnesses are otherwise occupied in an illusory online world. That's quite a technological leap.

I kept waiting for there to be something more to More Than This, but, ironically, there wasn't. In the end, I found it trite, preachy, unsophisticated, and unsatisfying. Maybe the author's other books are better than this one, and maybe they're not. But I'm afraid he's used up my goodwill for now. I'm off to read something better, something more. That shouldn't be too hard.

April 18, 2019
Q: Know yourself and go in swinging... (c) And the book does exactly that.

Speculative fiction cross dystopian cross teenage drama at its best.
A book... It's a world all on its own, too. ... A world made of words... where you live for a while. ...
And then it's over... (c)
People see stories everywhere...We take random events and we put them together in a pattern so we can comfort ourselves with a story, no matter how much it obviously isn't true...
We have to lie to ourselves to live. Otherwise, we'd go crazy. (c)
There's always beauty, if you know where to look (c)
... it's possible to die before you die. (c)
... imagine there’s this thing that always sits there in the room with you. And everyone knows it’s there and no one will ever say a single goddamn word about it until it becomes like an extra person living in your house that you have to make room for. And if you bring it up, they pretend they don’t know what you’re talking about. (c)
Something I chose to forget because it didn’t fit in with how shit everything was. (c)
Life does not have to go how you think it will... Not even when you are very sure what is going to happen. (c)
People ask for what they need in different ways. Sometimes by not even asking for it at all. (c)
They’re weak and strong and they make mistakes, like anyone, like he has. And love and care have all kinds of different faces, and within them, there’s room for understanding, and for forgiveness, and for more. (c)
If there really is more to life, I want to live all of it. (c)
There’s always beauty... If you know where to look. (c)
Haven't you ever felt like there has to be more? Like there's more out there somewhere, just beyond your grasp, if you could only get to it... (c)
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. (c)
When they were together like that, they had been their own private universe, bounded just by themselves, a population of two. They were the world, and the world was them. (c)
... what I've learned is that there actually is more. There's you guys. You guys are my more. (c)
Where did you learn English? The 1950s? (c)
He readied himself to let go, to plunge in, to begin the swim out into the farther cold, out into the terrible, terrible freedom that awaited.

He was here. He had made it this far. There was so very little distance left to go, and he was the one who had brought himself here.

It was almost over. He was almost there.

He had never, not once in his life, felt this powerful. (c)
Self-contained ... Worse, it had been accompanied by an equally hard lifelong yearning, a feeling that there had to be more, more than just all this weight.
Because if there wasn't, what was the point? (c)
Profile Image for Grace (BURTSBOOKS).
153 reviews361 followers
June 9, 2018
um, hi, no one talks about this and it pisses me off.

Want a book that tackles topics such as suicide, mental illness, sexuality and homophobia in respectful and realistic ways???

Do you also want entertainment, to die for characters, political intrigue and all that sci-fi goodness??

Read this book. Stop what you're doing and read this book. It might have been lost in the surplus of new releases over the past few years but it still rings so true, and I will never not recommend this book to everyone. It is absolutely chilling and in the best way possible.
Profile Image for Victoria Resco.
Author 7 books25.6k followers
November 3, 2021
Sigo aclarando mis pensamientos respecto a este libro, pero lo que sí voy a decir es: bruh que carajo el final
Profile Image for Noelle.
373 reviews247 followers
June 12, 2015
Oh, it's Ness review-writing time?

Here's the thing with reviewing Patrick Ness books: I don't want you to read reviews of Patrick Ness books. I want to Panda slap your laptop out of your hand before allowing you to read any details about Patrick Ness books. I want you to skip GO, do not collect $200 dollars and JUST FREAKING READ THEM ALREADY. Save the review browsing for after.

Which might be a bit scandalous to say as a book blogger (goodbye page views!) but: 1) I don't want you to get spoiled because part of the fun of reading Ness is feeling like you are a reaction GIF brought to life, and 2) Preconceptions and Ness books just don't mix.

Your brain will try to fill in the blanks and make assumptions--specifically that you can try and guess where the story is going in Part One. Patrick Ness will smile to himself, suddenly amused on the other side of the planet, not quite knowing why. Part Two comes around and you'll chuckle ruefully. That Ness, he gets you every time! But you've read a book before, you know where Part Three is going, right? RIGHT? Part Four comes along and there you are lying in the fetal position in your driveway as Ness lays down rubber doing donuts around you while screaming "MWAHAHAHAHA!" out the window.

We've all been there.

I always thought one of the best things about Patrick Ness was the beauty of not being sure where he was leading you but being willing to open up and experience the journey. Ness has made that thought into a book.

"I'll just see", he says. "That's all I'll do. I'll just see what's next."

What's next takes the universal feeling of being sure there must be More Than This, focuses it into a tight close up shot of a teenage boy's dying face and then pulls it back all the way to the atmosphere. Detailed personal agonies let go to boundless breadths of emotion.

I somehow didn't cry until page 381.

More Than This is unconventional. It might test your patience and expectations as a reader. But, as a reader, haven't you ever read a book and wondered, isn't there more than this? Well, my dears. This is it.

4.5 stars

This review originally appeared at Young Adult Anonymous
YAA received an ARC of this book from the publishers.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,635 reviews34k followers
November 25, 2013
4.5 stars Terrific blend of I Am Legend + Twilight Zone + The Matrix. I don't love the implied cautionary tale re: technology, but I do love the story structure, characters, and writing. Thomasz has particularly great speech patterns and dialogue, and the story never feels cliche or boring--no small feat when the first 30% consists almost entirely of Seth on his own.

Best read knowing as little about it as possible.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,049 followers
June 8, 2023
I honestly have no idea what to say about the book. To be honest, it was a bit slow and up to more than 250 pages, I was still debating with myself on whether to finish it or not but there is just something about the book which I could not explain that manages to pull me back into it. It’s probably the author’s ability to make the reader ponder on life’s meaning and ambiguities. I guess it’s called "More Than This" for a reason. True to its title, it is going to be more than what you think it is. In the end, some might get pissed while some might be surprised. I was both. To others, that’s the strongest recommendation there is. ;)

Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.5k followers
January 27, 2022
i don't remember anything about this book, but i do know that i also didn't know a thing about it going in, and that i really liked it.

so i'm going to venture to say that you should all, according to 2015 me, read this and read it without knowledge or expectation.

but maybe you shouldn't listen to her. she was kind of a freak.

part of a series i'm doing in which i review books i read a long time ago
Profile Image for Spencer.
290 reviews60 followers
July 10, 2015

“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.”


Actual rating: 4.5 Stars

Patrick Ness has sold me on all of his other books by reading this one. I've read A Monster Calls and immediately after finishing More Than This, I decided to order the Chaos Walking Trilogy. I will buy anything this man writes.

1) The Plot

This book starts off with our main character's, Seth, death. He remembers dying but when he wakes up, he isn't dead. He wakes up by himself in an abandoned place that he thinks is his own personal hell. He starts wondering if there is (wait for it) more than this. (Get it?) I know it's cheesy, but I had to.

This book will make you question everything you know. This book is so thought-provoking, and a book that will take your brain on a roller coaster. This would make one hell of a movie.

Upon finishing...

2) The Characters

This book mostly resolves around Seth and I really love Seth. I can relate to some of Seth's experiences, and I found him to be very relatable. I liked all of the other side characters, too!

There isn't that much to say about the characters, so on to the next category.

3)The Writing

I could read Patrick Ness's writing until the day I die. His writing makes you feel like you are there in the story. His writing is so descriptive and immersive. I love his writing, and I must read more!

4) Conclusion

This book was wonderful, SO close to being five full stars. If you want a book that will mess your mind up, then this is the book for you. Really enjoyed it, would highly recommend.

★★★★.5/ 5 stars

Profile Image for Trudi.
615 reviews1,455 followers
November 15, 2013

Patrick Ness is a magnificent storyteller and master wordsmith in possession of a vibrant imagination. His Chaos Walking trilogy is tremendously unique and exciting, and his A Monster Calls brought me to my knees with its merciless emotional elegance and purity of Truth.

More Than This shows glimpses of greatness, but never quite reaches that level of soul-satisfying, heart-stopping, mind-melting resolution for me. It's an existential tale of seeking -- the search for meaning, for Truth, for understanding and forgiveness and discovery of self -- where redemption and final destination are displaced for the all important journey. This is a story without a climax, a story which poses many questions and offers no definitive answers.

Is it a metaphor? An allegory? A sci-fi adventure?

The characters are great. I loved them. Especially Tomasz. I want an entire book just of that kid. Seth's back story and his relationship with Gudmund (while taking up very few pages of the novel) burns bright, so vivid, so emotional. I quickly became astonishingly invested in their story after only a few scenes, in what they meant to each other and how they expressed their thoughts and feelings. So tenderly realized. There were times I did not want to return to the "other story" going on, I so wanted to stay with these two and find out everything about them -- everything that came before and everything to come after.

Patrick Ness, you need to write a love story. I believe you have it in you to break all of our hearts.

But this is not that book. This is something else. It defies categorization, and sometimes that's a wonderful, brilliant thing. Here, I'm left feeling a little let down and yearning for more.
Profile Image for Bea.
196 reviews108 followers
November 21, 2018
5 huge stars for one of my favourite books of all time!

So. Damn. Good. Always wishing for a sequel as that ending is JAW DROPPING because you REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MAIN CHARACTER. What is it with Patrick Ness and cliffhangers anyway? I've read 7 of his books (this was the first I read) and four of the ones I've read (including all books in the chaos walking trilogy) ended with cliffhangers? I NEED MORE SEQUELS.


This is me reading this the second time round and I have to say I enjoyed it slightly less but it still had me feeling most of the emotions from the first read. This time I noticed I liked the first half of the book (where the ONLY character is Seth for about 170 pages of the book) more than the second half, when others are introduced, however I still enjoyed it immensely. This is easily still my favourite Patrick Ness book close to the Chaos Walking trilogy.

Would recommend if you like something a bit philosophical and out of your comfort zone, it does get weird. (but amazing)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mai.
200 reviews115 followers
September 12, 2016

Review Updat: I just noticed that Patrick Ness chose only one design for the cover for all editions and versions, and it doesn't take an FBI agent to divulge the deepest, darkest secrets of the mysterious book cover, and to why Patrick Ness has never changed it.

I feel like I've been severely beaten up by an Arnold Schwarzenegger, I mean, I'm seriously sore all over, and I thought a human being can't have a sore brain, but oh, there's always more to everything.

I've never thought that an inanimate object as innocent as a book would actually have this effect on me. I've been flipping through the pages and every page felt like a punch in the stomach, face, nose, even a poke in the eye! I'm beaten up and I like it.

I didn't expect this book to go like that, I didn't expect to enter such a game, all pixels and Super Mario-ish things. I was fighting to understand or to help the characters understand what was going on but even when I did Patrick Ness would simply prove us all wrong, would send a blow that'd throw away every stupid conclusion because it's not it, it's always more than you think always more than you read!

The writing was mesmerizing, wicked and beautiful. The gay main character was a soft, down to earth and broken human being who is loved at first sight, I loved him and his soft confused voice. The characters were so REAL, the only real thing about this book but you wouldn't know where they really do belong to.

I think the idea of the book is pretty clear, but it's been beautifully put in such a wonderful/incredible way that you just want the book to go on forever, you would want to know the more and the more and the more. You'd want more than this. Always.

Nothing you'll ever read in this book is right, nor wrong for that matter. Unless Patrick Ness reveals what this book really is, we won't know for sure and we all will stick to our weak conclusions.

No two persons ever read the same More Than This.
Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,042 followers
May 2, 2015
Patrick Ness? More like Patrick YESSSSSSSSSS.

Man, did this book give my mind a hard fucking. It's the kind of book that, from the very first page, immediately makes you want to know:

A.) What happened,
B.) What is happening, and
C.) What's going to happen.

Of course, those three questions would only be three out of the seven hundred and fifty thousand nine hundred and twenty six other questions you'll have swirling around in your head, and unfortunately only half of that will probably get answered in the end.

This book is definitely a play-with-your-mind, makes-you-question-your-existence-and-contemplate-reality, will-possibly-give-you-many-a-nightmares-for-a-significant-amount-of-time kind of wonderful. Loved every second of it.
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
614 reviews87.8k followers
April 14, 2017
The writing was fantastic, it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Honestly it was an incredible book, but not the kind I like to read, thus the slightly low rating.
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