Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Early Review: More Than This by Patrick Ness

More Than This by Patrick Ness
Reviewed by Noelle: September 3, 2013
(YAA received an ARC of this book from the publishers)
(Will be) Published on September 10, 2013 by Candlewick Press
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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.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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