Author: Patrick Ness

Early Review – More Than This by Patrick Ness

July 19, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013, YA 3 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – More Than This by Patrick NessMore Than This by Patrick Ness
Published by Candlewick Press on September 10th 2013
Pages: 480
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: A Monster Calls

four-stars

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. . .

‘Haven’t you ever felt like there had to be more? Like there’s more out there somewhere, just beyond your grasp, and if you could only get to it…’

Imagine you wake up unaware of where you are or how you got there but the last thing you remember is dying. You died, yet somehow you didn’t because you’re obviously still alive, right? But imagine that you wake up in a world that seems strange; off somehow. And you can’t find a single soul, it’s as if the world has been completely emptied leaving only you. This is the situation Seth finds himself in.’He can feel himself teetering again, an abyss of confusion and despair looking right back at him, threatening to swallow him if he so much as glances at it.’This is such an engrossing tale. I was riveted and couldn’t put this down. I went into this with a completely different set of expectations but they were completely dashed. The beginning of this tale had the same feel of quiet desolation that The Road has and I was enthralled, but Ness turned this into a total game. Just when you think you finally have a grasp on what’s really going on he not only removes some vital piece of evidence but completely transforms the landscape. And this happened many, many times. I was still attempting to get a good grasp on what was truly happening with only 5 pages remaining. It’s tagged as YA but involves such a sophisticated storyline that makes it vastly different than anything out there. I can’t think of a single book to compare it to and that’s a wonderful thing. I hope that the YA designation doesn’t deter typical adult readers. I hope that the philosophical designation doesn’t deter YA readers. Suffice it to say, this book needs no designation and is something that I recommend to all for the mind-boggling experience this entails.’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.”More Than This’ is an incredibly multi-layered and surprisingly philosophical story about how your outlook and interpretation on life has the power to change…everything. It’s about living life and realizing that there is always something more to live for and always… more than this.

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Book Review – A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

October 13, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 2 Comments

Book Review – A Monster Calls by Patrick NessA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Published by Candlewick Press on September 15, 2011
Pages: 224
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: More Than This

five-stars

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...

This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

I can understand now why many readers had difficulty reviewing this book now that I have read it myself.

The Story
Conor, a 13 year old boy dealing with his dying mother and absent father is visited by a monster one night who says that he will tell him three stories and then Conor will tell his story. Confused by the monster’s presence and his purpose for being there, the monster simply says:

’Stories are important. They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth.’

Who is this monster and what is his purpose? This is the basis of the story so I won’t ruin it for those of you who have yet to read this. With that said, the monster was such a revelation to me as I was clearly anticipating something different. Not bad different, just different.

Overall Thoughts
This was a beautiful yet heartbreaking tale of a boy having to survive the hardships of life at a very young age. This is a children’s book and the writing is very simplistic and straight forward; however, it can still be fully appreciated by all, so please don’t let the targeted age group dissuade you. Be prepared to need a tissue (or give) as this is a tragic novel that will have you feeling it completely. I know I did.

After taking the advice of a GR friend (Wendy :D) I held off on reading the e-book until I got my hands on the real book. Let me tell you… the illustrations are truly amazing and brings something wonderful to this story. They are an experience in and of itself. (See her wonderful review with a few of the illustrations and a link to the webpage of illustrator, Jim Kay, here.

As I finished this book, I turned to look at my boyfriend and the look on my face must have said it all. He asks me if I’m okay. I wasn’t sure how to answer him. It brings out an abundance of emotions and makes it difficult to fully comprehend how exactly you’re feeling.

A very valuable lesson is in between the pages of this little gem. When your monster comes and visits you in the night, how will you respond? Will you turn it away and refuse to accept its existence? Or will you accept it for you and what it is? This is certainly one book that I plan on purchasing so I can go back to it time and time again. Definitely a must read for anyone.

’You do not write your life with words. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.’

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