Author(s): Patrick Ness
A boy called Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. How is that possible? 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 neighbourhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust and completely abandoned. What's going on?
"Books are often described as ‘mind-blowing,’ but this is one of the few books in which, while reading it, I have exclaimed aloud, ‘Oh. My. God.’ on multiple occasions. I won’t tell you anything else about it. Just read it." — John Green
"Patrick Ness is very, very good at beginnings. I thought it would be hard to match the opening line of The Knife of Never Letting Go: "The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say." But he managed it in the second and third books of the Chaos Walking trilogy, as well as in the multi-award-winning A Monster Calls. Now he's outdone himself. His latest novel for teenagers starts with a sentence that had me instantly hooked: "Here is the boy, drowning."
Things quickly become even more intriguing. The boy – we soon discover he's a teenager – struggling in a freezing, turbulent sea, is thrown against some rocks and dies. But then he returns to consciousness, finding himself in the suburb where he spent his childhood, although it appears to be deserted. He wonders if he has arrived in some bizarre hell. The truth, however, is much stranger and far more terrifying.
I have a feeling More Than This might cause a few collywobbles among some grown-ups because it features a gay relationship, so I suppose that puts it firmly in Young Adult territory. There's nothing explicit, though, just Ness's trademark tenderness for his characters, good and bad.
And yes, Ness is very, very good at endings, too – this one has a corker. I might just have to start a collection of his last lines, as well as his first." - Tony Bradman The Guardian
Patrick Ness is the author of the critically-acclaimed and bestselling Chaos Walking trilogy, as well as the Carnegie Medal-winning A Monster Calls, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd. Among the numerous awards he has received are the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the Costa Children's Book Award. Born in Virginia, he lives in Bromley, Kent.