More Than This (Patrick Ness)

I skimmed through a lot of Goodreads reviews and even the synopsis on Goodreads and unfortunately, I did not see it anywhere being mentioned that this was a dystopian novel.

I went into this book knowing it starts with the protagonist’s death and he wakes up.

So in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘hmmm… seems like there’s something left for him to learn if there’s life after death’. I’m ready for the philosophy, I’m ready for what went wrong in the protagonist’s life.

But this book… for most of the first 129 pages, it explores the world our protagonist wakes up to. In between, we have a couple of pages dedicated to our protagonist’s past which show that he does have something to hide. But see, I went into this book wanting to know what it is the protagonist is hiding. And so the worldbuilding sort of came in the way of me getting to know the protagonist’s life. And it’s like I have to force myself to read about this world I don’t bloody care about before I can reach my protagonist’s life story. And it’s like the author purposely put off writing about our protagonist’s life to force the reader to continue on.

But here’s where this has become my mistake. This book is essentially a dystopian novel. And so it is only right that this book is all about our protagonist exploring this new world.

Our protagonist’s life is the filler, the story is in the world and what this world expects of our protagonist.

So at this point, I’m just upset that I wasn’t well-informed of the type of book this was before going into it. I’ve seen reviewers saying ‘this is a book you shouldn’t have to know much before going into to enjoy it’ and I’m calling BS. You at least have to know the genre. You at least have to know the main mood of the book. Because this book is all bleak – it makes sense cause it’s dystopian, but I didn’t know that and I got really annoyed at how continuously bleak it was.

So I will have to go back to reading this book at another time when I’m in the mood to read about a new world because I actually really like our protagonist, Seth.

But for another day.

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