Image Credit: Publisher

Afterlife. Haven’t you ever wondered about it?

A teenage boy, Seth, hates his life. He feels alone and depressed. Everyone who he ever loved has left him and he felt that there was ‘nothing more’.

After Seth drowns, he finds himself stranded in front of his desolated childhood home in England. There is no living thing in sight. He is alone, again.

Patrick Ness’ novel ‘More Than This’ is a four-part book that follows the journey of Seth in what he thinks is the afterlife. When first reading the blurb, I expected a clichéd story of ghosts haunting you. ‘More Than This’ is a philosophical book that kept me reading till the break of dawn, praying for a sequel. With perfectly placed flashbacks intertwined in to the story, I could see how life was like for Seth. After every chapter, I slowly began to understand why Seth ended up where he was, and how he got there.

I got hooked on to the book from the very first chapter. It screamed adolescence and the teenage mind. Seth felt that his parents were too distant as they were putting all their attention towards his younger brother, Owen, who had psychological damage. Seth’s best friends were closing up on him. This aspect of the book is relatable to all adolescents as we start to understand ourselves and the world around us. While doing so, we teenagers tend to ignore the ones we love and believe that they are blocking us out.

Ness managed to put an unusual blend of genres in to this book. It is primarily science fiction, but can easily be categorised as philosophical, mystery or contemporary.

More Than This’ was the first book I read by him and I fell in love with his writing. I learnt that it is definitely hard for all of us to make sense of everything in the world but, we need to realise that our perceptions aren’t reality.

After reading the book, we are left with only one question: Is the life we are living actually real, or just a figment of our imagination?


— The reader is a student based in Dubai.