More Than This

More Than This

Patrick Ness

First Sentence:     Here is the boy, drowning.

Back of the book:

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. 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 is 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 neighbourhood 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…

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A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness

First Sentence: The monster showed up just after midnight.

A Monster Calls deals with a young boy, Conor O’Malley, and how he deals with his mother’s terminal cancer. It’s not often I read books aimed at children but I was a fan of the Chaos Walking Trilogy and so I was looking forward to this greatly. It didn’t disappoint. Beautifully illustrated throughout by Jim Kay (click the cover for a sample), it is a deeply moving story that deals with a very difficult subject in a compassionate and realistic way. Conor is having difficulties dealing with his mother’s illness and he has a recurring nightmare where she is falling and he cannot hang on to her. Added to this is problems with bullies, his overbearing grandmother and his absent father. (Not to mention the yew tree monster who has started visiting him every night at 12:07). All in all this is a hugely enjoyable read, one I enjoyed a lot more than some other so-called literary books.

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