“I wanted so badly for there to be more. I ached for there to be more than my crappy little life.' He shakes his head. 'And there was more. I just couldn't see it.”
So let me start by saying, I am not a YA fan. Not at all. I avoid them for a variety of reasons, not least of all the fact that I hated being a young adult. My teenage years were ridiculously angst ridden and difficult. I was also a major pain in the ass who thought the whole world revolved around me and I find I have no desire to read about someone who is going through that same awful rite of passage and a book preaching at you about how it is all going to get better.
“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 one of those books. Very much so in fact. With one major difference. It just didn't feel preachy to me. Life can be shit. Especially when you are a teenager and the smallest of things can feel like your entire world is crumbling but there is still beauty to be found in it and this book shows you that in a really non-condescending way. A way that I think would have appealed to me when I felt like I was drowning in the dystopian wasteland that was secondary school (high school).
“You said we all want there to be more than this! Well, there's always more than this. There's always something you don't know.”
Seth's journey is extreme and it is terribly sad but I also think it is one that most of us can, in some way, relate to. There are times (probably many) in our lives when we can't see the woods for the trees. When it feels like we are alone and nobody understands. But by giving it time or by someone slapping you up side the head and telling you the world does not revolve around you, you can sometimes get to see the bigger picture and come to the understanding that you are not alone and this is life and there is a lot of beauty in it.
“There's always beauty, if you know where to look.”
Note on ending: So this book kind of just ends. It really leaves it up to the reader to decide what happens next and I was more than happy with that as I have a theory which I've decided is 100% how it ends. Some people may not love this kind of ending though, so it's worth keeping in mind that you won't get all the answers to all the questions that are raised in it. I think that's pretty much the point.
I feel it's important that I mention Tomasz. He pretty much stole the show for me. I wanted him on every page near the end. So wise.
“Life does not have to go how you think it will,” Tomasz says. “Not even when you are very sure what is going to happen.”