The Bitter End by Ann Evans and Robert D.Tysall

Paul finally has his life back on track. After losing his wife, Helena in a horrific car crash, he has found love with Sally and moves into her country cottage.  
As a former high-ranking Naval Officer, Paul now works as Head of Security at MI5.
Paul has no memories from before he was ten years old. An accident left him in a coma for 9 months.  But was it really an accident?
Soon Paul starts to have flashes of childhood memories, all involving his childhood friend, Owen.
Sally introduces him to her friend, Juliet, the owner of a craft shop. Paul is shocked when he is introduced to Juliet’s partner, his old friend Owen.
Flashes of memories continue to haunt Paul, particularly the memory of his first wife Helena burning in the car crash.
As dark things start to happen, and local people begin dying in horrific accidents, Paul must face his past and will end up fighting for his life.

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Book Review; More Than This by Patrick Ness

Image courtesy of walker.co.uk

Shamefully I only discovered Patrick Ness' books earlier this year when I read - and loved The Crane Wife, which I reviewed here. Since then I've read his superlative YA "Chaos Walking" trilogy and consider him to be one of the most exciting writers working today. It's no understatement then to say I was desperately looking forward to reading More Than This, particularly after the early reviews started to be published. The moment the book arrived - and what a beauty it is, with a cover that demanded to be stroked - I dived straight in.
In More Than This, Ness has returned to writing YA fiction but to believe that this book is just for young adults would be a huge mistake. Ness says he wrote the book because most teenagers will at some point think "there must be more than this" but we were all that teen once and this is a book that I believe has the intelligence, wit and humanity to speak to us all.
The story starts with the main protagonist, Seth, dying ("Here is the boy, drowning" is such a great first line.) and make no mistake Seth definitely dies here. Then he wakes up, but finds himself completely alone, in a desolate world he soon realises is the English town he lived in as a young boy. To try to describe what happens from then would be to do the book, and you, as I hope a soon to be reader of More Than This, a serious disservice, it's a book you need to read, not read about. It will pull you in, keep you reading until the wee small hours then keep you awake as you consider what you've read. It's a story of exquisite beauty and explores family, friends and love, trust, existence and what life is. It's heartbreakingly dark and disturbing yet still an uplifting, life affirming read. As a parent I am glad this book is on the bookshelf for my children to discover, I don't agree with prescribing books for children but it is a book I think all teenagers should know about. We've almost certainly all felt alone despite being in a family, misunderstood and not appreciated, for anybody who has ever felt like they don't fit in, More Than This is a book that understands. I wish I had Patrick Ness writing for me when I was a teen but even at the age of forty I couldn't fail to be touched by this wonderful book.

More Than This is published in the UK by Walker Books.

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