Saturday, June 17, 2017

Book Review :: Release by Patrick Ness

Release - Patrick Ness

"It's Saturday, it's summer and, although he doesn't know it yet, everything in Adam Thorn's life is going to fall apart. But maybe, just maybe, he'll find freedom from the release. Time is running out though, because way across town, a ghost has risen from the lake... This uplifting coming-of-age novel will remind you what it's like to fall in love."

First up, that cover art.  SO beautiful!  It does all the things I want cover art to do! Perfect.

Release opens with a classic line (deliberately lifted straight from Mrs Dalloway), which sets the task of the book - a day in the life of Adam Thorne.  I love the episodic nature of the novel, broken into distinctive parts that cleverly piece together Adam's life, all fitting neatly into the course of a day.  They read almost as a series of short stories, with connecting threads running through.

I feel less enthralled by the paranormal story that is braided in with Adam's.  There doesn't seem to be a compelling enough reason for it to be there.  Furthermore, the connection between the two comes too late, for me.  It's clever when it does arrive (wrapping a motif up in a tight little bow), but I still think I would've prefer to read Adam's story, alone.

The real strength and beauty of this story comes from the moments of everyday, the musings, the conversations, the simple observed details.  The central relationship in the story - a platonic friendship, is authentic and littered with sweetness.  Ness has a beautiful turn of phrase and writes some punchy dialogue.  It felt rich, sensory* and sensitive.  Overall, a thoughtful, thought-provoking piece.

*On the sensory - there's a lot of sex, and talk of sex.  Just fyi.  

Review copy kindly provided by Walker Books

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