‘Release’ by Patrick Ness.
Publisher: Walker Books.
Published: May 4th 2017.
Page Count: 287 pages.
Genre: YA, diverse, contemporary.
Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…
Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.
This is our first ever book that we’ve read by Patrick Ness and we’re happy to say that we absolutely loved it!! This book was remarkable and unique. Release, by Patrick Ness progressed in a magical and creative way.
The entire plot of this novel occurs over a period of one day. This was brilliant and extremely steady in pace! We felt so much pity towards the main character Adam as his day just kept growing from bad to worse! The way we could become invested in the characters and their lives proves the complexity of the situations throughout the day. Patrick Ness is an incredible and phenomenal writer throughout the depth of how the characters were written, the messages behind the story being conveyed and the everyday struggles that everyone faces whilst growing up.
We connected with Adam immediately; he was honest, confused, quiet and misjudged. We were hooked from the very first pages! Adam is unique, he’s lost and feels as though he doesn’t deserve to be loved. Our hearts broke for him, belonging to a highly religious family who believed he was a sin due to the right of who he chooses to love. Pain and heartache from a first love is clear on every turned page. As his day transforms into hell you find pieces of Adam shattering. However, over the course of the novel he comes out of his safety bubble and really starts to bloom, he gains courage and confidence. He learns to find his voice and speak up for what he believes in.
The characters are heartfully written- in depth between the friendship of Angela and Adam being as close as family is brilliantly portrayed.
Patrick Ness outlines everyday struggles that we all face in growing up and maturing into the young adults we all wish to become. Patrick Ness is one of few who have the ability to allow the readers to reflect on situations in life, with understanding. A book that’s all about not being defined by a single label and that knowing family isn’t always blood related. There are always other support networks.
The mystical and imaginative aspect of this novel was one that we couldn’t quite understand. There’s a girl named Katie, who drowned in a lake within the small town of which Adam lives. Adam buys a rose, pricks his finger upon a thorn and as Katie’s ghost emerges from the lake, she senses Adam and their narrations become entwined. We were a little confused with the ghost’s purpose throughout this novel other than finding a resolution?? However, Release was a fast read that was intriguing and captivating.
Overall, we really enjoyed this novel. It was rare, raw, heartbreaking and hopeful. Release was a story guided by loyalty, friendships, love and finding our own voices. We would recommend Release to those that love Young Adult Contemporary and enjoy books written by Patrick Ness. We loved this message that we gained from Release: Everyone deserves to find love and be loved.
Book Rating: 4/5 Stars.