Thursday, October 26, 2017

Release by Patrick Ness

Title: Release
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life.

Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart. At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela.

But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release
Review by Nara

Despite Release being set over the course of a single day in main character Adam's life, so much went on in this single day that the novel was incredibly interesting. Apparently styled off of Mrs Dalloway (a novel that focuses on a single day in the life of Mrs Dalloway as she prepares for a party in the evening- I've read the book but honestly can't remember much about it), Release follows Adam through a day where everything seems to go wrong.

Adam was a wonderfully developed character despite you only being able to see him in a single day. I loved his relationships with his best friend and boyfriend (seriously his relationship with Linus is so cute), and I liked seeing the evolution of his relationship with his family. The book overall is a coming of age tale, focused on Adam being able to accept his sexual orientation in the context of being a member of a deeply Christian family. While there was a relatively large focus on religion, I did appreciate how it wasn't preachy (the opposite, really).

I didn't really understand the sections written in italics- was it supposed to be magical realism? It was really confusing as to whether those scenes were "real". It focused on a girl who was hunting down her murderer (?), and she meets a faun and for some reason is called Queen by the faun, and there was a spirit and something something I WAS CONFUSED. To be honest, these confusing sections were probably the only thing that really stopped me from giving the full stars to the novel, because it was otherwise excellent.

Overall, Patrick Ness does not disappoint. I don't think there's been a single book of his that I've disliked, and Release certainly is up there with the rest.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4.5/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 2.5/5