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Release Hardcover – September 19, 2017
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★ “Part character study, part reckoning, this is a painful, magical gem of a novel that, even when it perplexes, will rip the hearts right out of its readers.” (Booklist (starred review))
★ “Literary, illuminating, and stunningly told.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
★ “A frank, riveting portrayal of a gay teenager’s sexual awakening.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
★ “Ness manages to pack all this drama into a coherent and compulsively readable story line peopled with credible, rounded characters among the teens and the adults.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“This book’s self-awareness lends its events a dreamlike feel. Though it functions as an accessible, standalone coming-of-age story, awareness of its influences makes for a layered reading experience.” (The Horn Book)
“Patrick Ness is an insanely beautiful writer.” (John Green)
“Release is beautiful, enchanting, exquisitely written; the novel builds to an adrenaline-surged ending that only Patrick Ness can deliver. This is an incredible work of intertwined, mirrored stories that left me slack-jawed and in awe of one of the true master storytellers of our time.” (Andrew Smith, Michael L. Printz Honor–winning author of Grasshopper Jungle and Winger)
“Hilarious, gripping, and viciously insightful throughout. The novel’s main points are continuously, beautifully conveyed: family consists of people chosen as much as those related by blood; and while all meaningful and positive relationships are difficult and messy, their maintenance is essential for fulfillment.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“This compelling coming-of-age story will resonate with readers of all ages, and will remind everyone that the sun always rises again tomorrow.” (Brightly.com)
“I was gripped by Adam’s journey to self-belief, told pacily, beautifully.” (London Times)
About the Author
Patrick Ness is the author of nine novels, including his New York Times bestselling The Rest of Us Just Live Here, the Chaos Walking trilogy, More Than This, A Monster Calls, which was made into a major motion picture with a screenplay adaptation by Patrick himself, and Release. Born in Virginia, Patrick lives in London. www.patrickness.com
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We meet Adam, a young, gay man trying to just be himself and live his life, but he has the added upset of people not understanding his sexuality, including his religious parents. He also has serious problems with his boss making advances towards him, and an ex which he can’t seem to let go of, even-though he has a boyfriend, Linus, and his ex Enzo is dating someone else.
He has the most wonderful best friend Angela, but he doesn’t know how to be comfortable in himself, when others aren’t comfortable or accepting towards him.
In the spirit world we meet a murdered, teenage drug addict, who has come out of the river and wants vengeance on her killer in the small town.
By the time I had turned the last page I realised that I had found a book that quite a few people will be able to relate to. Adam’s story is told so vividly that sometimes it felt like I was in the story, not reading it. It makes you stop and think; hopefully books like this will make people realise that everybody has the right to be whoever they want to be, gay, straight, bi, etc, and no-one has the right to be judgemental about it.
The book is completely unusual and strange, plus a little confusing in parts. I haven’t read any of Patrick Ness’s work before, but apparently that is his style of writing, moving away from the conventional – I like it.
A poignant story, with a wonderful plot. I’ll have to look out for Patrick Ness from now on.
Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed
I honestly don’t even know where to start with this? I feel like I have all these thoughts flying around in my head, but nothing concrete it can grab ahold of. This books was a strange and emotional experience which I’m sure Adam could relate to. Release follows Adam Thorn on a day where the hits just keep coming, he’s dealt revelations, heartbreaks, and choices that he doesn’t know what to do with and has to navigate unexpected waters.
Things I Liked
I really liked a lot of the relationships we get to see in the story. Angela and Adam have a fantastic friendship, Linus and Adam have an adorable romance, Marty and Adam grow to have a stronger relationship as both brothers face unexpected challenges.
I like the conversation that Angela and Adam has about labels and what using a label vs not using a label means for different people.
Things I Didn’t Like
The writing style wasn’t my favorite, and this is purely a personal preference, but I just didn’t connect with it. I don’t even know if I can pinpoint why exactly, if just felt slightly off to me.
The parallel story of Katherine van Leuwen was not for me. It just didn’t grab me at all and I didn’t care about what was happening at all.
Like I said, this was a weird one for me. I feel like my thoughts are all foggy and I don’t really know what to think of feel. It didn’t really impact me in the way I expected, but I did really enjoy Adam’s journey. I think I need to give another Patrick Ness book a try and see if I have a different experience.
I received a copy of the book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Threaded throughout the realistic story is another more mythical tale of a murdered girl, an ancient queen, and a faun who guides and guards them both. Their tale starts out startlingly different but along the way weaves itself into Adam’s world and life too, offering a tangible link to the wonder of belief and the question of what reality really is.
Ness has created a fantastic novel that celebrates a day in the life of a teenage boy who is lost and yet also found on the same day. Ness deftly shows the impact on religion and beliefs, tearing Adam’s family into pieces. He also offers one of the best gay sex scenes in teen novels today. The entire book is gorgeously written and full of playful touches that make the book all the more real and deliciously fun.
A successful and sexy mix of LGBT realism and magic, this novel is a delight. Appropriate for ages 16-18.