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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
Top customer reviews
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.
Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, pens a touching yet enlightening young adult contemporary novel, Release with a touch of magical realism. This book is about a regular gay teenage boy having a very, very bad day one can possibly imagine, from confronting his sexuality to heart breaks to realization to losing someone , whereas on the other hand, it is also about the recent death of a drug addict from the very same town as that of the gay teenager, who has become a ghost and wants revenge on her killer.
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.
Adam Thorn is a 17 year old gay teenager and is having the worst possible day in his entire lifetime. Son of a preacher and belonging from a family of hardcore believer in religion and everything, he faces the challenge to confront about his sexuality to his father and also about the things he went through while going up. Not only that, he faces a lot of harassment from his company's boss and a tragic event takes place that throws him off the road. And it doesn't stop, there, he even gets his heart broken, so with his only best friend, Angela, he now has to fight the battles in one single day. Parallelly, there is another story about a dead drug addict teenage girl, a queen and a fawn, waiting for revenge in that small town on the killer, but the magic is that both the stories run so close to the home, that it seems like they will get entwined into one another. And for that you need to read this book to know that.
This is the very first book that I'm reading by this author. I've had heard only good things about the author, so when I received this book as The Big Book Box's June BOTM, I felt bit excited but not so much, since LGBT books aren't my cup of tea. Yet I read it, felt bit weird, strange and enlightened both at the same time. And I realized that Ness's books are strange, in general, yet I could not comprehend the reason behind that strange story being narrated besides Adam's. Moreover, as a whole the novel lacked depth in more than one places. It is emotionally taut at many places whereas some places, where it needed extreme emotions, it lacked there.
The author's writing style is quite eloquent and is laced with emotions to make the readers feel the story line not just by their minds but also from their hearts. The narrative is engaging whereas the narrative of the ghost story is very dull and vague, makes no sense at all. Moreover, it simply takes away the charm from the original story of Adam Thorn. The pacing is fast, as within few pages, lots of events occur, so it feels more the story breezes or rushes past the readers. The prose of the book is poignant enough to make the readers easily contemplate with the story line.
The characters from the first story are penned with enough realism in their demeanor so that the readers can related to them. Adam, the protagonist, is depicted with extreme depth, laced with enough flaws and failures and I bet, many readers going through his trauma, can easily pertain with Adam. Moreover Adam's story is vividly portrayed amidst of the challenges this tender young man faces through a day. Enough sensitivity is imbibed in each and every line from this book. Whereas the supporting characters fail to shine like Adam, hence the readers need to rely on Adam's perspectives to form an opinion upon his friends, family and foes. The characters from the ghosts story are confusing and makes no sense at all. There was no point of the ghost story as the main story of Adam mentioned about that drug addict teenager's death only once or twice.
The author has strikingly illustrated so many current day teenage problems in a way the young readers can easily correlate to them. Problems raging from teenage friendships, heartbreaks, love affair, gay sex, religious notions, grief and many other such issues, painted and laced with enough emotions to make the readers feel for it. There is quite vivid description of gay sex and the author has left very little to readers' imaginations, the only thing it lacked was the necessary passion to evoke the emotions. Hence it felt quite mechanical to me.
In a nutshell, its a good book minus the ghost story, otherwise, its a little hard to digest.