Hey Ho Bookaholics!
For the first day of the BookTubeAthon I read Release by Patrick Ness, a book that I’d been dying to pick up ever since its release earlier this year.
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.
I was expecting this book to be just a standard contemporary combined with the brilliance of Patrick Ness’ artistic writing; but by god I was shocked!
There is one thing that Patrick Ness does that is very unique to every book I have read by him, though mostly The Rest Of Us Just Live Here. Ness is able to tell the story of the natural and supernatural parallel worlds so beautifully that they seem like two different stories but the reader can make the connection and though neither story significantly changes the outcome of the other, they do manage to interconnect, but just enough for the reader to be aware that they are one story progressing in the one world.
Before I even read this, just hearing the name Patrick Ness gave me high hopes for the book and I feel like I say this a lot, but I was not disappointed.
The writing was an art form in itself, but picking apart the story and the characters, I uncover a few tropes used by Ness that unless you are picking this book apart for a review, you wouldn’t notice as they are masked by the wonderful way they are delivered.
This story covered one day in Adam Thorne’s life. A day filled with bad news, many goodbyes, catholic parents, and some very gay teenage problems.
I’ve noticed that the theme of strict Catholic parents makes for a really good conflict point with families, as members of the catholic faith can either be extreme believers in the preached word, or like my family, just very passive catholics that only show their religion when they have to celebrate a development on a person in the church community (e.g. communion, marriage, etc). The Catholic parents was kind of stereotypical, but as a non-American, I don’t know how crazy catholic small towns like that can be with their religion, but I did like that they had that as a conflict point between Adam and his father.
I loved all the characters, although Enzo, the one that was meant to be disliked was indeed disliked by me, though at the end of the novel I felt sympathy for him and his questioning, as by the end although he has a girlfriend, I still don’t believe he is comfortable with what he truly is and I feel sad for him.
Angela reminded me very much of my best friend. A person who will stand up to anything that would hurt you, was someone that Adam needed. Someone who could give you courage and hope when you thought you’d lost it all. Over the course of a day, the reader sees how crucial she is to Adam’s life, courage and mental health, and how she helps Adam become strong enough to face his family, addressing the issues they have with him.
Adam, the disappointment brother, has an older brother who isn’t and is then praised greatly by his parents, until he messes up and is now on Adam’s level (somewhat). I liked this as it showed how homophobic his parents were that they could forgive their heterosexual son who had sinned, but not their homosexual son who had done nothing wrong. But the way in which Adam’s brother redeemed himself seemed too easy and, maybe this is because I hated the idea; but I found it as he was looking for an easy way out so his parents could still accept him, and for this made me dislike him.
Where I did pick apart this book for the little things, I did really love the symbolism and value of family that Adam held so close to his heart. The saying; “blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” fits really well here as Adam is all about loving his artificial family – Angela, her family and Linus – with the absence of love from his own.
I rated this book ★★★★★ (5/5 stars) for the writing alone. I don’t think I need to say more because if you’ve ever read a Patrick Ness book, you too would be starstruck by the artistry of his writing.
Stay Happy, Healthy, and have a Lovely Week!!
Thank You so much for reading! I hope to see you back here for Storytime Wednesday 🙂
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