Inspired by Judy Blume’s Forever and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, this novel that Andrew Smith calls “beautiful, enchanting, [and] exquisitely written” is a new classic about teenage relationships, self-acceptance—and what happens when the walls we build start coming down. A Kirkus Best Book of 2017!
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.
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Monster Calls comes a raw, darkly funny, and deeply affecting story about the courage it takes to live your truth.
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Patrick Ness is the author of ten 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, Release, and And The Ocean Was Our Sky. Born in Virginia, Patrick lives in London. www.patrickness.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was so gorgeous and gripping. I read it in two sittings and that was only because I really need to start going to bed at a decent hour with school looming. Adam and Angela are figuring out life in their small town with their very different parents. Adam is gay and struggling to deal with the self-loathing his very religious parents have instilled in him and Angela is his best friend with loving, accepting parents who are supportive of both Angela and Adam. We learn about Adam's positive and negative encounters with boyfriends and unwanted come-ons, Angela's negative and positive encounters with boys and girls, and Adam's older brother's big secret-- at his mega-Christian pre-seminary college, he got a girl pregnant who is not his long-time girlfriend. All the while all of this very realistic fiction stuff is happening, we have a fantasy element. A young woman was recently murdered in their small, idyllic town and she has somehow spirit-melded with the Queen Spirit of the World (?) and is now out to get revenge on the boyfriend that killed her. It's an amazingly stark and yet so wonderful juxtaposition. I kept wondering how it was going to tie together because I knew it inevitably would.
I’m not quite sure how I feel about this novel. I was hoping for an emotional read, a novel that I would be thinking about for days but this novel was just ok for me. No energy charges or warm fuzzy feelings for me. I read it for what it was, a novel about a boy named Adam, who was a senior, whose life was about to get shaken up. I liked the relationship that Adam had with his friend Angela. He knew he had something special with her, if only he was attracted to girls the two of them would make a terrific couple. I also liked Linus. Linus was Adam’s latest boyfriend and he was tired of Adam’s dream world. Adam was still carrying feeling for his previous boyfriend, Enzo. Adam felt that he had a deep relationship with Enzo and then suddenly one day, it ended. Linus is tired of sharing Adam with Enzo and I liked how Linus addressed this. Adam’s feeling about his sexuality felt real, his confusion and his mentality was authentic and sincere. I didn’t care for Adam’s family. His father, a minister was not portrayed how I would have expected someone of his nature to be represented today. I was disappointed in his brother’s life event which was included in this novel. This event was to be a major shocker and again, I wondered exactly what year this book was written for. Couldn’t the author find something else for the brother to unleash to their parents that would have been more shocking than this? Perhaps it was the mood I was in when I was reading this novel but I was disappointed in the way the novel moved. It felt stiff and not comfortable. I really was excited to get my hands on this novel.
Release, is quite an unusual story in that it follows two plots which eventually meet. Now that may not be something different, but these two stories are set in different worlds (sort of). The real world, and the spirit world. 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.
3.5 Stars “Why did everyone no longer a teenager automatically dismiss any feeling you had then? Who cared if he’d grown out of it? That didn’t make it any less true in those painful and euphoric days when it was happening. The truth was always now, even if you were young.” 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.