The most personal and tender novel yet from Patrick Ness, the twice Carnegie Medal-winning author of A Monster Calls.
The most personal and tender novel yet from Patrick Ness, the twice Carnegie Medal-winning author of A Monster Calls. It's Saturday, it's summer and, although he doesn't know it yet, everything in Adam Thorn's life is going to fall apart. But maybe, just maybe, he'll find freedom from the release. Time is running out though, because way across town, a ghost has risen from the lake...
This uplifting coming-of-age novel will remind you what it's like to fall in love.
Review by Sarah McDuling
This is a beautiful and breathtaking book, which is no surprise given that it’s written by Patrick Ness. I adore this author and all of his works. He has a special way of punching straight into your heart and making you feel ALL the emotions.
In his latest book, Patrick Ness does not hold back any heart punches. This book left me feeling emotionally battered and bruised, but also enlightened and awed. This is a story firmly grounded in reality but seamlessly interwoven with supernatural elements which serve to highlight and deepen the emotional impact.
Release follows one day in the life of Adam Thorn, a gay teen who has been raised in a very religious family. Over the course of twenty-four hours, Adam is forced to deal with painful confrontations, personal challenges and some rather peculiar events… all of which culminate in a life-changing day.
This book was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway and Forever by Judy Blume. It’s a stunning novel about the struggle for self-acceptance and the power that comes from emotional release. This book is strange, compelling, magical, important, and completely unforgettable.
Patrick Ness is, as usual, flawless!
About the Author
Patrick Ness is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Chaos Walking trilogy and the critically-acclaimed novels A Monster Calls, More Than This and The Rest of Us Just Live Herev. John Green has described him as "an insanely beautiful writer". He has won every major prize in children's fiction, including the Carnegie Medal twice. He's also written the screenplay for the film of A Monster Calls, now a major motion picture, and the BBC Dr Who spin-off, Class. He lives in London.
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Comments about Release:
I bought this book because I had enjoyed the Chaos Walking Trilogy. I didn't enjoy any aspect of this story. The characters were two dimensional, the mythological links were shaky. The writing was perfunctory. It plodded towards the conclusion, which I also felt was a personal release. I gave my copy of the book to a library where I hope it may find a reader to enjoy it.
Comments about Release:
This novel is about a day in the life of Adam, hallmarking the stream of consciousness stories of Mrs Dalloway and Ulysses. Entwined with this contemporary story about growing up in a bible-centric society, and saying goodbye to his first love, is a magical story of a Fae Queen and a Faun, wandering Adam's town. While a strange story in places, it was engaging and a quick read.
" "Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway meets Judy Blume's Forever" is as good a pitch as I've heard this year, and this beautifully crafted, complex novel which Ness calls his most personal yet, does not disappoint. [...] Told with real tenderness, it's a brilliant portrayal of the intensity of a teenager's inner life." * The Bookseller * Intense, complex and bold, Ness sensitively explores how Adam grapples with what matters to him, how he frames himself (or not) in relation to others, trying to untangle the confusion and contradictory feelings of love and hate, hope and despair. Whilst this book is out there and rightly proud of being so, these are themes I think that will speak to (m)any (a) teenager, gay, straight or something else. Pretty no-nonsense descriptions of gay sex will probably provide an eye-opening and much-appreciated-by-many-a-young-person education akin to that gifted by many of Blume's books particularly in the 1970s and 80s. * Playing by the Book * Release by Patrick Ness could become just as much of a pivotal text for gay teens and Judy Blume's Forever is for straight ones. * The Bookseller * Based loosely on Ness' own experiences growing up, it's here that the novel really shines; Adam's insecurities and struggle with his parents' beliefs are heartbreaking. Ness' fictional worlds are littered with fantastic characters: Adam is a wonderful addition. * The List (Glasgow & Edinburgh) * Ness once again demonstrates his profound understanding of the complexities of being a young adult, and of the human condition more generally ... Heartbreaking, intense and acutely honest, this novel casts a subtle spell of hope. * LoveReading4Kids, Joanne Owen * It's signature Ness in many ways, particularly in how it sensitively and maturely deals with the horrors - and the ecstasies - of teenage life. [...] Based loosely on ness' own experience growing up, it's here that the novel really shines; Adam's insecurities and struggle with his parents' beliefs are heartbreaking. Ness' fictional worlds are littered with fantastic characters: Adam I a wonderful addition to the panoply. * List.co.uk * A gripping, soulful novel about a life-changing day, which will surely change the lives of those who read it. [...] Partly modelled on two of the author's most admired books (Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume's Forever), with this remarkable novel Ness once again demonstrates his profound understanding of the complexities of being a young adult, and of the human condition more generally. Adam's story is pinpricked with truly nerve-touching moments, perhaps most poignantly between him and the overbearing father he fears coming-out to. At one point his dad reveals that he wishes Adam could be honest with him, and then Adam begins to let go. While revealing truths can be excruciatingly painful, doing so might also bring refreshing, life-affirming release. Heartbreaking, intense and acutely honest, this novel casts a subtle spell of hope. * Joanne Owen, LoveReading * "The main plot is huge fun, with vivid believable characters relatable problems and entertaining dialogue." * SFX Magazine * "Patrick Ness has written a pacy, convincing, coming-of-age novel... The sex scenes are explicit and educational, without being prurient. So much better to let your children read this than let them learn the finer details of gay sex from porn and Grindr... I was gripped by Adam's journey to self-belief, told pacily, beautifully... Adam's story alone is thrilling, intimate, important, joyous" * The Times * "[...] feels refreshingly uncensored [...] As in all Ness's books, the prose gallops along, leaving the teacups trembling [...] It is in his ability to dramatise this suburban claustrophobia, rather than in the strains of fantasy, that Ness excels. There is much in Release to value." * The Telegraph * "Release is the spellbinding new semi-autobiographical novel from the award-winning young-adult author Patrick Ness, [...] Packed with crisp dialogue and some realistic gay sex scenes, this is a captivating and emotional tale." * Attitude Magazine * "This funny, touching, honest exploration of growing up follows 17-year-old Adam through one day in which his relationships shift. It includes tenderness and sex with his boyfriend, and coming out to his strict Christian pastor father." * The Sunday Times * "Ness's great achievement in Release is to acknowledge the weight, worth and agony of first love, and to show the richer blooming of a second, still prone to pain and error, irrevocably shaped by earlier experience, but knowing and expecting more, now, from both parties. It's a book that will speak, with passionate warmth, to anyone who has ever been made to feel "less than". * The Guardian * "[...] one of the finest YA novels to have emerged this year." * The Irish Times * "[...] intimate and immensely powerful story [...] First sex, the beginnings of love and the risen spirit of a recently murdered local girl are all described with absolute authenticity; this is teenagerdom in all its naked, raw, intoxicating and terrifying splendour." * Teach Secondary * "[...] passionate and disturbing [...] A richly layered tale of finding your true family and knowing when to give up on ideals." * The Observer, Children's Book of the Week * "A richly layered tale of finding your true family and knowing when to give up on ideals." * theguardian.com * "Ness's books are always original and this one is no exception." * Irish Independent * "I would really recommend this" * sweetlovebooks * "A beautifully written, relevant and challenging read for young adults, which will not disappoint fans of Patrick Ness. [...] Characters are well-drawn, and through a mixture of witty dialogue together with searing, and sometimes, painful honesty, readers will care deeply about the characters in both interconnected storylines. In both plot and style, readers will be challenged and respected, with explicit gay sex scenes being tenderly written." * Carousel * [...] Patrick Ness, has published possibly his greatest and most personal novel so far [...] From its very first pages, Release floors with a gut-wrenching, yet funny, tender and warm, exploration of the struggle of a young man, and what it means to have to live secretly, and with disapproval and shame, and the ever-present feeling that what you are is not right. [...] It's a daring act, taking on the format of a great classic [Mrs Dalloway], but Ness pulls it off, and in dazzling, heartrending fashion. * The Herald *
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
For Ages: 16+ years old
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 4th May 2017
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.2 x 14.4 x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.43