Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: YA, Social, LGBTQ+
Publication Date: May 4th 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Summary: 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…
Patrick Ness has very quickly become one of my favourite authors in the last few years. I find his books so very relatable but with twists that make them extraordinary. I’m sure so many others feel the same way as his books are extremely well received. Release is his latest release (ha) and i was lucky enough to attend a talk with him about this book, you can see my full post on it HERE.
After reading A Monster Calls a few years ago now, i really never thought he’d get much better. I was wrong. I’m so glad i decided to pick up this book so soon after publication day, because it was stunning. The novel follows over a day, a specific day in which everything seems to be falling apart. Everyone is leaving, so many things are changing and it’s a lot to cope with in that one day.
One thing Patrick Ness is great with is creating a small part of a big world. He commented on this in the talk in Manchester, however i never realised until he made comment. In Release and also specifically The Rest Of Us Just Live Here, Ness captures one thing going on within a much bigger place. For example in Release, Adam has a lot of events happen in the day it’s set, however Ness creates a sense that he’s still a very small part of the world, even though it feels as though Adam’s world is ending. I find it fascinating how an author can create that image from just words, it gives the novel a very grounded feel.
I fell completely in love with the characters in this story. Not only were there LGBTQ+ elements that were touched upon, there are more diverse characters, characters from different countries and backgrounds and religions. It was very much a story about different people coming together and that was wonderful to read about. Release didn’t try to be diverse, unlike some other YA novels at the moment that literally ram it down your throats that they have diverse characters, it just happened and it was written incredibly well.
There is also a magical element to this story with that of The Queen and Fawn. Similar to The Rest of Us Just Live Here there’s hints of another story running through, shorter chapters with a completely different world and situation. I enjoyed this addition and it was much more understandable and had more of a point to it than his other novels i think.
Release covers so many topics and so many different lives that it’s hard not to be touched by it in some way. It deals with loss and social issues, religion and family. It talks heavily about letting things go too. A very big thing about this novel is sex. It’s mentioned a lot and also a few scenes include some reasonably graphic detail. It’s defintiely not for the younger end of YA, however i really appreciate Ness’ efforts to bring something like this in to the spotlight for teenagers. It’s the YA book i’ve been waiting for for a long time.
I appreciated Ness’ efforts in not wanting it to be a ‘coming to terms with being gay’ novel and it was just there if you will. It truly is a wonderful story, i feel like nothing i say will live up to its writing. The characters, plot, romances, timings and writing were all great. This has definitely become one of my favourite books of the year and without a doubt my favourite Patrick Ness novel.