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
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.
When I first finished Release by Patrick Ness, I wasn’t as sure about it as I have been his previous books. Now it’s a week or two later, and the story has had time to settle. It’s definitely growing on me, and I suspect will continue to do so.
There are two stories at work here. Adam’s, and that of the ghost of a local girl who was recently murdered and is seeking vengeance.
What a great character Adam is! Wanting to love his current boyfriend, but still not quite over his first love. In a less than comfortable position with his boss at work. But unsure what kind of support he’d get from his ultra religious parents (worship leaders at his local church) if he was to tell them.
If there is one thing that is certain in life, it is that change is going to come, and sometimes all at once. Adam is having one of those days. Ness, always does a great job of getting into his characters heads and then revealing them to his readers. You can’t help but feel for him (and like his best friend Angela all the more) as he navigates his way through it. Finally finding a measure of release as the day draws to a close.
For me, it was Adam’s story that kept me reading and the girl’s that built on the foreboding mood.
Release, is a wonderful story, whose power continues to grow long after you’ve closed the back cover.