patrick ness

Book Review: Release

I’ve been meaning to read more of Ness’s novels, and this new release (hah!) looked really interesting. It definitely lived up to that reputation.
It’s kind of split in two, alternating between Adam’s story and the story of the Queen and the the faun – spirits, one of which is lost and accidentally bound to the spirit of a young girl who has been murdered, jeopardising the safety of the entire world. I don’t actually know how or why these two stories are connected. There seems to be a link here and there, and they even meet at one point, but I don’t actually see why these two sets of characters are of any real importance to each other. Each story was very interesting, but I just didn’t feel like they were relevant to each other.

The story following Adam was really good, and the banter between Adam and Angela especially was fantastic. He is a gay boy living in an incredibly religious family – his father is a preacher at the nearby church. He’s getting over a relationship, while simultaneously dating another boy who seems to love him very much. But Adam doesn’t feel like he deserves the love, and when his father suggests he deserved the sexual harassment from his boss he completely loses it. This interaction was really interesting, and I think Ness did a pretty good job of creating a dramatic and accurate scene. A religious father faced with news such as this would likely have reacted in a similar way to Big Brian Thorn.

Although I did enjoy this and Ness’s writing is superb, I don’t quite understand this book. I saw a few links and enjoyed Adam’s story, but really didn’t understand the Queen’s significance. 3 stars.

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Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness – Hardback, 348 pages – Published August 27th 2015 by Walker Book Ltd

This is the second book I’ve read by Patrick Ness, the first being More Than This which I adored. So I was really looking forward to The Rest of Us Just Live Here, and I was not disappointed!

The theme of this novel was basically what if you’re not the Chosen OneAs in, what if you aren’t the one who slays the vampires, or exorcises all the demons? What if you don’t fall in love with a Goddess or an angel? What if you’re just a regular kid, like Mike?

At the start of each chapter, there’s a short summary of what’s happening in the “main story” – the indie kids fighting the Immortals, saving the world and that kinda thing. But that’s all we get of their story; the rest is dedicated to Mike and his friends and family, struggling to lead happy, normal lives.

Each character is so unique and realistic. This is the important bit. There are characters with OCD, alcoholic parents, eating disorders. All of them are so well developed and relatable (expect perhaps Jared, who happens to be 1/4 God of Cats). I just love how their lives are normal lives, and how that doesn’t mean they don’t get a book written about them. Okay, Henna and Mikey nearly die, Jared can heal people and they encounter blue-eyed creatures a few times, but for the most part they aren’t the heroes. They are just people.

I loved how you could compare the normal lives of the gang to what’s happening with the indie kids. You can see how certain things affect each group of people differently, and how everything changes what they do. Such as the ending with Finn #2, which decides Jared’s fate and alters the indie kids’ story completely.

The writing is sometimes a little simplistic, like the kind of thing you read when you’re a pre-teen or something. But it’s easy to read, and really does draw you in. I have a few other Ness books I’d like to read, and I really am loving his work so far.

As you may or may not know, I’m a sucker for books featuring mental health problems. Anxiety, OCD, anorexia… They need to be addressed! It’s great seeing how Mike and his sister get on with their lives despite the problems they’re facing, and how they get involved without being judged based on their issues. Like I said, this is a really honest book, which we really need! I’d say 4 stars for this; I love it, but it’s not quite in my favourites.

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