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.
“There are plenty of graphic, but beautifully wrought sex scenes in this book about a queer teen trying to find some freedom for himself in a small American town and with his deeply religious family.”
“ “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.”
“[a] subtle, heartfelt story of love and friendship in small-town America.”
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.
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.”
“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”
“[…] 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.”
“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.”
“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”.
“[…] one of the finest YA novels to have emerged this year.”
The Irish Times
“[…] 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.”
“Ness’s books are always original and this one is no exception.”
“I would really recommend this”
“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.”
[…] 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.
“[…] it’s frequently gut-wrenching, yet funny, tender and warm.”
“Heartbreaking and intense, Release is a stunning read”
“[…] breath-taking. Any review simply cannot do it justice.”
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