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Release Paperback – 14 June 2017
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- Item Weight : 312 g
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1406377279
- ISBN-10 : 1406377279
- Product Dimensions : 13.4 x 3.2 x 21.6 cm
- Publisher : Walker Books (14 June 2017)
- Reading level : 16 years
- Language: : English
Best Sellers Rank:
#152,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #13,510 in Children's Literature & Fiction (Books)
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Top reviews from India
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I feel like I should give two ratings for this book because it felt like I was reading two books instead of one. The two alternating parts of the books didn't intercept at any point except at the very end so it felt like they shouldn't have been part of the same book.
The Adam Thorn part is beautifully written. All the events in the book takes place in a single day. It deals with his struggles with self worth, his very religious family's acceptance of his sexuality, heartbreak and unwanted sexual advances. His friendship with Angie is one of the best parts of the story. All the characters are well written. It deals with some heavy themes without making it feel too depressing. The book talk about friendship, love, sex and family in a very realistic way. I loved the whole part and I just wanted more of it.
I wish Patrick Ness had written just about Adam Thorn because the other part about the weird dead girl and the faun didn't make much sense to me. I still don't understand why that part was even in the book. Maybe there's some deep philosophical meaning to it which I couldn't grasp but I found it it very boring.
I really really wanted to love this book. I can't even say I didn't like it, I would've given it 5 stars if it didn't have the magical realism part
Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, pens a touching yet enlightening young adult contemporary novel, Release with a touch of magical realism. This book is about a regular gay teenage boy having a very, very bad day one can possibly imagine, from confronting his sexuality to heart breaks to realization to losing someone , whereas on the other hand, it is also about the recent death of a drug addict from the very same town as that of the gay teenager, who has become a ghost and wants revenge on her killer.
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.
Adam Thorn is a 17 year old gay teenager and is having the worst possible day in his entire lifetime. Son of a preacher and belonging from a family of hardcore believer in religion and everything, he faces the challenge to confront about his sexuality to his father and also about the things he went through while going up. Not only that, he faces a lot of harassment from his company's boss and a tragic event takes place that throws him off the road. And it doesn't stop, there, he even gets his heart broken, so with his only best friend, Angela, he now has to fight the battles in one single day. Parallelly, there is another story about a dead drug addict teenage girl, a queen and a fawn, waiting for revenge in that small town on the killer, but the magic is that both the stories run so close to the home, that it seems like they will get entwined into one another. And for that you need to read this book to know that.
This is the very first book that I'm reading by this author. I've had heard only good things about the author, so when I received this book as The Big Book Box's June BOTM, I felt bit excited but not so much, since LGBT books aren't my cup of tea. Yet I read it, felt bit weird, strange and enlightened both at the same time. And I realized that Ness's books are strange, in general, yet I could not comprehend the reason behind that strange story being narrated besides Adam's. Moreover, as a whole the novel lacked depth in more than one places. It is emotionally taut at many places whereas some places, where it needed extreme emotions, it lacked there.
The author's writing style is quite eloquent and is laced with emotions to make the readers feel the story line not just by their minds but also from their hearts. The narrative is engaging whereas the narrative of the ghost story is very dull and vague, makes no sense at all. Moreover, it simply takes away the charm from the original story of Adam Thorn. The pacing is fast, as within few pages, lots of events occur, so it feels more the story breezes or rushes past the readers. The prose of the book is poignant enough to make the readers easily contemplate with the story line.
The characters from the first story are penned with enough realism in their demeanor so that the readers can related to them. Adam, the protagonist, is depicted with extreme depth, laced with enough flaws and failures and I bet, many readers going through his trauma, can easily pertain with Adam. Moreover Adam's story is vividly portrayed amidst of the challenges this tender young man faces through a day. Enough sensitivity is imbibed in each and every line from this book. Whereas the supporting characters fail to shine like Adam, hence the readers need to rely on Adam's perspectives to form an opinion upon his friends, family and foes. The characters from the ghosts story are confusing and makes no sense at all. There was no point of the ghost story as the main story of Adam mentioned about that drug addict teenager's death only once or twice.
The author has strikingly illustrated so many current day teenage problems in a way the young readers can easily correlate to them. Problems raging from teenage friendships, heartbreaks, love affair, gay sex, religious notions, grief and many other such issues, painted and laced with enough emotions to make the readers feel for it. There is quite vivid description of gay sex and the author has left very little to readers' imaginations, the only thing it lacked was the necessary passion to evoke the emotions. Hence it felt quite mechanical to me.
In a nutshell, its a good book minus the ghost story, otherwise, its a little hard to digest.
I don't know who I want to praise first, the book or Patrick Ness ! I have raved about Patrick countless times, for multiple books, and he'll forever be my favourite.
Now, this book follows Adam for a very challenging day in his life, but alternates with chapters of a journey of a ghost which has risen from the lake in his town. Both on their own journeys to learn their own lessons. Release turned out to be one of those books that puts your fears, insecurities, and questions into words, in way maybe you could never have yourself. I can't say much more than that I love this book & if I could love Patrick any more, I would.
I did give this a 4 only because the ghost storyline was a bit hard to follow, but I did not hate it at all.
BONUS : Great male/female friendships, the most realistic representation of sex I've ever read gay or otherwise, discusses family bonds, conditional love & expectations, sexual harassment, victim blaming... and I'm sure I'm forgetting things.
Top reviews from other countries
Preachy preacher and chrysanthemum nazi, or mum and dad, are your typical repressive religious parents, the 'gay is not the way' sort and they've done a good job at helping convince their son that he doesn't deserve any sort of real love. Adam's boss makes being gay feel like some sort of dirty welcome sign to older men and even the handsome brother doesn't believe 'gay love' is real love. Throw in Adam's first love turning straight, all of this makes life pretty difficult for Adam Thorn.
He has friends and pretty well liked in general but his best friend Angela is his real saving grace. She's the sort of person you'd always want around, she tells Adam how it is consistently throughout the book and their relationship is so in sync it's like they were made to be friends. Also in Adam's court is Linus, the secret boyfriend with an amazing arse. Like with Angela, Adam's relationship with Linus is so pure that you can tell that, at least at this point in their lives, they are meant to be.
We get to see a lot of their relationship, it was really refreshing to read about sex in a book where the sex isn't reduced to teenage hormones, and doing it just because it's been a few months and that's the where they are in their relationship. It's about Adam's need for an emotional connection as much as it is the physical, something that is often lacking from teenage relationships in YA novels.
I would have given Release a perfect score if it wasn't for the second storyline running on alongside the one about Adam.
Maybe I'm not intelligent enough to understand the subtle beauty of the Queen and the Faun's story (highly possible), or I'm ignorant to what it added to Adam's terrible, horrible no good, very bad day. I personally think that Adam's story is enough, I found myself reading the queen's story very quickly, eager to get back to the main event and again, maybe I did miss something in doing this.
Don't get me wrong, the second story isn't so subtle that I completely missed that it is also a one of release, but to me it seemed like a metaphor that wasn't needed. It almost felt as if there was this second unrelated plot going on, until the last couple of pages when you finally click and ohhhh. I could have still done without it, instead having another hundred pages about what happens between Adam and his family following his coming out. Though that would probably be better suited for a second book called 'Closure'.
I always love Patrick Ness' work and Release was no exception. I may not be giving it a perfect score but there is so much good to be taken from this book. I'd recommend this book now especially if you want something else to read before the end of pride month, but also just because I think a lot of young adults out there, not just those in the LGBTQ+ community, will find at least one way to relate to Release. There are some darker themes in the book too, so read at your own discretion.