The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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5stars

“The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking #1
Number of pages: 512 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The story was great and so very captivating.
Bad things about this book: Todd started being whiny but then he redeemed himself.
Do I recommend it? Always trust a Ness book!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I’ve had this book since forever because I fell in love with Patrick Ness so I bought everything of his I could find. So why didn’t I read it sooner? That’s a question impossible to answer. Impossible because I really don’t know, I just let it gather dust with no reason.

I have to start saying that I wasn’t really sold at the beginning. I found Todd pretty annoying and I was having a hard time with how the words were purposely grammatically incorrect; it bothered me UNTIL I got sucked into the story.

I didn’t know what to expect but it wasn’t certainly what I got! I felt all the feelings! All of them!!! I lost hope along Todd and Viola, I found it again, then lost it, the found it again, then lost it. It was a rollercoaster of a book, let me tell you!

I can’t wait to see how the movie turns out!

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And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness & Rovina Cai

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5stars

Here is the truth behind the myth: all men are Toby Wick.
For who needs devils when you have men?

Title: And the Ocean Was Our Sky
Author: Patrick Ness & Rovina Cai (Illustrator)
Number of pages: 160 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s beautifully peculiar and very true.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

So far, Patrick Ness has never failed me. Every single book he’s written that I’ve read has given me everything I love about books. This book, as peculiar as it may seem, has done just that, and I enjoyed every second of it.

PLOT —
The story was weird, there’s no point denying it: whales hunting humans, whales in search of the mysterious and infamous Toby Wick, who wants all whales dead. Its myth has driven many whales to their death, but still there are some who wants to find him and kill him, avenging the ones who lost their lives by his hand. Pretty simple in its structure, the plot hides surprises you wouldn’t expect.

CHARACTERS —
Bathsheba is the main character. She has lost loved ones because of men, and she joins the hunt because it’s tradition and she’s meant to do it. She is different from the other whales, though. She doesn’t believe in the myth of Toby Wick and she is curious. This curiosity will bring her to doubt everything she encounters because maybe things aren’t just black and white like others paint them.

“You notice what the others don’t.”
“Maybe I do.”
“Doesn’t mean you’re right, though.”
“No. But I begin to wonder if doubt is better than the wrong knowledge.”

THOUGHTS —
Fearlessly strange. That’s what’s been said about this book and they were completely right. I didn’t have issues about the main characters being whales who hunt humans, why would I? This is a Ness’ book, I expect everything. I was surprised by the ending, but it really was so true. I won’t say anything, just read it.

CONCLUSION —
Beautiful written, it kept me glued to the pages. I may not know anything about Moby Dick, so I don’t know how many things these two may have in common, but of one thing I’m certain: it had the usual magic touch, extremely human and intimate and real, that makes Patrick Ness’ books fantastic!

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More Than This by Patrick Ness ☆

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5starsplus

“I wanted so badly for there to be more. I ached for there to be more than my crappy little life.” He shakes his head. “And there was more. I just couldn’t see it.”

Title: More Than This
Author: Patrick Ness
Good things about this book: I loved everything!
Bad things about this book: Not sure it was the right choice for this book but I would have loved an epilogue.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

There’s this peculiarity in Patrick Ness’ books that I genuinely love and cherish and no matter what I’m experiencing, they resonate with me, with my soul, and I end up thinking about them almost every single day, carrying them deep within my heart. I just love them so much it hurts.

It’s now been two days since I finished the book and more than often I have found myself staring into nothing, thinking about the truth about what I read, the deepness of what’s been told, the fear I got realizing that that future might not be so unlikely. It scared the hell out of me.

Seth drowns, we read his inner monologue while drowning, how he feels, what is happening to his body. We know he drowns but then he wakes up in a deserted city, wearing nothing but bandages, he is disoriented; yet he is alive. How? Why?

“He’s died, and woken up in his own, personal hell.”

I had many theories about where Seth was. Theories I was proud of thinking, theories worth of being turned into TV shows or even movies. Sadly I wasn’t right but the different outcome surprised me for the better. I would have never thought of that and that was kind of perfect. I love being surprised. I also love predicable outcomes so it’s pretty easy to please me.

I loved Seth and I liked Regine and Tomasz a lot. Main character and sidekicks on point, together in this weird environment they are trying to figure out and survive into. The questions Seth asked himself were questions I was asking, the doubts he was having were the same I was having; I was one with the book, a part of it. There was no end to the guessing, to what the hell was that place and what were they supposed to do. It was fun how at the beginning Seth just thought he was in hell and that was it, he was just going to go with it and be okay with it. Then everything happens and nothing is as before.

“We take random events and we put them together in a pattern so we can comfort ourselves with a story, no matter how much of it obviously isn’t true.”

This was my fourth book by Patrick Ness and I can say without doubt that, for me, he is a genius. His stories are contemporary mixed with fantasy or sci-fi. He is an excellent writer and the way he incorporates everyday issues with fantasy elements it’s flawless. The themes he writes about are hard yet he presents them in a way it’s easy for everyone to understand, to relate to the characters; I know I want to fight more, I want to let my voice be heard, I want to change the world even if I do it starting from my little environments.

It doesn’t matter how little you can do, if you fight for what you believe, if you want to see change, if you want the world to be a great place to live for everyone, then don’t give up before starting because “what difference my voice can make?”.

“There’s always beauty,” Seth murmurs. “If you know where to look.”

Reading books by Patrick Ness makes me want to be a better person for me and for whoever doesn’t have it easy in life. Because everyone deserves to be free to be who they are without being afraid to be harmed, physically or emotionally, because of it. Because you shouldn’t be afraid to seek help if you have mental illness and you feel the world slipping through your fingers. Because you shouldn’t feel the obligation to be strong by yourself and that it’s okay to be weak and ask for a hand. Because we shouldn’t allow anyone to deny us the happiness we know we deserve. There is more than struggle out there; there is more than fear; there is more than what we think it’s unchangeable.

There is more than this and we need to fight to find it.

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Release by Patrick Ness ☆

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5starsplus

“Ain’t no shame in a broken heart.”

Title: Release
Author: Patrick Ness
Good things about this book: The way Ness writes is bewitching!
Bad things about this book: Nothing, at least for me. Check the trigger warnings before reading, though.
Do I recommend it? Yes, absolutely.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I couldn’t put it down and this is the third Ness’s book that has done this to me. I loved it with all my heart; there is something in Ness’s books that resonates with my soul and I feel them embracing me and cuddling me. The magic touch, at first peculiar, settles into the narration almost unnoticed and unforced. All of this makes Release one hell of a book to read and treasure.

This is not the easiest of books, it is a book about life and the obstacles it throws at you; it gives you hope in a better future if you’re willing to fight for it. It is so hard to fight for something you don’t think you deserve because you’ve been “taught” that what you are goes against nature, against the will of a lord you think doesn’t really care how you live your life.

“Through prayer, everything is possible-“
“I don’t know, I’ve prayed for years to change your heart. Nothing’s happened so far.”

Adam Thorn doesn’t believe he deserves being loved. He grew up in a very religious family being the son that’s different in a way they don’t dare to say out loud. Adam is gay and his family thinks it’s merely a phase, they think what he feels is not real. How much realer can it be if it breaks his heart in a million pieces? Adam Thorn has loved and his broken heart is the result of it. Will he ever let go of the past and fight for a future worth living? Will he ever let go of the boy he gave his all to but apparently was never willing to give anything back?

Where on earth had this day come from? And where was it headed?

We follow Adam throughout one day of his life; one day that will change everything. He will wake up, run errands, exercise, go to work, help his father and say goodbye to the boy who broke his heart. It’s going to be a long day, a day of news that will test his mind and episodes that will test his heart. Today everything changes.

He starts his day going to buy flowers his mother will certainly hate, and then running to clear his mind thinking how everything he does is never and will never be enough. He wants to go away and be himself but at the same time he is struggling to find some kind of peace in a home that has conditions for you to be worth being in it.

He can’t evade and find peace at work either with a boss sexual harassing him who knows pretty well how these accusations will go away easily; after all, who will believe a 17-year-old gay boy saying his boss touches him inappropriately? Here comes the frustration, the realization that a teenage boy is helpless, unable to reach for help because the world has this unbelievably twisted conviction that teenagers can only say lies and you should never believe them.

“They’re your parents. They’re meant to love you because. Never in spite.”

Adam finds his peace with Angela, his best friend. She is a tough girl and she is there for him whenever he needs it. Her family is different, open minded and kind, a safe refuge when he needs to get away from his cruel reality. Angela and Adam are a wonderful duo, ready to take the world head high. Their flashbacks show how incredible their friendship is.

“I’m always gay?”
“In every universe.”
“That makes sense. Are you always short?”
“Except in the universes where I’m Beyoncé.”
“In some universes, we’re all Beyoncé.”

I was so happy about Angela because at this point in the book I was ready to fight everyone who was in the way of my big blonde guy and his happiness. Adam deserves the world and I was more than ready to give it to him. Letting go is hard, painful, but once it’s done you’re free to live and start again. Our brain is one hell of an instrument: it tortures us when it decides on its own accord to fish memories you wanted hidden. Mastering the cohabitation with your bad memories is the way to keep them at bay and not letting them hurt you ever again. They are there, you sense them, but they don’t control you; you don’t allow them to do it.

Will Adam be ready to let go? This day will decide it; it will decide his fate.

While we follow Adam on the day his life is going to change forever, a spirit called by one single, an apparently innocent, action will leave the safety of her home to answer questions she doesn’t even know were asked. The magical realism, very similar to the one in the other Ness’ favourite of mine “The Rest of Us Just Live Here”, can seem out of place but you need to let it flow, no questions asked. It’s a parallel quest, seemingly unrelated, to our Adam’s journey, that will set in motion the end of the world, as we know it.

This book left me shaken. I related to parts of the book and sympathize with everything else. I was frustrated and angry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry but I also wanted to have hope and believe that maybe the world doesn’t really hate us the way we sometimes think. That maybe we can build ourselves a safe heaven in the midst of our not so very perfect lives.

I loved Release and it confirmed my love for Patrick Ness and the way he writes. It’s a hit or miss in my opinion and I understand when the story doesn’t reach everyone the way it reached me. Nonetheless, it is a story worth reading.

“Never pass up the chance to be kissing someone. It’s the worst kind of regret.”

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness ☆

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“Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.”

Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Why you should read this book: Because it was a nice surprise, a different book about things that are familiar to us all.

Summary from Goodreads:

What if you aren t the Chosen One? The one who s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

We could keep being too afraid to say we don’t know stuff and then the future will come and eat us anyway and we’ll regret not doing all that stuff we wished we did.

This is my second Patrick Ness book and the second one I truly loved. This man can write and he keeps getting to me with deep emotions and fantastic stories. He makes me feel connected to the characters from beginning to end, whether they make me happy, sad or angry, they are fractions of me in different periods of my life. I identify so much in their actions that I myself become part of the story. How do you do that, Mr. Ness? No, don’t tell me, but keep doing it.

“But I don’t care what you think, not about these things anyway. If you don’t think they’re real or important or you think that we’ll all grow out of this nonsense, well, that’s not really my business. I can’t tell you what’s real for you. But in return, you can’t say what’s real for me either. I get to choose. Not you.”

The thing about living is that so many things can go wrong so you worry over everything, mostly over things you shouldn’t be worrying about but you can’t help yourself and you worry a lot. Feelings generate deeper feelings, and these deeper feelings make you anxious. Anxiety is ugly, it sure is. Mikey, the main character of the story suffers from it, and he gets stuck in loops of actions that he thinks will make things better. He knows it won’t work but he can’t stop, he keeps doing it until he bleeds and cries. I fell in love with Mikey, he is a wonderful character, full of emotions, ignorant of what is going on around him, extremely sensitive, and willing to fight for the ones he love.

“Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.”

In this weird world there have being several “apocalypses”: ghosts, vampires, gods. Somehow the “indie kids” or “chosen ones” are the ones being targeted by these entities and by sacrificing themselves they have to save the world. From what I understood, these indie kids are hipsters with weird names like Satchel or Kerouac who do things ironically. At the beginning of every chapter we get a summary of what is going on with the indie kids, then the chapter itself is what is going on with the main characters during that same lapse of time. It’s a really interesting way to tell a story like, here I am having this delicious cup of hot chocolate, while backstage there is a teenager sacrificing himself to kill the king of the undead. It’s funny!

Mikey and his friends are not the heroes of this story; they are trying to live their lives until graduation hoping the apocalypse won’t kill them all in the meantime. Well, yeah, Jared, Mikey’s best friend, is a quarter God of the Cats but they are mostly normal teenagers wanting to go to prom and everything. How great can it be to be worshipped by cats and felines in general? To be able to communicate with them on a daily basis? It’ll be a dream! Jared has secrets but one secret in particular was WTH? I would have never guessed it, everyone knew but Mikey and I. Not fair but, what a revelation. Nicely done, Mr. Ness!

“It has nothing to do with not trusting you. It’s to do with what something becomes once you tell it. It’s like it’s truer. And it’s got a life of its own and it rushes out into the world and becomes something you can’t control.”

Mikey is overprotective of his two sisters, Mel and Meredith. Mel had a rough time in the past and she is still struggling so Mikey worries a lot for her and wants her to be happy and serene. Meredith is still very young, only 10 years old, and he is trying to protect her from the ugliness that can be the real world.

“We share out craziness, our neuroses, our little bit of screwed-up-ness that comes from our family. We share it. And it feels like love.”

Henna is Mikey’s crush. He loves her so much, or he thinks he loves her more than anything in the world. He is so focused on his “love” for her that he is making things difficult for himself and for his friends. Lots of misunderstandings and fights lead to many interesting revelations. At first I wasn’t really fond of Henna: she appeared to be having feelings for the new kid Nathan, but then it seems that she was leading Mikey on like he had a chance. Feelings are complicated, I get it, so I forgave her for bringing Mikey pain because I understood what she was experiencing. Nothing is more confusing than love. What the hell is love? It brings joy, it brings pain, it builds mountains, it destroys planets. It’s overwhelming.

I step up onstage, still feeling at sea, feeling like I’ve just lost sight of shore and though I’m swimming okay for now, I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep it up.

I loved this book and I’m not giving it enough credit with this mess of a review. There are so many things that need to be said, so many quotes to be written, so many feelings to be shared. It’s hard to write coherently when you loved a book as much as I loved this one. I didn’t know what to expect, I kind of bought it blindly and now that I finally got to read it, I want to punch myself for not having read it sooner.

Again, thank you Mr. Ness for all these wonderful experiences that you are sharing with us. If I could hug you, I would!

Do I recommend it? Yes, you’re welcome.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Jim Kay (Illustrator), Siobhan Dowd (Conception)

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“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

A Monster Calls

 

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Illustrator: Jim Kay
Conception: Siobhan Dowd
Why you should read this book: Because it is a really good story about grief and loss and it touches your heart from the very first page.

Summary from Goodreads:

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.
But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.

“Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.”

Maybe I don’t know the real feeling of being slowly stabbed in the heart but I have a feeling that this book comes really close to that.
From the beginning I felt a knife slowly descending into my chest, slowly slowly, until that final sentence when it was all inside my heart. With that, I lost it.

How can a book so short reduce one person to this state is not easy to comprehend but then it is clear. This book is a truth that we don’t want to face. Just like Conor, 13 years old, tormented by a terrible nightmare and visited by a giant yew tree quite often, always 7 minutes after midnight.

We know Conor’s mum is sick, cancer; she is trying yet another treatment but it’s not going too well. Conor knows it but he doesn’t want to see it. Who will want to see that his own mother is not going to make it? Come on!

And if no one sees you, the monster said, picking up its pace, too, are you really there at all?

This monster, shaped like the yew tree he can see from his bedroom’s window, visits him claiming Conor called him. The monster will tell him 3 stories and the 4th will have to be told by Conor, it will be his truth, the one he doesn’t want to tell anyone, the nightmare he doesn’t want to acknowledge.

The stories the monster tells are complex and tricky. You get the meaning after a bit only to get it twisted completely in the end. There’s not only one way to see a story, there’s not only good or bad, black or white. Life is more complicated than that. Life is really hard.
I’m still a little bit shaken by all of it. I understand, that’s the problem, it’s not that I get what is going on in Conor’s mind but I feel his pain and it transferred to me so easily I didn’t even noticed.

“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”

This book is too sad, too important, too touching, too real. The truth in this book is a truth we all, more or less, share. It’s part of being a person and we have to learn to accept it to be able to move forward.

I don’t know what else to say. Read it and share it. It’s important.

Do I recommend it? Of course, with tears in my eyes, yes.
Rate: 5/5

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