Book Review: Release

An American small town and Religion, homosexuality, drugs and the soon to be adult individuals. That is Patrick Ness’s Release. The story is a day in Adam Thorn’s life and starts with him waking up to a bright morning. On one side, we have Adam, a seventeen-year old boy who is gay though his parents have no idea about it, and on another we have spirit of the girl who was murdered a few days before.

This day is different for Adam than others as he is to bid final farewell to his ex-boyfriend who is leaving town. Adam is battling with an emotional turmoil, his past, present and his fear of the future. On the same day, the spirit of a young girl, killed by her boyfriend, also latches on to the Queen spirit and enters the town where she moves around with no apparent direction.

Patrick Ness has very carefully painted the picture of conservative parents who are unable to accept their son as he is. His father’s words, “You don’t know how much I work to love you” are heartbreaking to say the least.

There are some great quotes through the book and as a reader, you can feel all that Adam goes through in this day. Adam’s love life, his friendship with Angela, his job, his brother and parents’ attitude towards him all are laid bare in front of him on this particular day.

Patrick Ness has also added some paranormal with the parallel story of the young girl and her quest for release through revenge.

This was my first book by the writer and I liked his writing. There are no convoluted sequences and everything is as it is. There are no grand promises of the future and everything ends like a normal day where one boy finds his release.

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