Monday, September 14, 2009

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

51B+Cmz2EzL The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness 2008 479 Pages 5/5 Why didn't you people make me read this book sooner? All I can say is that no one else will have that excuse! I'm telling everyone else ban or not...go read this book! Take whatever measures are necessary to acquire it and read it. It's just amazing. Patrick Ness is my new writing hero. This is one of those books that's so damn depressing and sad and tragic, yet so fulfilling and "yes he got it right!" and awe inspiring and smile worthy at times. In other words, it's every emotion that one can possibly experience all wrapped up into 479 too short pages. The story is about a young boy named Todd who grows up in a town called Prentisstown in a world called New World where everyone can hear each other's thoughts and animals talk. In Todd's town, there are no women. Todd was not around when the world was settled, but he's learned from the town's history that the Spackle, the alien species that lives on the world introduced a virus to their world that made everyone hear each other's thoughts and that the virus killed all the women of the town, including his own mother. He's been raised by two men, Ben and Cillian who have both been fathers to him. In addition to the two of them, he has his dog Manchee..sweet, sweet Manchee. As you can imagine, the noise of constantly hearing everyone's thoughts can drive a person mad. But it's all that little Todd has ever known. But Todd is about to become a Man as his 14th birthday is soon approaching. And with the approach of his 14th birthday comes a scary reality from the town that leaves a sense of doom upon the town which worsens when Todd discovers a spot of quiet, a spot of no noise in the swamp. I really can't say much more than that without giving things away, and that's just the first 30 or so pages!! Seriously, read this one! There are so many things that I loved about this book. I can't even begin to mention them all. First of all, there are the characters. I cared so freaking much about these characters that I wept for them multiple times throughout the book and I just wanted to grab them out of the pages and protect them and hug them. They are constantly faced with a new dilemma and it's not at all unrealistic for the world they're in. Things seem so hopeless sometimes, yet it's the essence of who they are, their inherent goodness that gets them through. I think I loved Manchee, the dog more than anyone. Manchee is by far the best animal character I've ever read in a book. His "Ow, Todd?"s and just his "Todd?"s and the worst..."Thawd?"s got to me so much!! If dogs could talk, I'd just see them all as being Manchee. Sweet, kind, loving and loyal. But even the secondary characters are wonderful. There are so many people who help Todd along the way that I just wanted to thank. People that we meet just for a few pages, but that left a lasting impression on me. And there are those that resonate pure evil...people that ripped pure rage from my heart...the writing was just so good. The I said, amazing. How did his book not win every award that's out there? I was so enamored with Ness' writing style. The book is told from Todd's point of view, in Todd's voice, in his thoughts. And it's very true to what you would imagine a 13 year old boy in his setting would be. There are times where the book falls into an almost flow of consciousness feel and those parts just carried me away. They gripped me by the throat and didn't let me go. And then there are parts of the book that speak to you like pure poetry, parts that are just beautiful. There are parts that are so descriptive that they bring tears to your eyes. Like the "here" creatures. Anyone who's read the book knows what I'm talking about for sure. I just found it hard to believe that someone could write a book this well and really not falter throughout the whole thing. Then of course, there's just the plot and the idea of the story itself. It's genius! There's just not more I can say than that. Patrick Ness has a mind of gold. He captures every detail of this world perfectly and doesn't leave anything out. The history is there, the species are there, the concept is all there, the characters and relationships are drawn perfectly. There's no confusion about anything. Everything is just expertly done! As you can probably tell by now, I just can't say enough about this book!! And I'm not done yet :p I plan on doing a longer more thorough discussion of this one with some other book bloggers after we all finish it. Sort of like Nymeth and I did for our Nerds Heart YA final, but with more people! Can't wait!! Heed my advice in the first paragraph, please!!!! Go read this book!! I have a feeling you'll find a new favorite read of the year...I know I did.

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