Thursday 19 October 2017

Book Review | Release by Patrick Ness

Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life.

Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart. At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela.

But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release.


Happy as I hope we all are, on the whole, I expect each and every one of us has lived through a few bad days too.

Now I don't mean those days when we have to deal with death or ill health or anything actively awful. I'm talking about those days that just suck a bunch; those days when nothing seems to go your way. Maybe it starts with a letter from the taxman and spirals up, up and away from there. Maybe the milk is spoiled so you can't have your morning coffee. Maybe traffic makes you late for work even though you left early. Whatever the particulars, these are the days when everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and damn your plans.

These days doesn't destroy us, because we're reasonably well adjusted human beings. Tomorrow's another day, we tell ourselves. It's not like the world is ending or anything. But it is in Patrick Ness' ninth novel. Like The Rest of Us Just Live Here and More Than This before it, Release is a smart and sensitive standalone story that mixes the mundane with the magical in order to underscore the extraordinary qualities of the ordinary. It's a brief book about a bad day as bold and as beautiful as any finely-honed tome about the rise of Rome.

The bad day I've been banging on about is had herein by a young man called Adam Thorn. Adam is a pretty typical kid. He's never done drugs or caught an STD or seen a psychiatrist or displeased the police. He probably did decently at school, and he's definitely been holding down an alright job at a warehouse run by an Evil International Mega-Conglomerate in the several years since. He doesn't deserve to be miserable, but he is—in large part because of his family.

They fuck us up, our families! They don't mean to, but they do, and Adam's family is no exception to that regrettable rule. His father's a pastor at The House Upon the Rock, his mother is Big Brian Thorn's number one one fan, and his older brother Marty does God's Work as well. Naturally, none of these things should stop them from caring for Adam like a good family would, except that he's gay, and with this, they are not okay. "There was always a wound, it seemed, kept freshly opened by a family who also kept saying they loved him."

Whilst his family's love has caveats attached, his best friend Angela's does not. But early on in the day Release revolves around, Angela informs Adam that she's moving away from Frome, where they've lived since they were little:
They were, on the whole, fairly normal very-lower-middle-class kids in a rural suburb of the big megalopolis that curved around Puget Sound like a J. The Thorns were a clergy family with airs and ambitions; the Darlingtons were farmers, for God's sake. Nobody had enough money to get into really interesting trouble, and nobody had the inclination for the more readily available trouble just anyone could afford.
Nevertheless, there's trouble coming, and the fact is that Angela's imminent departure isn't even the most devastating news of "this day [that] showed no sign of stopping," because "underneath everything else, today was the day Enzo left forever."

Even if he did turn out to be a bit of a dick, Enzo was the first love of our lad's life, and Adam still isn't totally over him. That's just one of a thousand things that could come out at the goodbye "get-together" that represents the release after which Ness' novel is named. It's a party that, as the day drains away, will force Adam to finally confront his family, not to speak of his (lack of) feelings for Linus, the sweetly geeky guy he's been seeing since.

"This eternal, pivotal day" also takes in a sequence of supernatural sightings as the ghost of a girl strangled to death before our story starts visits with a series of people who may or may not be to blame for the dark turn her life took. It's a little like A Christmas Carol, if Scrooge were a meth-head and Tiny Tim a seven-foot monster manifested from myth, and although it occasionally acknowledges Adam's story, and Adam's story it, it's so fragmented and remote from the focal point of the fiction that at first it seems superfluous.

In the end, however, the speculative aspects of the text prove crucial to the moment of release Ness' novel builds inexorably towards. It's a release not least because it sees these separate threads finally intertwine, and it left me sporting shivers—not because it's spooky but because I physically felt like something magical had happened.

Something magical had, at that, but it wasn't the "dead woman in a drowned dress" or the "seven-foot faun following at a respectful distance" that made my body respond. It was Release's sensible yet sorrowful central character at last achieving clarity. "Everything was so clear in books and movies. Everyone always knew their reasons. But real life was such a mess," and when Adam finally makes his way out of the maze, it's impressively momentous and emotionally potent.

Release falls just short of being the small but perfectly formed novel its predecessors led me to expect for a few reasons. In its twinning of the potential apocalypse and one young man's struggle to make it through an important moment, it's rather reminiscent of The Rest of Us Just Live Here. Ness doesn't quite repeat himself here in this book about faith and family as opposed to friendship and fitting in, but the parallels between the pair played on my mind from time to time. So too did the dialogue, which at points positively drips with melodrama, particularly the "until the end of the world" shtick Adam and Angela share. But these are teens talking, and Ness is a canny enough author to call them on their nonsense, suggesting that sometimes, "you just got to eat the corn and enjoy it."

And at the end of the day, in more than one sense, I did. The latest in an increasingly long line of life-affirming works of fiction, Release is rich, resonant and quietly remarkable.


by Patrick Ness

UK Publication: May 2017, Walker Books
US Publication: September 2017, HarperTeen

Buy this book from

Recommended and Related Reading


  1. Hi there very cool web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Superb ..
    I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally…I am satisfied to search out a lot of helpful information right
    here in the publish, we want work out more techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing.

  2. Yay google is my queen assisted me to find this great web site!
    I was studying some of your content on this internet site and I think this internet site is very informative!
    Keep on posting.

  3. I am actually happy to read this website posts which carries plenty of helpful data, thanks for providing these kinds
    of data.

  4. Thank you for any other informative blog.경마

  5. My name is Karina, I'm someone who has lived a life seemingly in the background, I must say this final indignity I have suffered almost too much to endure. You see, I have been sickly and weak since the day I was born and doomed to go through my life weakling. I seemed to have always suffered from one illness or another and could never play with the other children as I so desperately wanted to. Mother always made such a big fuss over me, also, making the situation worse as the other boys teased me mercilessly after they saw it. I was browsing the internet searching on how I could be transformed into a powerful person when I came across the email of a man named Lord Mark. who was a VAMPIRE so I told him that I has always dreamed about of becoming a VAMPIRES, All i did was just to follow the procedure that i was been told, and I bet you that procedure I took change my entire life to something i ever desire, freedom, sickness free, pains free, fame, influence, connections and even more that i can. Thanks to Lord Mark. Do you want a life full of interesting things? Do you want to have power and influence over others? To be charming and desirable? To have wealth, health, and longevity? contact the vampires creed today via email:

  6. I found myself in a very tragic situation sometime past. My account was hacked. I tried several methods I could find online to retrieve it back but to all dead ends. All efforts seemed wasted as much as i tried. I was so devastated. Fortunate enough, I came across a thread online with some great reviews about a tech guy called Sean. All comments on how he was able to get into the accounts they needed was so appealing thus, made it of a great interest. I'm a very skeptical person though, so i felt kind of reluctant about it at first but had no other option, (having realized all that I've already lost) so i decided to just give it a try, after all, I've got nothing else to loose. I did contact him, Lo and behold, he was absolutely able to deliver the service paid for. He got into the account on that same very faithful day without any hassle. It was such an astounding experience. Indeed, there's nothing impossible with God.
    You can contact him also for any kind of recovery if it pleases you to and i bet, you'll testify of it's difference.

    Here is his mailing address:
    Wishing you the very best.


    To any victim who has fallen to the recent fake Crypto investment scheme to reach out RECOVERY MASTERS for Recovery services. I fell victim to it, and I was left disgraced by how I lost €214,000 to a fake facebook investor showing off how he made huge profits through investments. Recovery masters are legally authorised Cryptocurrency Recovery experts that I must say were God sent,All my funds were recovered back by the special group of hackers.Their responses are timely and straight forward I must recommend them to any victim suffering loss of funds and needs their funds recovered back.

    Contacts mail;
    ( Whatsapp ( +1(204){ 819}-{5505}

  8. I'm recommending the safest and most dependable cryptocurrency recovery service that can aid you; it was really helpful for me when I lost access to my wallet in April of this year, which included my 97,000 USD in Bitcoin investment. I read evaluations Craker cyberdude Recovery's capabilities for Bitcoin recovery on Investopedia as part of my quest for a solution. Craker cyberdude Recovery uses cutting-edge methods to track the criminals who stole my money over email. I've been thankful for Craker cyberdude Recovery ability to fix my lost cryptocurrency because they are knowledgeable about various combinations of analytics and fixing approaches. Depending on why your coins were inaccessible, different types of assistance were provided to me; nonetheless, in every situation, having professionals like Craker cyberdude recovery is essential for coin recovery and investment. Many typical bitcoin problems can easily be fixed by using Craker cyberdude Recovery via:


    The Lost Recovery Masters is a team of experienced Crypto Experts currently collecting funds back to all scam victims. Anyone that has fallen prey to these fake online imposters and bogus investments Schemes contact Lost Recovery Masters and explain your situation; They will assist you in all crypto scam retrieval funds, bitcoin wallets reclaiming, investment scam, mobile mass surveillance, and cyber - attacks. 

    Support team Mail: (        
    WhatsApp: +1(204)819-5505.

    Don't forget to mention 
     Michelle Brice referred you.

  10. I had been scammed and I immediately notified the police, but regrettably, there was no quick action that took place. Despite their reassurances and claims of taking action, their promises proved empty. I invested $270,000 in a cryptocurrency plan and encountered difficulties withdrawing my profits. I was fortunate to read a recommendation about as the best and genuine expert, who would help anyone with lost funds in getting their funds back. I immediately reached out to him and explained my problem. He handled my case in a very professional manner and just after 2 days he was able to recover 90% of my funds back to me. I will always be grateful for his great service.

  11. Good book.

  12. I bought a herbal medicine,

    I took the medicine for 2 weeks,

    I am now free from Herpes.

    Win Ex Back in 48 hours

    …………….robinsonbuckler11 {{gmail}} com,,

  13. I lost all of my savings investing in cryptocurrencies, which completely shocked me. I never thought it would turn out to be a fraud and that I would lose everything. Before I realized I had been duped, it had been going on for weeks. Fortunately for me, I came across a post on a bulletin about PRO RECOVERY WIZARD SAM BANK MAN CYBER SECURITY SERVICES. just when all hope had vanished and I was about to go bankrupt. The speed with which they located the fraudsters and retrieved my cryptocurrency funds astounded me. They provided excellent service, and I heartily thank them for it. I suggest anyone who wants to immediately recover monies to contact them. You should reach out to them by using ..
    Whats App Number : +1 980 238 1523..

  14. Recover Lost or Stolen Crypto 2024 / Through Captain WebGenesis.

    Hello everyone, I wish to share this information with the public . It’s advisable not to trade with an individual or a bitcoin investment platform if you are not sure about their reputation. A few months back, I was seeking an investment opportunity but I ended up being scammed of $187,000 in Bitcoins.
    I was depressed and disappointed in myself until an article popped up about Captain WebGenesis, a cryptocurrency recovery company that helps scam victims get back their lost or stolen Crypto, and to my surprise, they were able to recover almost all the funds I had lost. I’m sharing this out of excitement as I know there are many people out there who must have had an encounter with these swindlers.
    You can reach them on (