July 21, 2011
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear, too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives. But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
This book really surprised me. You would think as an English teacher some things would drive me crazy. Like the run-on sentences, the lack of spelling correctly, and the whole lack of punctuation but you know what?
I loved every flipping minute of it.
Another oddity: This book is a futuristic science fiction novel.
And I still loved it. Every bit of it.
I was sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book, waiting to see what happens next, waiting to see what other problem will come up next and not for one minute did I think that this book was boring.
Which is saying a lot because I like challenging novels to my brain anyway.
But omg, it was fantastic. And I didn't want it to end. It was just a surprisingly beautifully written novel. And I loved the suspense! I was literally hanging on the edge of my seat and never knew what was coming next.
The characters were great too. Believable. Real. Thoughtful. And identifiable. I don't want to give too much away, but let's just say there was something in the book for everyone. Even if it doesn't seem that way at first especially with a 12 year old boy as the main character.
I was like, "It's a boy? And I'm suppose to identify with him?" But I did. Even though he was a bit younger then me, all you have to do is flip the number around and tada!, but I really felt his emotions. His pain. His hurt. His hunger.
Oh, that reminds me: This book is a little bit bloody. I wouldn't say it would make anybody squeamish, but just as a warning. It didn't bother me. I guess because we could all see it coming and because I sorta write stuff like that so it didn't bother me. Plus it's in the title, and sorta a symbol played with throughout the novel.
Can someone say essay? :) My poor future students, lol.
Anyway, the plot was really good. Where the author left it made me scream NOOOOO! I definitely wanted more of that, but it clearly says on the book cover Chaos Walking Book One, so that gives me hope!
It was the perfect ending. I have to say. If it was available in the bookstore, I would have bought it right then and there. I have to admire the way he ended it from a writer's perspective. It was just perfect.
Um, what else? The setting threw me for a loop. At first, I thought we were on planet earth like hundreds of years ago because of the whole New World thing. But interestingly enough, it was really a whole new world. Alien world. Not on earth! So once I got that straight, I understood why everyone could hear people's thoughts and all of that stuff. And why there were two moons.
Dialogue was believable. Everything was just perfect. Even the teacher/perfectionist inside me didn't even realize all of the mistakes and stuff until like the end of the book!
I know, right?! You would think my attenas would have gone off, but it didn't. I guess because Patrick Ness did it on purpose. :)
But I will have to warn writers right now: Just because Patrick Ness broke the rules, doesn't automatically mean the rules aren't valid.
What do I mean?
Well, it means that you have to be an EXPERIENCED writer to do this correctly and effectively like Patrick Ness did it. Plus, newbie writers, you must know the rules before you can break them. So learn the rules first, then get a couple of books under your belt (get them read through and stuff) then break the rules.
I know I broke quite a few in Angel Diaries. :) Ah, I love it!
Anyway, main question: Would I recommend this book?
To anybody who can value a really great book, HECK YES! Science fiction lovers tired of the machines taking over theme, HECK YES! With anybody with a pulse, HECK YES!
It's an awesome book that I'm so glad I took the time to pick up and read. I will be buying this book for my classroom library. I know if I love it, I know another student will. I was a bit worried about the age group since the main character is a little young, but I think it'll appeal to them. Besides, I put Bruce Coville in my classroom library, and I know he's really connected to middle school readers. So why not?
So I would definitely give this book a chance. Even for people who don't read science fiction (like I am), I think you will flip the switch and start loving science fiction.
If this is what science fiction is about, then I'm totally in!