Review: Release by Patrick Ness

ReleaseRelease by Patrick Ness
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication: September 19th 2017 by HarperTeen
Series: N/A
Length: 279 pages
Format: Hardcover

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.


RELEASE by Patrick Ness is a young adult contemporary about a gay boy named Adam. He’s going through a lot of crap in his life right now. He still harbors strong feelings for his ex boyfriend, his parents are super religious and place a lot of pressure on him, his best friend is going away for the last year of high school, and he isn’t sure what his feelings are for his new boyfriend Linus. See what I mean? That’s one confusing life for a teenager.

I really enjoyed the Adam’s story. I found his struggles relatable especially to my own life experiences coming out. I know what it’s like to struggle with feelings for guys, heck I still have trouble in that aspect. I even know what it’s like to have a religious parent that doesn’t agree with that part of my life. Adam handles all his problems with real life emotions. He stays calm, he cries his eyes out, and he gets angry. He was fully fleshed out.

Ness has a way of writing that brings his characters to life. He understands the teenage mind and the teenage experiences. Whether he is writing from a place of understanding and experience, or he knows someone who has gone through something similar, he does a stand out job!

RELEASE is told in two parallel storylines. One is Adam’s life and his issues. The other is the most bizarre thing I have ever read in a contemporary before. If you’re not into supernatural demons, possession etc, then this might throw you through a loop. It was totally lost on me and I didn’t see the parallel between the two stories. BUT don’t let it turn you off from reading this book. Adam’s story and experiences are well worth the read!

If it wasn’t for the alternate story, I would have given this an easy 5 stars for Adam’s story and Ness’ writing style. But besides that unfortunate aspect, I really enjoyed RELEASE a lot. You should check it out for yourself!


jesse name graphic[1168]Jesse is a 20 something college student/server and dwells in Toronto, Canada. He enjoys reading about fantastical worlds, listening to KPOP, and being a couch potato.


Arctic Books post graphics (1)

What are your thoughts? Did you like reading this one? What’s one of your favorite contemporaries this year? Let me know in the comments below!



4 thoughts on “Review: Release by Patrick Ness

  1. It’s good to hear that you enjoyed this book! Sadly I’ve almost always found myself disappointed by Patrick Ness (with the exception of A Monster Call which is great) do you think there’s a chance that I might still enjoy this one? the premise sounds good but that’s how I feel about all Patrick ness novels so I’ve avoided it until noe


  2. I tried very hard to understand the demon story and because it’s Ness I know it has layers of meanings. I think I may have tried too hard to find a deep meaning but I think both characters were trying to take their power back and move on/release their anger. I think that rose held a lot of power over Adam and giving it away took away its power and allowed him to release the ex-boyfriend and Katherine receiving a genuine act of affection allowed her to release her anger and pass over. I think it was that simple but Ness made it more complicated than it needed to be. I also gave it a 4.5 because of the demon story and unfortunately it distracted the impact of Adam’s story. Great review.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s