Release
by Ness, Patrick






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. Time is running out, though. Because way across town, a ghost has just risen from the lake...-





*Starred Review* Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and Judy Blume's Forever: strange bedfellows, yes, but nevertheless the twin inspirations for Ness' introspective latest. In past works, Ness has gone big in scope: the distant dystopian planet of Chaos Walking; the apocalypse in The Rest of Us Just Live Here (2015). Unlikely, then, that this cautiously paced cross section of a life would be his most ambitious yet: it's just one ordinary day for teenager Adam Thorn. In one day, he runs, sees his boyfriend and his best friend, and works at a store. But it's also the day he deals with an inappropriate advance, goes to a farewell party for his ex, and deals with devastating news; it's the day his relationship with his religious family comes to a head. In real time and in memories, Adam fights to connect through walls and to let go of what needs to be released. Meanwhile, the ghost of a murdered girl walks his town, and in the space of one day, her life will change as surely as Adam's. Themes of grief, choice, and resurrection are all at play here, and sex is frankly depicted-sometimes as experience, sometimes as intimacy. Part character study, part reckoning, this is a painful, magical gem of a novel that, even when it perplexes, will rip the hearts right out of its readers. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Ness has already collected a hefty international fan base, and a novel partially influenced by the seminal Forever is bound to break barriers for a new generation. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.





An extraordinary, ordinary day in the life of Adam Thorn.Seventeen-year-old, tall, white, blond, evangelical-raised Adam begins his day buying chrysanthemums for his overbearing, guilt-inducing mother. From the get-go, some readers may recognize one of many deliberate, well-placed Virginia Woolf references throughout the narrative. He goes on a long run. He has lunch with his bright, smart-alecky best friend, Angela Darlington, who was born in Korea and adopted by her white parents. In a particularly uncomfortable scene, he is sexually harassed by his boss. He also partakes in a 30-plus-page act of intimacy that leaves little to the imagination with his new boyfriend, Linus, also white. The scene is fairly educational, but it's also full of laughter, true intimacy, discomfort, mixed feelings, and more that elevate it far beyond pure physicality. Meanwhile, in parallel vignettes, the ghost of a murdered teenage girl armed with more Woolf references eerily haunts the streets an d lake where she was killed. Her story permeates the entire narrative and adds a supernatural, creepy context to the otherwise small town. What makes these scenes rise about the mundane is Ness' ability to drop highly charged emotion bombs in the least expected places and infuse each of them with poignant memories, sharp emotions, and beautifully rendered scenes that are so moving it may cause readers to pause and reflect. Literary, illuminating, and stunningly told. (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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