Courtney Johnston's Reviews > The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
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Jan 26, 10

bookshelves: extraordinary, fiction, own
Read on January 04, 2010 — I own a copy

** spoiler alert ** Absolutely inhaled this in one day during the summer break. The unique feature of the book’s setting - a planet infected with a ‘germ’ that has rendered all men’s thoughts constantly and relentlessly audible to those around them - is even easier to imagine after two seasons of True Blood. Not a classy comparison, but true.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the coming of age story - T.H. White’s ‘The Sword in the Stone’ remains one of my top 20 all time favourites, along with Dodie Smith’s ‘I Capture the Castle’ and David Mitchell’s ‘Black Swan Green’.

I came across the book through Unity’s Christmas promotions - pushing it heavily to the adult market (as they did Marcus Zuzak’s ‘The Book Thief’, which I haven’t read). Interestingly, after I gobbled this down in a morning and went in desperate search of the sequel (Unity being closed) neither Borders nor Whitcoulls were stocking either of the books.

The story is a series of grim revelations, balanced with slowly strengthening and sweetening friendships - as the central character Todd Hewitt loses faith in the community he has grown up with, the (effectively) ‘alien’ girl he meets becomes more and more important too him.

Reading 'The Knife of Never Letting Go' is almost a physical experience. It is hard not to live every moment with Todd - each frustration, each fear, each loss, each dawning realisation. Ness takes you on a rollercoaster ride, but between every long, thrilling drop there's a moment where you're perched at the top of the curve, waiting with trepidation for the next move, and you couldn't bear to be anywhere else.

Guardian review
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