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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  8,700 Ratings  ·  2,062 Reviews
Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume's Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It's a big day. Things go wrong. It's intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches...

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this ga
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by Walker Books
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Katherine Morris Definitely not a retelling, just a few nods to other books which add an extra layer (on top of all the usual Ness layers!). This is stunning, and you…moreDefinitely not a retelling, just a few nods to other books which add an extra layer (on top of all the usual Ness layers!). This is stunning, and you won't regret giving it a chance.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Emily May
Who cared if he’d grow out of it? That didn’t make it any less true in those painful and euphoric days when it was happening. The truth was always now, even if you were young. Especially if you were young.

I am so torn. I'm not even sure how I feel about Release overall. It's like there are two books in here - one I absolutely loved, and the other I just didn't enjoy at all.

Ness is one of those authors who never writes the same book, or same kind of book, twice. Liking one is no guarantee you w
Emma Giordano
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars! I really enjoyed this read. It takes some important topics that are rarely discussed in YA, and in society in general. There were a few elements I didn't enjoy as much, but overall, Release is an important novel a wide variety of people should read.

CW: homomisia (homophobia), sexual harassment, intimate partner violence

Release is a modern day contemporary yet there appears to be a supernatural/paranormal aspect as certain chapters follow the ghost of a recently deceased girl after r
Adam Silvera
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
One of a kind novel set over the course of one day. Boys talking about love, beauty, sex, beautiful sex, a ghost, and so much more.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: glbt, 2017
“They're your parents. They're meant to love you because. Never in spite.”

3,5 Stars

Release was one of my most anticipated reads this year and one that I had preordered as soon as I had heard of it. Patrick Ness is one of the most taltented authors that I know. A Monster Calls was hauntingly beautiful and emotional while More Than This was eerie and scary as hell, but nevertheless beautiful. The Knife of Never Letting Go was brutal and twisted, too much so in my opinion, and The Rest of Us Just L
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
first off, shout out to that beautiful cover, which, much to my embarrassment, didn't even take notice until I held the book in my hands. 🙈

I knew I was going to love Adam the moment I read the blurb and once I started reading it, all it took was the first page.

Release is an emotionally deep and poignant story that takes place over the course of a single day— a day full of wonderful and awful surprises as it explores and discusses a multitude of themes in a stirring and compulsively readable way
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Wow. Just wow. I read this book in just a few short hours, completely transfixed from the first page. There's something very special about Patrick Ness's writing.
Larry H
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Patrick Ness' new book, Release, is essentially two completely different novels in one. The core story is absolutely wonderful, thought-provoking and emotional, funny and sweet, and it reaffirmed why I am such a fan of Ness' writing. While I think I understood the point of the second story, I don't understand why it was necessary to tack it on here, so I guess I would have preferred some sort of explanation or connection between the two.

Some may be so put off by the second story that it may det
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

It's hard to rate this book because I really liked the contemporary story but didn't care at all for the magical realism/fantasy one...

Patrick Ness's writing is a delight though!
I’m not unfamiliar with Patrick Ness, which is why I expected this book to be strange, weird even, possibly befuddling. But it was actually very comprehensible and not out of the ordinary, if I don’t take in account the random revengeful ghost.

Having read neither Judy Bloom’s ‘‘Forever’’ nor Virginia Woolf’s ‘‘Mrs. Dalloway,’’ I had no idea what kind of beast ‘‘Release’’ would turn out to be. If there are references to those two novels, I didn’t get them. All I know is that there are two intert
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
EDIT: I had to change my rating to 5 stars! It's been a few days and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The format of this book and the way the story is told and how it comes so well together was just stunning and such a joy to read.

Original review:
I just adore Patrick Ness so much! This story tugged at my heartstrings and the writing was mesmerising!

This book needs to be read by everyone, just because it's been written by Patrick Ness. The characters he writes, the lessons and the
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, another YA coming of age story. I am not sure when it became interesting. Suddenly, I want to know what happens to these people.

The main characters father is a conservative minister but, notably, light-handed as such.

I wasn't sure why the ghost of “dead woman in a drowned dress” kept showing up and, the height of the faun surprised me. A lot of people complained about the second story. To me, the speculative aspects seemed a bit like a Greek chorus.

I'll repeat the trigger warnings: for homop
Raeleen Lemay
I'm a bit disappointed by this one. What I didn't realize going into it was that it's told in alternating chapters, with alternating viewpoints. I was under the impression that this book was just about Adam, but it's not! Also, the other storyline just didn't interest me at all so that really detracted from my enjoyment quite a bit. However, it did lend a very interesting feel to the book, as the two storylines take place over the same period of time (a single day, with some flashbacks) but they ...more
1.5ish stars.

There are two separate storylines within this book. They kind of come together at the end, but not in a big enough way to justify the existence of the second.

I give the secondary “faun/queen” story 1 star because it is non-sensical and pretentious and pointless. Also the faun bugged me, repeating “My queen? My queen? My queen? My queen? My queen!” almost as bad as Titanic, “Rose? Jack! Jack? Rose! Rose! Jack? Rose? Jack! Jack! Rose! Jack? Rose! Rose? Jack!”
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I AM SO GLAD I FINALLY READ THIS. I adored the writing and the characters so much. However....... while I did really, really enjoy the main story of this book, I was mega confused by the secondary ghost queen plot line thing. Like. Huh? I think a re-read is in order to better grasp what that had to do with everything bc it went right over my head. BUT STILL. Really, really liked this.
C.G. Drews
I was so addicted to every single page of this. Omg can Patrick Ness do no wrong. His characters are so real and my absolutely favourite thing of all the evers is how his stories seamlessly weave in a sort of fantastical or mystical element into them. Like I don't always "Get" it fully...but I APPRECIATE it and it makes me want to reread the book as soon as I've finished. aGHHH THIS WAS JUST SO SO GOOD.

The story actually takes place over one day, too! Otherwise known as "The Most Really Worst Da
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patrick Ness has written what I think could be one of the most important YA fiction novels yet. In Release we meet Adam a young gay man dealing with the conflict of his sexuality and the religious values of his family. In the single day we follow his life we follow him as this conflict reaches a climax and everything else seems to change... Oh, and a murdered girls spirit mingles with a rather veil spirit queens and could be the end of the world. Just a small thing to contend with. Talking openi ...more
3.5 stars.

I'm pretty conflicted about this one. On one hand, I thought Adam's story and development were absolutely fantastic. On the other, I was beyond confused by the weird paranormal side plot. I don't think I've ever experienced this level of polarized feelings toward two narrators in a book, so let's try to sort this out with a list, shall we?

Stuff I liked:

Teenagers' feelings aren't discredited because of their youth. I'm 20 now, but one of the most frustrating things about being a teenage
Elise (TheBookishActress)
meanwhile I'm obsessing over this cover. It's so gorgeous!
It's Patrick Ness, I shouldn't even be surprised to realize I loved this book so damn much.

I truly think this book is only about a few things : friendship, heartbreak, brotherhood, acceptance, and realizing blood doesn't mean family.

#F R I E N D S H I P

You could say I loved the friendship between Angela and Adam, it was probably one of the purest things ever. In your life you always have this one friend you can talk about anything and everything with . . . that's who Adam and Angela are for ea
Dalziel Mapp
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Allows my tears to write this review for me*

Going into this I wasn't sure what to expect, I hadn't even read the blurb. All I knew was it contained GAY and that lots of people had a lot of mixed reviews on it. My adoration for his other series, the chaos walking trilogy, did give me high expectation. Thankfully stumbling like an emotional wreck walking out of this I was happy to have had them met.

Patrick Ness made me feel every single human emotion possible and then some more while reading thi
Isa Cantos (Crónicas de una Merodeadora)
“Maybe hearts don’t ever stop breaking once broken. Maybe they just keep on beating, until they’re broken again, and then they keep on beating still”.

“Tal vez los corazones no dejan de romperse una vez los han roto. Tal vez sólo siguen latiendo, hasta que se rompen de nuevo... y aún así continúan latiendo”.

Hay libros a los que les sobran la mitad de las páginas y Release es uno de ellos. Aquí nos encontramos con la historia del peor día de la vida de Adam Thorne. Adam es un chico gay que, desaf
Shaun Hutchinson
I loved this book. Something about it felt very personal, like Ness put a little extra something of himself into this story. The characters felt real, the tension of the story happening all over the course of one day was wonderful. I especially liked the way the sex was handled in an honest way. This is definitely one of my favorite books by Ness (or any author).
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z2017, ya
3.5 stars.

This book was like two stories in one. At first, it seemed to me like the stories weren't really connected at all and the change from one story to the other felt like a disconnect. I felt that disconnect between the two right up until that amazing ending where the two stories overlapped in such a wonderful way. I appreciate a great ending and that ending was so so fantastically beautiful, I loved it. I sort of wish the two stories would have been more interconnected throughout but the
Whispering Stories
Reviewed on

Release, is quite an unusual story in that it follows two plots which eventually meet. Now that may not be something different, but these two stories are set in different worlds (sort of). The real world, and the spirit world.

We meet Adam, a young, gay man trying to just be himself and live his life, but he has the added upset of people not understanding his sexuality, including his religious parents. He also has serious problems with his boss making advances
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book.

So I really enjoyed the story but at the same time I was so confused, mostly when reading in the spirits parts. I honestly had no idea what was happening!!

Short impressions to come when my emotions cool down a bit.
joey (thoughts and afterthoughts)
Thoughts a year before I read Release:
My soul is already crushed. Just Ness things.

Thoughts upon finishing Release:
Well...shit, I love Ness, but even I'll join the masses and say what the hell did I just read?

That's not fair. The A-Plot in the contemporary story (re: Adam Thorn exploring his sexuality while combating his religious family, confusing relationships, and his drive for a better future for himself) is spectacular. If I were to review Release on that narrative thread alone, it would su
Justin Tate
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Powerful, mostly. The front story tells a heartbreakingly realistic picture of teenage love, parental relations, friendship and more. Ness doesn’t shy away from serious issues and showcases these characters with brutal honesty. I found the story eerily relatable, and I suspect many others will as well.

The side story is a weird symbolic fantasy that reminded me of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and his Land Of Make Believe. Through veiled parallels, we see a fantastic charade of the main plot. Most
Maria (Big City Bookworm)

Initial post reading thoughts:

This definitely had its strange and confusing moments, but it was still really beautiful? I feel like I'm going to have a hard time describing this book. It was like it had two different stories going on simultaneously. I think I need to think about this one a little bit more before writing a full review.


What I Liked

A Day In The Life. Release tells the story of Adam Thorn and it all takes place during a single day in his life. Honestly, so much happens to this kid
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Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Co
More about Patrick Ness

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“They're your parents. They're meant to love you because. Never in spite.” 41 likes
“Maybe hearts don't ever stop breaking once broken.” 24 likes
More quotes…