It's weekly book recommendation time and this week my recommendation is my favourite of 2011 so far and possibly one of my favourites ever...
Paperback - £4.74
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?
Todd Hewitt is only a month from his thirteenth birthday; his first day of his thirteenth year, signalling the day he becomes a man of Prentisstown.
In Prentisstown Todd is the youngest. Years before the spackle unleashed germ warfare against the human population, killing all the women, and causing the Noise – every man, creature and thing’s thoughts to become audible.
But when Todd comes across a patch of silence one day, his entire life changes in a minute. Soon Todd is on the run and discovering that everything he ever knew is a lie.
Wow. Where do I begin?
Perhaps at the beginning? I picked up The Knife of Never Letting Go because the title captured me completely. I wasn’t expecting the captivation to take such a full and complete hold on me as I discovered the wonders of Patrick Ness’ writing.
The prose is almost impossible to describe. As Ness pulled me into Todd’s narration I felt myself propelled forward through the story by sentences running into one another, emulating Todd’s fervent energy, fear and adrenaline. At other, quieter more poignant times, the prose broke down into short sentences, each beautifully written turn of phrase like an echoing pang in the chest.
For the most part, stories draw me in, make me laugh, cry, hate, love… but more often than not only ever in a superficial way.
However, The Knife of Never Letting Go truly moved me. I fell in love with the characters like they were my best friends; I was astounded by the science fiction of Ness’ universe as if I were discovering it along with Todd and Viola; the novel enveloped me so completely, I triumphed at Todd’s moments of triumph and my heart ached when Todd’s was broken.
This is a novel about choosing to be the kind of person you’re going to be, the pride, principle and honour that comes with that choice. And how sometimes we choose to become something we swore we wouldn’t if it means taking care of the people we love.
This a coming of age story like no other. And if you want action, adrenaline-rushed scenes, charming and funny narrative, characters so real you would swear you knew them, and writing so beautiful it almost hurts, then you MUST read The Knife of Never Letting Go.
10 STARS! It knocks right out of the 5 star rating stratosphere.
P.S. Happy Mother's Day, mum :-)