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The Knife of Never Letting Go – by Patrick Ness

October 25, 2011

The Knife of Never Letting GoWhere do I even start? The fantastic opening sentence, the perfect exposition, the unique premise, the brilliant characters, the constantly moving (and twisting and turning) plot, the multiple times I found myself in tears (for so many reasons), the massive cliffhanger? I am in awe. This book is gorgeous. And funny and sad and thrilling and fascinating and heartfelt and new.

I don’t know how to explain it without spoiling anything, but I’ll give it a shot. Todd Hewitt is about to turn 13 and is the youngest boy in Prentisstown, a town entirely populated by men. In Prentisstown, everyone’s thoughts are broadcast aloud for everyone to hear, and animals and people can understand one another’s speech. The town has a painful and violent past and, as Todd begins to discover, the history he’s been told is full of lies and secrets. Everything he knows about his world is turned upside-down and he finds himself on the run.

The book is written in a sort of stream-of-consciousness style, which would usually worry me, but in this case, it’s exactly right. The way certain words and phrases are repeated is so effective. I felt like basking in the sheer excellence of the methods of exposition. Information about Todd’s life and world is revealed a little bit at a time, in a way that is both natural and enticing. And that cliffhanger. Boy, I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to convince myself to wait before jumping into the next book.

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