I have heard great things about Patrick Ness’ THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO. It’s been on my TBR list for ages. I finally got around to reading it this month and I wish I hadn’t waited so long. This book was near impossible to put down. Set on the planet of New World, Todd is the youngest boy in his town of men. Everyone can hear everyone’s thoughts in an endless stream of overbearing Noise. Even the animals (which makes for my favorite talking dog to ever grace the pages of YA lit). After stumbling across a silent patch in the swamp beyond his village, Todd uncovers a dangerous secret and is forced to run.
There was a lot I loved about this novel. The dialect. The world-building. The terrifying horrors of how a society can cave in on itself. The way humans can learn to know each other in ways deeper than just hearing each other’s thoughts. There is a particularly beautiful scene about 2/3 through the novel that captures this. I don’t want to spoil it, but Ness’ ability to touch on the subtitles of human emotion so poignantly brought me to tears. Todd’s voice is honest and real and heart-breaking. He is a wonderfully flawed and brave character. I want to hug him.
I had just two issues with this novel. One is small: the novel is written in first person present and yet there is a moment where Todd sees something and yet we, as the reader, are kept in the dark. Todd tells us, “I see, I see…” but he won’t explain what
he sees. To me, this breaks all the rules of writing in such a tense, but perhaps others won’t feel as cheated as I did. And then the ending. If you read my reviews often, you know I have a thing against cliffhangers. This one has a big one. (Thank goodness book two is already out, or I may have lost it.) Either way, this is still a wonderful read, and I highly recommend the novel, but if you do pick it up, just know the main conflict is not resolved by the close. This book will leave you hanging at the height of the climax. Just like Todd, you might say eff, (only you won’t say eff, you’ll say what eff actually stands for).
Originally reviewed here