Release by Patrick Ness
About: Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life. Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart. At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela. But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release.
Ofilia’s Thoughts: This book is a bit strange, but I liked it. There are two stories told here and they alternate back and forth. The first is a very straight forward well written slice of life narrative about Adam Thorn, gay teen and son of a zealous evangelical preacher. The second takes place in this same world, but it morphs into fantasy territory having to do with a recently murdered classmate of Adam’s. This classmate’s soul attracts an all-powerful being, the Queen, that infiltrates this world in order comprehend why this girl was treated so brutally. The Queen gets stuck in this human’s soul and if she does not figure out a way to disentangle herself, the entire world will end. Adam’s story parallels the fantasy one as he is pretty sure his world is unraveling as he is dealing with a myriad of larger than life problems himself. The writing is compelling and even though I wasn’t sure what was going on with the fantasy element of the story, it is hard to resist. The Adam storyline is equally mesmerizing for its authenticity and likeable characters. Ultimately, both Adam and the Queen have to let go in order to move forward, hence the title. An odd combination, unusual and unique, but ultimately satisfying.