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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

A book recommendation from Cassandra Clare

After getting back from Melbourne (geeked out to the MAX) and meeting some of my favourite Authors, (Cassandra Clare, Kristin Cashore, Lucy Christopher) I have so much to catch up on, so I thought I would post this little nugget of gold!!

Cassandra Clare was asked what book would she recommend to anyone, and she said 'A Knife of Never Letting Go' by Patrick Ness. To which the room filled with librarians, teachers and writers 'hmmmed' their approval, whilst I (the nerd) sat nodding my head emphatically, like one of those nodding dogs you put on your car dashboard.

Patrick Ness is a an amazing writer and his 'Chaos Walking Series' blew my mind out of my head!

So, I thought I would re-post my reviews that I wrote for these a year ago, I think they're a little crazy and a teency bit funny.. But the books, are fantastic!!

A Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness   5+ Stars - read in May 2010

If the title deosn't do twixty things to your mind, then be sure that the first page will most certainly get you interested..

The Men that live on New World unfortunately suffer from 'Noise.' Which means all their thoughts are out for everyone to hear, but not as one neat line, its all different thoughts, pictures, feelings, everything which makes it very messy Noise for everyone to hear and see. No Secrets?.. This occurs to all living things on New World - dogs, squirrels etc. EXCEPT WOMEN

Fantastic story and the writing style, well at first, was strange but I got used to it very quickly and really started to like it. I think the author did a fantastic job with making the 'Noise' as palpable for the reader as possible and the world and their culture and even their way of speaking, it was all an integral part of his story. With all this story/brain food you can't help but be sucked in so fast. (no spell check required)- woo hoo!

Todd runs, he don't know why he's running or from what, all he knows is that he can't go back and that everything he once knew is a lie.
What an opener!! So we follow him as he travels, chaos on his heels all the time, but as the 'reader' you are on a 'need to know' basis with information. Making my crazy imagination go nuts! Mr Ness doesn't reveal anything until he absolutely has to, and even then, it's done with an enjoyment of keeping you on the edge of your reading-ass seat.

The premise of the story has alot of HEAVY underlying -relevant- subject matter (jealousy, power, personal insecurities, male v female, control, secrets, paranoia, genocide, war) which is certainly a few steps sideways of my usual romance novels..
But it's refreshing to read something gritty, dirty, ugly, and chock full of suspense. A world where it doesn't always go the way you want it to. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder is very similar, they both deals with 'not-so-fluffy' subject matter and is tense and non-stop.

I am so relieved that I started this series knowing the third book was available, I don't know how I would have survived waiting for the end.

I would recommend this to anyone, its a great read and something that would defintely get your brain firing..
I want a talking dog!!

The Ask And The Answer by Patrick Ness   5+ Stars - read in May 2010

The Ask: Write a review.
The Answer: I will try.. But how to review such a book.

If I thought the first book was insane, well I was wrong. Patrick Ness you are a GOD! The writing is so well crafted that a few words plants the seed in your mind and without the author nudging you too hard you end up pushing yourself off the cliff. Head first!! Crash!!

Todd Hewitt is the most devoted and confused boy/man in the world, I think. In this story Todd is moulded into a man, physically, despite him being a man mentally, for so long. Life ain't easy on New World and the only thing you find yourself wanting (apart from cold blooded vengance) is Viola. Viola. Viola.

This story is like a snowball, it builds and builds and all the while you are reminded that something, something huge is going to happen and dread fills your stomach cause it couldn't possibly get any worse.. wrong again!!

The heavy 'subjects' (genocide, gender discrimination, tyranny, totalitarianism, dystopia) these were touched upon in the first book, and really do come to a grisly head in this one. All the while Mr Ness twists you around his clawed fingers to where I ended up screaming and threatening my book.. I take it all back Mr Ness.. But, but- you sucked me in... :(

I will be honest this book did depress me, I was like a prickly porcupine (grr! bitch) for a whole day, but it's because I was paused and stuck in the middle of devastation with Todd. Then I finished it that night and you couldn't SLAP the grin off my face now.. In fact, I couldn't sleep all that night!! pumped up!!
Oh and by the way, I am still grinning now as I reach for the Final book 'Monsters of Men.' - so glad I have it!

I realise this review does seem a little ambiguous, but if you take anything away from it, it's this. Read it!! It's a fantastic story and the writing, well I love it!! :D

Can't wait to find out what happens, I just hope I don't have to yell at my book again.. it wasn't pretty.

Certainly not a kids book, though, no-siree!!

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness   5+ Stars -  read in May to June 2010

Is blasting and flashing at the forefront of this book, with the Mayor Prentiss hell bent on it, destruction and absolute power. But what the books are really about and what flows on every page is so much more and as the 'reader' you're submerged in it, to the point where you feel the shrapnel wizz past your face.

Choice and the price of your choices and the affect that one person's choice can have on others, like a ripple across a pond. And what War is, and what it means and why.
Someone in this book says, that you musn't make War personal, to which you can't help but agree with, but I believe that what is it, if NOT personal. Who would fight, without something worth fighting for? Why?
Or what if you had nothing to lose? What would you do to get what you want, who would you use and sacrifice for that?

This book makes you think, whether you want to or not, I loved and hated it. The Noise of men makes them very open with their feelings, hopes, dreams, desires - contrasting heavily with the main theme and title of the book. I could list all the subjects that Mr Ness deals with in this story, but we would be here awhile.

I struggled with the first 230 pages cause I was just terrified of it, I was so sucked in I had to put it down for about two hours. Then my partner ordered me back to my room to finish it, cause I was unbearable to be around in such a state. How odd to be affected so much, I didn't know what to do. So I told myself to finish it no matter what, cause I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't. The thing that had me scared, was the end.. I didn't want it to end. In War there are no happy endings, it's War, so how was this to end? .... that's why I had to find out.

Mr Ness is brutal and direct and doesn't blur the edges for the reader. I love the three points of view, it makes you feel so closely connected with the characters, especially Todd and Viola. Any small connections that they have, resonates off the pages and feels like a tiny warm spot in what seems like a blizzard. Its enough to keep you going, keep hoping. That they will save each other, yet again.

I cried, I sobbed, and screamed at my book. Cursed at it a few times too.. "effing book!" ;) Sorry..
And yes, I fell absolutely in love with Todd, how could I not. The ending was perfect and I hugged my book for about ten minutes after I finished, sitting there grinning like a dork. (shut up) Then and only then, did I finally get some sleep.

This series is the best book I have ever read. Its not a kids book, its a Young Adult, if not Adult. But, perhaps should be read by children as there is so much underlying this story that they would learn. Its WAR and Life from a child/teenagers point of view. The world of adults, of War seen through the simplistic childs eye and then gradually you grow with Todd and Viola, seeing the black and white but still seeing the grey in between. Knowing that its doesn't always have to be black and white and still believing that things change if you want them to.

I am going to recommend this book to everyone I know, its fantastic and you should most definitely put down whatever you are reading and start Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking Trilogy. You won't be disappointed!!

*Buy the hardback Monsters of Men, (ISBN:9781406310276) it comes with a special overlay!! Fantastic cover!! worth every penny! $22.29 from

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