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Title:  The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author:  Patrick Ness
Publisher:  Candlewick Press
Published:  September 2008
Pages:  479
Genre:  Young Adult, Dystopian Fiction
Source:  Library

 

The Knife of Never Letting Go follows Todd Hewitt, who is twelve years old and the youngest person in his entire town.  You see, several years ago a germ was inflicted upon the town, killing all of the women and most of the men.  And Todd is a boy now, but he’s going to become a man in just a few months.  This germ, called the Noise, also caused all of the surviving men to be able to hear every single one of each other’s thoughts.  One day, while playing in a part of the swamp that is forbidden to him, Todd stumbles across something that causes him to question everything he’s ever known about his life.  And what he finds forces him to be on the run from the mayor of his town.  Just him and his faithful dog Manchee, on the run from the most powerful people Todd has ever known.

The thing is that I don’t want to tell you anything more about this book than the above paragraph.  I actually would prefer to tell you nothing about it, but I think a short plot summary is in order so that you are intrigued enough to want to pick it up.  Because you definitely should pick it up.  This novel is gritty and intense and unlike anything I’ve read before.

The difficult thing is that I’m not able to point out what EXACTLY is so great about the book.  I will say that there is so much love in these pages, in the weirdest possible places.  Like a dog that talks, and therefore can tell his owner exactly how much he means to him with just one word.  Or a stranger who suddenly becomes Todd’s only friend in the entire world, to the point where he completely depends upon her and must trust her with his life.  And there’s a lot of pain in here too.  The one scene, if you’ve read it you know exactly what I’m talking about, oh my goodness did my heart get ripped out of my chest.  I can’t even tell you how much that part of the book broke me up inside.  But there’s so much faith and hope in these pages, too.  It’s a crazy contrast where you think all is lost one minute, and the next minute there’s a new development and things start to look up, but no wait more bad is happening and it can’t possibly get any better.  This novel is a thrill ride like no other.

And the ending.  WTF.  I’m in serious need of book 2 after that ending.

All I can say is that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into with this book, in a good way.  It is a wonderful story with amazing characters that you will be completely unable to forget.  Highly recommended.

Here are some of the (many) more reviews of The Knife of Never Letting Go.