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Title:  The Ask and the Answer
Author:  Patrick Ness
Release date:  September 8, 2009
Publisher:  Candlewick
Pages:  528
Genre:  Young adult fiction, science fiction, dystopia
Source:  Library

I don’t know how to even begin to review The Ask and the Answer.  I will direct you to my review of The Knife of Never Letting Go, which is the first book in this series, and which I loved.  But like the previous book, I don’t want to give away much of the plot because there’s just too much going on and too many spoilers for the first book to even think of telling you what happens in this one.

But I will say this:  I beyond loved this book.  I loved it more than the first one, even.  I’m not sure why that is the case, exactly, but I think it has something to do with the characters.  What I love about series books is that they allow you to get so involved with the characters, so entrenched in their lives, that you feel as though you know them.  That is certainly the case for me with The Ask and the Answer.  The Knife of Never Letting Go was an awesome book, and I loved it for sure, but it took a little bit of time for me to understand and love the characters.  With this one, I knew them from page one and got to learn even more about them, got to fall in love with them even more, throughout these 500+ pages.  I just LOVE that feeling of diving deeper and deeper into characters minds and personalities and everything.

I also loved how much we got to hear from Viola.  Because Viola is awesome.  In so many ways.  And I was SO HAPPY to see so much of her in this book.

There is crazy action in this book, too, of course.  Not quite to the degree as the first book, I must admit, but that’s okay.  There was a lot more information given to the reader in this one, a lot more build-up to the action than actual action.  But I was totally good with that, because the story itself was just so darn awesome.  I stopped waiting for action and just got immersed in the story.

These books raise a lot of important questions.  Questions about conformity, about war, about authority, about a lot of things.  There are some particularly poignant scenes in The Ask and the Answer, and passages that I’d love to share with you if I wasn’t so afraid of spoiling something for you.  So I’ll just encourage you – HIGHLY – to read these books.  They are nothing short of amazing and I’m so, SO anticipating book #3.  I hope Patrick Ness is writing furiously at this very moment so that we can find out what happens soon!