The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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“We are the choices we make.”

— Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go

    It takes a lot of guts to go through with an idea like this one. Patrick Ness seems to never settle with the simple and unoriginal. Known for his famous Chaos Walking trilogy, I’ve only contented myself of reading some of his more recent works till this day. It was only a matter of time before I tackled one of the most popular young adult novel out there. A couple pages into the book, I knew that I was about to enter a brand new universe. One that doesn’t limit itself in the boundaries of reality. Suffice to say that Patrick Ness knows his shit. To make this even more memorable was the fact that I had completely forgotten what the book was about. It is always a pleasure to know that all your books on your shelves are there to be read for a reason. Whether you remember or not that reason is only a plus to the surprises that the book has in store for you. Jumping into this book clueless was definitely worth it. Why? Because this novel relies strongly on suspense and readers start of with little to no information on what’s going on.

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   Highly action-packed, this science fiction novel succeeds in keeping the reader hooked to a desire of information till the very end. This is a story that is impossible to speak of without spoiling something. The very plot is set around a kid who only knows what he’s been fed. And the fact that what he knows isn’t all there to is to the world he lives in makes readers just as clueless as the main protagonist. The Knife of Never Letting Go is set in a town where people can hear the thoughts of others and animals (not as coherently as humans, of course). Todd Hewitt, the last boy in town who’s a month away from being a man, is sprung into an adventure without the slightest clue what to do, and most importantly why. Pursuing a life of running away from the unknown, a path of self-discovery and a pursuit of manhood is all that lies ahead for our protagonist. The story is narrated from his point of view, an element that can cause outrage for readers who can’t stand his unique voice. In this story, while Todd is highly anticipating the day that he turns into a man, things become a little to hectic for him to really appreciate the remaining days of his innocence. Intensity will reach peaks and surprises are around every corner for the last boy of Prentisstown.

    While the narration can be quite tedious when coming from a teenager who could not get an education due to some rather horrible circumstances in the town of Prentisstown, Todd’s character manages to capture innocence at its purest. It’s always nice to see characters have their own voices, but Todd’s voice is one that needs some getting used to. He’s someone who can easily irritate you because he acts on little knowledge. But this is what makes me enjoy it so much more. A child who’s been fed one story and who has been limited access to further knowledge is one that can’t do anything other than to believe what he’s learned. By pushing him into the wilderness and face life on his own, he’s also brought to learn the coldness of the world. Todd Hewitt easily learns relativity in all its facets. What is manhood? What is caring? What is hope? This book brilliantly showcases that what he sees as normal isn’t what other people from other places of the world find normal. Being on the brink of manhood, a concept that Prentisstown forged into him, Todd is also a lot more sensitive to becoming a man. But what he doesn’t know is that being a man is something far more complex than an age threshold. Even in the simplicity of the world, Patrick Ness’ cleverly uses characters and objects for imagery and symbolism purposes. That knife alone has given so many life lessons that some parents can’t even do nowadays. I guess we can say that sometimes, the best lessons are learned through experience rather than show-and-tell.

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    Todd Hewitt makes up for a fantastic character. His evolution throughout this roller-coaster of a novel shows a confused, frustrated yet determined child. Although he doesn’t know what he’s looking for or why his enemies are looking for him, he slowly discovers himself and fights for his convictions. In fact, at every major juncture, Todd ends up learning a life lesson, one that isn’t only crucial for him, but stunningly true for readers. For example, there comes a moment where Todd learns that good things will always have something bad to follow. If that isn’t shocking, especially for a kid to realize such a thing, then I don’t know what is. As impossible as it is to talk about the events that unfold in this book, one thing remains factual. This book never ceases to continuously toss live grenades into the lap of readers. While some events were quite predictable and can be foreseen, the shock value of these moments remain as high as they possibly can be. Patrick Ness definitely didn’t disappoint with this first book in his trilogy. The Knife of Never Letting Go is the story of Todd Hewitt, a kid who sees his innocence challenged and lives every day as his last. It is the story of a child who learns to become a man through choices, choices that will question the fairness of life and the mysteries of living.

Did you read The Knife of Never Letting Go yet? What did you think about it?

You haven’t read it, you say?

How about you read this novel for yourself!

You can purchase a copy of the novel @Amazon / Indigo !

Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below, as well as like and follow us so we can get you guys more reviews to enjoy!

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆/

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21 thoughts on “The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

  1. Ali (@thebandarblog) says:

    I read this one, and I was really disappointed by the ending. *SPOILER ALERT* I hated that you basically ended the book EXACTLY where you started: with the terrible people of Prentisstown. So you read this entire book only to have made ZERO progress getting away from them. I really liked the book up until then, but that just was a deal breaker for me. I never read the next one, but I can see why the series is popular. I’m sure the sequels are great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Oh you should definitely give, at least, the 2nd book a chance. I totally see what you mean by having made zero progress on that front, but from the escape of Prentisstown without knowing why the mayor wanted him to arriving to Haven in front of the infamous mayor AND knowing the truth behind his plans seemed like a complete change of the battlefield. I mean, sure, you were running away from them, but now you’re back in front of them, with one of your closest partner ever dying in your hands. It’s definitely one of the biggest cliffhangers ever since you don’t know what’s going to happen now that they finally meet.

      I think it’s nice to see a completely different Todd facing the terrible antagonist that we barely know much about. I’m sure that the mayor and the folks of Prentisstown think one way of Todd while he’s a Todd that came out of a cocoon. I’ll definitely check out the rest of the series though. I’m curious of what other surprises Patrick Ness has for us. 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    This sounds like an amazing book. I’ve only ever heard great things about The Knife of Letting Go and the Chaos Walking series but I’ve never actually read a review for it before.
    I’ve only started reading Patrick Ness’s books but the two I have read I’ve really enjoyed so I’m sure I’ll love this series as well, from the sound of your review this is a brilliant book and I can’t wait to get started on it.
    Great review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      I’m honored to be the first review for it that you’ve checked out! 😛 Thank you so much for the kind words. I’ve read The Rest of Us Just Live Here and A Monster Calls before checking out The Knife of Never Letting Go. I haven’t been disappointed by Patrick Ness yet and I definitely plan on checking out the two other books in the trilogy. I mean.. after the cliffhanger he gave us in book 1, there’s no way I can skip on the sequel. 😛 You should definitely check out his trilogy if you enjoy Patrick Ness’ writing style!

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

        Ohh there’s a cliffhanger in the first book? Luckily I have all three books on my shelves waiting to be read so I can jump from one straight into the other! I really enjoyed TROUJLH and I also loved More Than This (which I would highly recommend because it’s amazing). But yeah like you I’ve yet to be disappointed by anything Ness has released so I have high hopes for the rest of his books I’ve yet to get around too! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • transhaan says:

          I actually don’t have the two other books. The cliffhanger is a crazy one too. Ending a book with such a thing just makes reading the sequel mandatory. 😛 I’ll definitely check out More Than This (I think it’s in my TBR since a while now). I hope you’ll enjoy this whenever you get the chance to read it! 😉

          – Lashaan

          Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Yay! 😀 Thank you so much! Patrick Ness is definitely the man. Dude knows what he’s doing. I really enjoy the ideas he brings to the table with every single book he’s written (and that I’ve read for now!).

      – Lashaan

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  3. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed this book so much! I have read his most recent books, but didn’t get to this trilogy just yet, I think because part of me is a bit afraid of this strange and completely unique narration, I guess it’s either a hit or miss. But I really want to try it out someday. Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much! 😀 I have also read his most recent books and had yet to try the ones that made him pretty popular. But you’re definitely right. It’s a hit or miss novel because of the narration and the way the story is told. You should definitely give it a go. It’s worth trying out. 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Ohhhw! :O You should definitely try out some of his novels. This one can be quite tricky cause of the narration and the novel’s structure, but if there’s something from the author that I would highly recommend (to the point that I might even not recommend cause of the impact the book has on readers) is A Monster Calls! 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Inked Epiphanies says:

    So far I’ve only read one novel by Ness and it’s More Than This. I absolutely loved it and now very hopeful for his other books! I see that you actually read a few of his books, which one is your favorite?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Oh man… I find that every single one that I have read so far are unique in their own way. However, the one that is an instant 5 star and definitely a masterpiece among Patrick Ness’ work is definitely A Monster Calls. Although the original idea comes from Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness still gives us one of the most beautiful and tragic stories ever. You have to check it out. But, be warned. It’s not an easy read! 😉

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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