Saturday, September 23, 2017

Release? From What?

I encountered the name of Patrick Ness first because he wrote the screenplay of A Monster Calls, based on his own novel of the same name.  An interesting if rather tepid film. Next I saw a few episodes of the dull BBC Dr. Who spinoff, Class, which was deservedly cancelled after one season. Now comes a new novel, Released, which has got some very positive attention. Alas, I wish the acclaim was deserved. Released is primarily the story of one pivotal day in the life of a gay teen in Washington state, the son of a clergyman in a very repressive religious family. Adam Thorn moons about his ex-boyfriend, whose family is moving away, while not appreciating enough his current boyfriend. On this day he learns that his closest friend, Angela, will be going to Denmark for senior year, and on top of this his seedy boss Wade threatens Adam that he will lose his job if he doesn't have sex with him, etc. Alongside this trite narrative is a shadow story about a murdered girl who comes back to confront the boy who killed her. All of this is dull and contrived. I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did.   

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