No contest, The Hate U Give is the best young adult novel that was published in 2017. It’s filled with heart and soul, takes an honest look at racial discrimination, and doesn’t hold back any punches. It’s so honest and raw that it hurts to read and it’s precisely because of that that everyone and anyone, young or old, needs to read The Hate U Give.
The opening chapter of Release gave me pause for the extent to which it borrowed from the beginnings of Mrs Dalloway. I knew that Ness took inspiration from Mrs Dalloway and Forever by Judy Blume. I’ve read the former, but not the latter. And let’s just say, I didn’t like that classic very much. I gave it 0.5 stars, although I could see what Virginia Woolf had meant to accomplish. But I’ve adored past books of Patrick Ness, so I was curious.
When I first read the synopsis of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, I expected an epic romance set in space. That wasn’t quite what the book was but I did like the direction it took. What I didn’t realise at first was that The Loneliest Girl in the Universe isn’t only science fiction but a psychological thriller as well.
In many ways, Wing Jone is the book that I’ve been searching for for half my life. (I’m in my mid-twenties, so that’s not an exaggeration.) See, I’m of biracial descent. Even though I’ve sought books with biracial protagonists all my life, I’ve come across very few. Combine that with sports, one of my many passions, and odds of finding such a book plummet to near zero. Then Wing Jones came along and that book made my heart sing.
A Monster Calls was amazing in the complexity it conveyed through a simple story. I really wasn’t expecting it to be so heart-wrenching, let alone a cathartic read. Aimed at a much younger reader than I am, I thought I’d walk away liking this book, at best. Middle Grade to Young Adult books for younger teens rarely hold my attention anymore the way they used to, so I tend to avoid them.