When I first started out reading Burn, I was intrigued. Historical fiction isn’t all too common in young adult publishing compared to contemporary fiction, fantasy and science fiction. History and fantasy crossing paths? Even less so. But Patrick Ness has an excellent track record of meshing various genres and even defying them, so I expected this one to be a hit as well. It wasn’t but I was still glad that he brought his signature postmodern outlook with a touch of whimsy.
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.
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.
Going into The Rest of Us Just Live Here I felt very disconcerted. The main text reads like a contemporary book but each chapter starts with insights on the Chosen Ones and the gods above. There are however overlaps that can be seen when the paranormal events have an impact on the ordinary people. This makes the setting a very strange yet familiar one.