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Review – The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go
by Patrick Ness
496 pages
Published September 9, 2008 (HC), July 14, 2009 (PB)
Young adult, dystopian

Okay, so I’ve been dying to read The Knife of Never Letting Go ever since Raych was all, “I loved this book so. hard. I wanted to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant and/or put a ring on it.” (?’Cuz if you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it/ Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!)

(HA! Betcha didn’t know you’d be getting an a capella interlude when you clicked on this post, now did ya?)

So I’ve been slaving away at other books, all so I could get to THIS BOOK. And it’s all about how everyone can hear each other’s thoughts (Noise), and animals can talk (the dog’s hilarious), and Todd is going to become a man soon, and that’s when he really becomes part of the community in the town he lives in (that, by the way, is cut off from everything and is on some planet that has two moons). So Todd’s whiling away his time when all of a sudden he has to RUN and KEEP RUNNING and he doesn’t know why but part of it has to do with this girl he found WHO HAS NO NOISE and WHAT THE EFF IS GOING ON (except Todd doesn’t say eff).

I was loving on this book a lot, maybe not enough to put a ring on it, but enough to want to shove it in my friends’ hands and say, Do not talk to me until you’ve read this book. I loved the writing, I loved the dialect, and I loved the story.

Then.

Then I got to this ONE PART that I had to cut off from my consciousness and pretend like this ONE PART never happened. And to pretend like this ONE PART didn’t happen, I had to pretend like I hadn’t read the book. I couldn’t deal with this one part. It made me cry myself to sleep and it made me very sad. Not depressed, but sad for days. And I would even put the scene here in my blog (whited out so you’d have to make an effort to be spoiled) but I can’t even transcribe that part for you, it was that upsetting to me.

So while the book was good — great, even — I can’t rate the book. This part made the book unbearable for me. And maybe the book really is that good because it has elicited such a reaction from me that I had to basically forget about the book…*shrugs* I dunno. I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out.

Lastly? I’ll be reading the second book, The Ask and the Answer, because I am nothing if I am not a glutton for punishment (I hear sad things happen there too, but I *think* they happen to people, which I can deal with on a rational level).

Patrick Ness’s website.

Other reviews:

books i done read

things mean a lot

Becky’s Book Reviews

Presenting Lenore

Stephanie’s Confessions of a Book-a-holic

(Yes, there are more reviews, but how many more people need to say YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK before you go and read the effing book?)

Book source: I bought this book myself.

And one more thing? If you click on one of The Knife of Never Letting Go links and buy something from Powell’s, I’ll make a commission! Huzzah!

You can thank the FTC for this disclosure!

| Tags: , , 24 comments »

24 Responses to “Review – The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness”

  1. Cori

    For most of the review, I was like YEAH! I want to read this book! And then I got to ONE PART of your review and now I’m not sure. But I’m putting it on my TBR list anyway.

    [Reply]

  2. Carrie K.

    Oh, yeah – that one part made me sob uncontrollably, and I’m not even the kind of person that is usually effected by that kind of scene.

    And thanks a lot for the Beyonce song running on a loop through my head. :P

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  3. Meghan

    I found the book read just way too quickly for me to get as emotionally devastated by that one scene as you describe. It happened and then it was over, and they were running away again. It makes me sad to think about, but not as sad as I could have been (although maybe I don’t want to be that sad!). I did like it though and I have the next one. Just haven’t got around to reading it yet.

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  4. Christina

    Every time I see a review for this book, I think of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. Probably because the titles are so similar. Sounds like their nothing alike, but I don’t need to see another review to think I should check this one out.

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  5. Lenore

    I was more traumatized by the cliffhanger ending actually. But yeah, THAT part was very, very sad.

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  6. Lisa

    Yikes! I don’t know if I can stand the idea of picking up a book that’s going to make me that sad. Oh, who am I kidding? I probably will because, like you, I’m a glutton for punishment if it means I get a great book out of it.

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  7. kathleen

    Wow, I am convinced and am adding this to my Goodreads TBR right now!

    [Reply]

  8. Heather

    Ahhh…you speak of the part The Part That Must Not Be Named. Yes, it is a horrible part, an unspeakable part, one that absolutely EFFING KILLED ME. I’m reasonably sure I screamed NO at that part. And definitely cried. Yes, huge, wet, sobbing tears were cried.

    I’m glad you made it through.

    Definitely keep going. The Ask and the Answer is EVEN better EFF IT ALL.

    [Reply]

  9. raidergirl3

    I read it really fast like Meaghan, so it took me a bit to think what scene you were talking about, and I only finished this book last week. But once I kept reading your review, I figured it out. Guess you haven’t read Sophie’s Choice, huh?

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  10. Kristi

    Dang. OK, so from your description I KNOW that the part will kill me when I read it. But I have to read it anyway.

    [Reply]

  11. Alita

    Oh, now I have this need to find out what THAT PART while knowing I don’t really want to know what it is. I do, however, need to read this book.

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  12. Jenny

    Oh, yeah, that ONE THING? I gave this book to my friend Laura and she was all, “Jenny, I love this book! Thank you so much!” and the next day, she called me up and said, “Jenny, I got to THIS PART and now I do not understand WHY you gave me a book I could not possibly finish!” And she seriously didn’t finish it. Because of that one part.

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  13. Heather

    I TOTALLY agree with you about that one part. It broke my heart into a BILLION pieces. But I need you to understand that The Ask and the Answer is better… much, MUCH better in many ways. and you need to continue on with the series. Just sayin’.

    [Reply]

  14. Liz

    This is my first time commenting on your blog, even though I do read it fairly regularly.
    I bought The Knife of Never Letting Go in August & have not gotten to read it yet. Too much schoolwork! And I was afraid of all the crying I might do. Ack.
    Also, trying to avert my eyes, so as not to spoil anything for myself!

    [Reply]

  15. Jessica

    That “one part” made Daniela cover her face with her hands. I was reading aloud and I got so choked up – even though I’d read it before – that I could barely finish.

    We’re doing “The Ask and the Answer” right now, but I don’t think we’ll be able to finish it this week.

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  16. Alyce

    I’m one of those people who has been telling everyone they know to read this book.

    It’s funny because it took me a while to really get into the story, but once I did there was no stopping. There were a couple of scenes from the book that were heartbreaking, but I’m pretty sure I know which one you are talking about.

    The second book was even more intense and definitely has as much upsetting content, yet I couldn’t put it down.

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  17. Beth F

    I think I’m on about page 50 — I should get back to it… When I do, I’ll know what scene you meant. Glad you didn’t add a spoiler!

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  18. Jennifer

    Okay, wow. That was quite the review. I’m not even sure what to think? Do I want to read this book and cry myself to sleep – probably! I love books that elicit such a strong emotional response from me. Even if I absolutely hate what happens, it means I can’t put the book down and I undoubtedly won’t be able to forget the book – which it sounds like even though you’d love to, you can’t.

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  19. Marg

    I have seen lots of people say you must read this book, but I have also seen quite a few don’t waste your time reviews as well. I guess I wiill just have to read it myself to find out whether I will like it or not. I just picked it up from the library yesterday, so we will see.

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  20. zibilee

    Oh no! It sounds like this very sad thing happens to an animal, which I think might put me off of the book completely. Seeing that you had such a strong reaction to parts of this book make me have a few doubts about it. It has been on my wish list for awhile, but I can sometimes be really sensitive about the things I read, so I am not sure what I should do! Do you think it’s worth reading it anyway, knowing that there is some horrific sadness in store? Or do you think it might be better to skip it?

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  21. Stacy

    Um, this one part was something that happened to an animal and it upset you that much. I could not possibly read this book. I cannot bear bad things happening to animals. Just can’t do that to myself knowingly.

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  24. Kyla

    I was reading this book up in my room one day, perfectly happy. And then THAT part happened and I BALLED! I have NEVER gotten so emotional while reading a book! Ruined by day and the day after hut worth it to keep reading!! I guess it means innate a good author in front of u when u cry in your room for a half and hour because of only 3 pages in a book.

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