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Release | April 25, 2018

By Patrick Ness (HarperTeen)

Part romantic coming of age, part tortured family drama, and part magical realism, Patrick Ness’s Release is an enveloping read that delivers on many fronts. The story follows Adam, a high school junior in a small town along the Pacific North West who is struggling to come out to his religious family, get over his ex, figure out how he feels about his current boyfriend, and come to terms with his best friend moving away. 

The book is hopeful and heartbreaking all at once—and this rich emotional arc unfolds all through the time frame of a single day. Ness cites Mrs. Dalloway as his inspiration for the novel’s strict form, and Judy Blume’s Forever as inspiration for the intense, easily accessible relationships, so there’s another big reason to dive into this one. Adam is completely vulnerable to the reader, and the intensity of that intimacy is un-put-downable.

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