Well, that was weird.
I have never read ‘Mrs Dalloway’ or Judy Blume’s ‘Forever’, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. This was essentially two completely different stories in one novel, and I would definitely have preferred them separately.
The one part was really good. It followed the story of 17-year-old Adam as he lived through one hell of a day that included a spectacle with his parents regarding his sexuality, a sexual advancement by his boss, the news that his best friend was leaving the country, and the mental preparation for the farewell party for his ex-boyfriend Enzo.
It included some great themes, such as:
- Letting go of those whom you love
- Sexual harassment
- Even seemingly perfect people make mistakes
- Abusive relationships
Now, the other part of the story. This is where it gets weird. This one was about the ghost of a girl who had been killed by her meth-addict boyfriend. Somehow, her ghost had merged with the spirit Queen of the forest. Their dual-spirit now goes as she seeks revenge. Oh, and all of this was narrated by the spirit of a faun. I still don’t completely understand what went down there.
The faun wishes to tell her, tell her that she is caught, his Queen, snagged and bound by a frightened soul. He needs to tell her that she is in danger of becoming lost forever, but he cannot. He can only look at the sun, less than an hour from its midday peak. The faun is worried. The faun is very worried.
The whole fantasy thing here just ruined it for me, and that’s coming from someone who usually loves fantasy and hates contemporary. It may have worked a bit better if the two stories were interconnected more, instead of being two wildly different parallel stories. Considering the amount of times I wanted to stop reading, it’s really a miracle I finished this book.
I haven’t read anything else by Patrick Ness, but if his other books come even close to the weirdness level on this one, I don’t think I ever will. I heard that his ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’ is being adapted into a film (Chaos Walking) with Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley, so I just might give that one a try.
As for whether or not I’d recommend it, well… I guess if you’re into peculiar and experimental books then you’d like this. Otherwise, no. I can’t say I’d recommend it. Overall, I can say that this book was a great amount of potential gone to waste.
Overall Rating: 5/10
Anyone else read this book? What were your thoughts?