Literary Friday: The Knife of Never Letting Go

Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

This is the kind of book that grabs you from the first chapter and doesn't let you go. The Knife of Never Letting Go is built with its own mythology and language (which was done so seamlessly, even my English major/professional editor/grammar Nazi twitch didn't go off). The main character is a 13 year old boy, and he's written with a beautiful (and realistic) blend of innocence and pride. He's fully relatable, and although the world is very different from ours, there are quite a few 'take aways' from the story.

You could read it an enjoy the fast-paced, gripping adventure story (with some breathtaking cliffhanger moments). And you can also put the book down and shudder to think how some areas of the world, and the nation, could fall into the same reasoning as the population of this mythic world. And how we as planetary colonists might repeat the mistakes of the past.

I also love that the female character is strong and independent (as the male character is) without being reliant on the male character for a voice or identity. The nature of their relationship progresses in a natural pace, without feeling forced or shallow. All of this makes The Knife of Never Letting Go one of those books that's not quite YA (although the main characters are young), despite where it may be shelved in the library.

I must warn you- the book's ending is in no way a conclusion. It's a little frustrating, as I wanted to pick up the second book right away and keep going...only I don't have the second book. Yet.

I recommend this book for lovers of adventure (especially the fast-paced, seat-of-your-pants kind), exceptional coming-of-age stories in a unique setting, great balances of male and female character dynamic, and classic "what makes us human" science fiction.

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