I purchased this book on Amazon after hearing good things about it in the blogosphere.
Publication Date: July 14, 2009
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 a hard review for me to write, because this book was an emotional rollercoaster for me. I flew through the first 375 or so pages in a single day because I just could not put the damn book down! Then my tense joy came screeching to a halt as I encountered the most traumatizing scene I have encountered in a book in some time. What happened in this scene was a sucker punch to the gut and the worst part is that I completely didn't see it coming, and as a result I kind of felt like a good friend had just snuck up and smacked me in the face with a 2x4.
(A side note to explain why I didn't see this coming, because truly, there was foreshadowing, but I dismissed it, and other readers might therefore be a little more prepared for this scene than I was. In a nutshell: I read a review of (what I remembered as) The Maze Runner online that said the book contained a horrible scene about (insert spoiler here) and I immediately vowed not to read the book because I knew I couldn't handle it. In the meantime I saw that Amber read The Maze Runner and loved it, and I immediately emailed her to ask about The Scene, which she said she had never encountered. I Googled "does (insert spoiler here) in The Maze Runner" just to be sure and Google said no. I shrugged, added The Maze Runner to my Amazon wish list and forgot all about it... until right around page 375 of The Knife of Never Letting Go, where I realized with horror that I had completely confused the two books in my mind, and foiled my own attempt at never having to read this damn scene!)
At the end of this awful scene I threw the book down and sobbed for half an hour. I'm talking hysterical weeping that woke my poor bewildered husband up at 2 in the morning (because the book is just that good, that I could not possibly put it down to go to sleep). After I pulled myself together I seriously debated not finishing the book. But I kind of felt like the worst possible thing had already happened, so I might as well forge ahead, and so I finished the book right then and there.
In truth, if not for that one terrible scene, this book would easily earn five stars from me. The Knife of Never Letting Go is well-written, tense and impossible to put down. I was fascinated by the world that Ness created and I came to really care about its characters. Yes, the cliffhanger ending is kind of a ripoff but it's not like there was ever any chance that I wouldn't read the whole trilogy. I will probably order them later today, because I'm dying to know what happens next.
I'm just having a hard time forgiving that one terrible scene.