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Contributor(s): Ness, Patrick
ISBN: 0062403192     ISBN-13: 9780062403193
Publisher: Harperteen
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: September 2017
Annotation: Struggling with his family's religious beliefs, an employer's ultimatum and his unrequited love for his ex, Adam struggles to move on with a best friend and a new relationship while trying to find the courage to stay true to himself. By the New York Times best-selling author of The Rest of Us Just Live Here and A Monster Calls. Simultaneous eBook. 100,000 first printing.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Gays; Fiction.
Ghosts; Fiction.
High school students; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2017037395
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 10-12, Age 15-18
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.75" H x 5.75" W x 1.25" (0.82 lbs) 277 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Spring)
Ness follows seventeen-year-old Adam through one eventful day preceding a goodbye party for his ex-boyfriend Enzo. In interspersed passages, the ghost of recently murdered classmate Katherine wanders the town. Release references Mrs. Dalloway (but with a more grounded voice) and, like Judy Blume's Forever, is frank about teen sexuality. Though it functions as an accessible, standalone coming-of-age story, awareness of its influences makes for a layered reading experience. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2017 #5)
Ness follows seventeen-year-old Adam through one eventful day. A goodbye party is planned for his ex-boyfriend Enzo, but first there's a revelation from Adam's pious brother, a threatening encounter with Adam's lecherous male boss, a much more positive encounter with his current boyfriend Linus, and a confrontation with his evangelical minister father. Meanwhile, in occasional interspersed passages, the ghost of recently murdered classmate Katherine wanders the town. The book is full of references to Mrs. Dalloway and to Virginia Woolf ("Adam would have to get the flowers himself"; Katherine is drowned with weighted pockets), and its author's note cites its debt to that book and to Judy Blume's Forever. Release echoes the latter's frankness about teen sexuality, as well as the gravity Forever gives to teen concerns: only Katherine needs to let go of her earthly life, but Adam needs to let go of things, too, and Ness treats these as equally important. The voice here is more grounded than Mrs. Dalloway's, and most of the book is closer to realism than Ness's in-some-ways-similar More Than This (rev. 11/13), but this book's self-awareness lends its events a dreamlike feel. Though it functions as an accessible, standalone coming-of-age story, awareness of its influences makes for a layered reading experience. shoshana flax Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 July #1)

A heartbreaking dual narrative follows Adam, a gay teenager with homophobic parents, and the ghost of a classmate murdered by her meth-addicted boyfriend, over the course of one, defining day. In the hours before a going-away party for his first love, Adam Thorn has fateful confrontations with his evangelical pastor father and with the creepy boss who has been sexually harassing him. But the real bombshell is dropped when Angela, a friend Adam relies on, announces that she's moving from Washington State to the Netherlands for senior year. Ness (The Rest of Us Just Live Here) interleaves Adam's multipronged crisis with a strand tracking the murdered girl's spirit as it seeks revenge (in the company of a seven-foot-tall faun) against her killer. Adam's story dominates the narrative and provides a frank, riveting portrayal of a gay teenager's sexual awakening (an endnote acknowledges the influence of both Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and Blume's Forever). The paranormal storyline isn't quite as affecting as the plotline that follows Adam, but it conveys a sense of the mystery that can infuse ordinary lives. Ages 14–up. Agent: Michelle Kass, Michelle Kass Associates. (Sept.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 September)

Gr 9 Up—Adam, a rising senior with complex social and familial relationships, experiences the worst day of his life to date. The former boyfriend for whom he still has romantic feelings, and his BFF—witty and wise Korean adoptee Angela who might be into both guys and girls—are both going away; his older brother, a seminary student, has gotten a new girlfriend pregnant and turns to Adam to help smooth the way for breaking the news to their fundamentalist preacher father; and Adam's boss fires him when the boy won't accept his sexual advances. Ness manages to pack all this drama into a coherent and compulsively readable story line peopled with credible, rounded characters among the teens and the adults. A secondary plot thread involves a supernatural event unfolding in the same small town, but this extra layer doesn't adhere to Adam's story in any manner that enriches either. Adam's emotional geography is fully stripped and revealed through his conversations with those in his life and his actions. He feels rejected by his parents for his gay identity, which they refuse to acknowledge, and worries about whether he is capable of treating his new boyfriend fairly in light of his lingering feelings for his former one. While there is explicit sex depicted here, it falls well within the bounds of YA and is important in building plot and characters. Discussions revolving around a repressive version of fundamentalist Christianity are also relevant and realistic. VERDICT An excellent choice for all teen collections.—Francisca Goldsmith, Library Ronin, Worcester, MA

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.