Patrick Ness is an awesome writer. But don’t take my word for it…

Patrick Ness is a great author. He writes books for young adults – teen fiction, I guess you call it. The big difference between him and many other writers of that genre, is that his books carry a weight, a gravitas, that raises them above the mob.

I read a lot of books. I’m not trying to brag, or make out that I’m better than other people who read, just pointing out that my tastes are very eclectic. I read classics, science fiction, crime, history, autobiographies, blah, blah, blah. And I think that the eminent Mr Ness is one of the finest writers I’ve read. And that’s a pretty big call.Ness

My introduction to Ness was The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first part of his Chaos Walking trilogy. I was intrigued by the title, so I picked it up. It is one of the few books I’ve read where a scene made me cry, and I’m pretty soppy. I picked up the rest of the trilogy and was astounded that young adult fiction could be so good. It’s fast-paced, riveting and emotionally draining stuff, that explores themes of misogyny, terrorism and xenophobia. Not your average kid’s book.

I’ve gone on to read A Monster Calls, The Rest of Us Just Live Here and More Than This. Ness is brilliant. Check him out.

 

Here’s another piece I wrote for Uni, that I can publish now as that course is over.

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Proud to be a Bookworm (or Books Make My World Go Around)

(Alpha Girl is reading a magazine on the lounge; she flicks the pages back and forth cursorily, uninterested in the content.

“Bored?” I say.

“I am now that you’re here,” she says.

“How about reading a book?”

“I don’t want to turn into a book-loving nerd like you.”

“At least I don’t get bored.”)

 

Don’t you love the smell of a new book? I do.

I am a big user of The Book Depository (henceforth referred to as TBD), an online book service based in England (this is not a paid endorsement). I love the fact that they have free postage. I resent the postage charges overseas online companies charge. It’s just my thing.

I just received a few books in the mail today (delivered to the doorstep, so that I don’t have to leave the comfort of my home – I’m so lazy). I’ve only had books go missing once in the ten years or so of buying books from TBD, a quick email and new copies were delivered. Did I mention great customer service? (Okay, now I’m starting to sound like an advertisement.)

Back to the books. I am an avid reader. I read about 50-60 books a year – novels, Uni textbooks, short stories, autobiographies, histories; all sorts of stuff. I also love graphic novels. For those of you unfamiliar with the graphic novel: it is a complex and adult-oriented story told using sequential art. Okay, a comic strip. But not the type read by kids. Graphic novels cover a gamut of themes and genres and can be amazing pieces of visual storytelling. Check out Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen or Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, if you don’t believe me.

I recently finished a great book by Justin Cronin – The Passage. It’s a best seller, so it’s possible you’ve read it too. It’s an unconventional post-apocalyptic vampire thriller. If you haven’t read it I suggest you try it out – it’s very well written, and full of character and intensity. I just received the sequel, The Twelve, through TBD.

A favourite writer of mine is Patrick Ness. He writes young adult fiction, but his kinetic stories are incredibly emotional and surprisingly deep. Try out his Chaos Walking trilogy (The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer and Monsters and Men), which is a commentary on racism, misogyny, genocide and terrorism, all disguised as a teenager’s book. Gripping stuff. I was so taken with these books, I immediately gave them to a friend because I wanted someone else to experience how I felt about them.

I love books, and I’m proud to be a bookworm. No doubt I’ll chat some more about them in future.

What’s your favourite book?

 

(“You are such a nerd,” says Alpha Girl.

“Because I love books?” I say. “If that’s the case, I’ll be a nerd, any day.”)

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