The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
How do I put into words my feelings about this book. Hm. I suppose I should start with a synopsis.
The Ask and the Answer is book two in the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. I read the first book last year and rated it four stars. This book though, I loved so much more. I received this book as birthday gift from my lovely friend Acey last summer and only got to it now. (So thank you because I know you’re reading :P)
I’m not going to go into too much detail about the synopsis of this particular book, but for the overall trilogy, it goes like this:
The main character is a boy named Todd, who lives in a little town where you can hear the thoughts of everyone and everything around you. The cows think ‘grass grass!’ and the dogs think ‘gotta poop!’. And the people of the town, their thoughts congeal together to create an unending noise, one that follows everyone day and night. Yep, even peoples’ dreams show up in the noise.
And then one day, Todd stumbles upon a patch of silence.
AND THEN SO MUCH WONDERFUL HAPPENS.
This book blew me away. The first book was good, this book was great. Easily my favorite book of the year so far (yep, more so than The Hitchhiker’s Guide, which I’m head-over-heels for). The writing, the characters, the plot. All of it was wonderful.
The writing flowed very well in this book. I found myself reading 100 or 150 pages at a time, which is unusual for me. I’m definitely more of a ‘one or two chapter per sitting’ reader. I couldn’t put this one down though. (and lucky for me, I have book three, so that bugger is next). The way that the thoughts of people and animals are written in this book is always so fascinating. It’s really hard to keep my eyes from darting across the page to read what is obviously a thought before I actually get to that part. It’s addicting.
The characters in this one, wow. SO MUCH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. I loooved this book, it made me so attached to everyone in it, bad and good. And finally the plot. Without giving spoilers, let’s just say the plot is twisting and turning and cliffy and wrenching and just ugh, read it read it.
And when I was approaching the end of this book, about fifty pages away, I was prepping myself for a cliffhanger – I knew it would be coming. I just knew it. What I didn’t know is that the last 20 pages of my edition was a short story of something else. Meaning my cliffhanger came twenty pages sooner than I was expecting. I scared my boyfriend, who was sitting next to me at the time, when I yelled ‘WHAT?! NOOO’ and slammed the book against my face (which is how you properly display dismay at a cliffhanger, btw). So yes, third book is calling to me. Will read it next. Go read this book, you know you want to.
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
My heart, it’s in knots.