But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought? (Summary via Goodreads)
Note: This review will be spoiler free.
I don't really know where to start with this one. I'm still trying to figure out whether I enjoyed it or not. I didn't know too much about this book before I got it from the library, just that it was really popular in teen fiction and so many people had read it. My first impression was that I didn't like Todd, and this didn't change until almost the end. I don't know if Patrick Ness made him so unlikeable on purpose or if it's just me, but there was something about him that made me distrust him as a protagonist. I was interested enough in the story, but I found it so frustrating when Todd would find something out and then not even let us readers know what it was, and this happened on several occasions. I did have one moment when I was so annoyed that I almost put the book away completely, and that was because of a decision Todd had to make around 3/4 into the book.
I did know what I was getting into with the writing style, I knew that it was written from Todd's perspective and that he was only twelve. However, I did still find it tiring at some points to read from his point of view, I found sometimes he didn't make sense or explained things poorly. But obviously, he's so young this is to be expected, even if it is confusing.
One thing I really did like was Todd and Viola's relationship, especially towards the end. Their friendship is something that seems impossible at first and then goes on to become so strong.. I didn't really care for either of them when I first encountered them, but by the end I found myself caring a little bit about what happened to them. And Manchee, oh, Manchee. The talking dog. He was the best (and worst in way, I suppose?) part of the book for me and kept my hopes high, I could just imagine him in my head and found him hilarious. I think if dogs could talk Manchee is exactly how they would be.
Also, can we please mention Aaron... the guy who never seems to die? The amount of times he popped up out of nowhere actually started to amuse me, and by the end I found him so predictable. Speaking of endings, this one pulls out a pretty good cliffhanger. A good enough one for me to want to read the next book anyway! It's one of those that leaves you thinking, 'How on earth are they going to get themselves out of this situation?'
This book definitely was not what I was expecting, and I don't see why it's labelled as a 'teen' (12-16 I think) novel. If I saw my 12 year old cousin reading this I'd grab it and run away. If you're in to dystopians though, this is a must read. The world is believable and realistic, but not one I'd ever want to live in!