In Prentisstown, there are only men, and one single boy. There are no women, no females, whatsoever. And Todd Hewitt is about to become a man. There are no secrets in Prentisstown. How can there be, when you can hear everyone’s thoughts? There is no such thing as privacy. One day, as Todd is walking with his dog Manchee, he finds a quiet zone. He can’t hear any Noise or thoughts other than his own. But it keeps moving, it doesn’t stay still. But how is that possible? Todd learns that there are many possible impossible things, when he is forced to flee his town. Avoiding capture is hard to do when your pursuers can hear your thoughts.
This, truly is an amazing book, I couldn’t put it down. The world that Patrick Ness created is so intricately laid out, that while it’s complicated, it’s easy to understand, to accept, because all of it fits together, and just makes sense. In the back of my edition, Ness explains the inspiration of this novel; “Information is absolutely everywhere today-texts and e-mails and messaging-so much it feels like you can’t get away from it. I began to wonder what it would be like to be in a town where you really couldn’t get away”. Could you imagine having all your thoughts out on display for everyone to see? That would be absolutely terrifying.
To start off with my review, I want to discuss Ness’ writing style, because I absolutely loved it. At first, with Todd’s slang, I thought that I wouldn’t enjoy this book. Normally, I dislike it when authors create a new dialect for characters that I’m not familiar with. However, it was really easy to be accustomed to Todd’s improper English, and I honestly think that the story might not have been told as well as it was, if Todd had proper English. Also, can we talk about the cool font Noise makes?!
I just love it so much, and I think this element added a lot to the story, to show how hectic Noise can get.
Next, I want to discuss the characters. Now, for some reason, I usually don’t like the female protagonists of YA novels. I’m not sure why, it just seems to happen a lot. Again, this was the case for this novel as well. I didn’t really like Viola’s character. She just didn’t seem relateable to me. I don’t hate her character, but I don’t particularly enjoy her character either. However, I really, really fell for Todd. His character development was so amazing, and to see him grow as this person, was a great experience. I feel like I’m talking about my child or something. But no, really, Todd went through a lot of things, and grew to be such an amazing character.
Every one of Ness’ characters are well developed, I would say. There isn’t a single character that does things irrationally, and for no reason. All of them have a reason, and all of them have a drive, even if it’s not apparent at first. I really enjoyed that aspect. The story really came alive, because it felt like we were actually interacting with real people, because they all had a past, and connections with others as well.
The plot was a bit slow at the beginning at first, but around page 50, it started to pick up and really drive forward. So, if you’re around the beginning stage and not sure whether to continue, go for it. You won’t regret it. However, be warned, the cliffhanger at the end is killing me at the moment, I definitely need to pick up the second book soon!