Patrick Ness publishes his 10th and most personal novel Release

The eagerly anticipated new book from the twice Carnegie Medal-winning bestselling author of A Monster Calls and The Chaos Walking Series is published today by Walker Books.

Based on Patrick’s own experiences growing up gay in a deeply religious family this is the most personal, raw and emotional literary novel from Patrick Ness yet. This beautifully raw coming of age story with a fantastical twist is inspired in part by the glorious frankness about sex of Judy Blume’s Forever and in part by the life-in-a-day structure and themes of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway.

He doesn’t know it yet, but everything in Adam Thorn’s life is about to fall apart. A gay teen growing up in isolated Washington, Adam struggles under the suffocating weight of his extremely religious family, especially from his father – head preacher at the local evangelical church. Adam must keep his new boyfriend a secret, stave off advances from his predatory boss and live up to the example of his ‘perfect’ older brother, with only his best friend Angela to confide in.

Then in a single day, everything Adam once knew and depended on seems to come crumbling down. Can he ever be honest with his family about who he really is? Will he ever get over his first heartbreak and accept that he is worthy of happiness with the sweet and nerdy Linus? And how will he survive any of this without Angela who is suddenly moving away?

Meanwhile, a girl has been violently drowned in the local lake across town, and now her spirit has risen and is seeking revenge. But her awakening has stirred an ancient and terrible power that could bring about the end of both their worlds. Can Adam and the spirit find the release they crave, or are they and their worlds destined for destruction? Spanning a single day in Adam’s life, Release perfectly encapsulates that teenage feeling that the world could come to an end at any second.

Patrick Ness Headshot - by Helen GilesPatrick Ness is the multi-award-winning bestselling author of A Monster Calls, the Chaos Walking series, More Than This, The Ask and the Answer, The Rest Of Us Just Live Here, and The Crane Wife. He is twice winner of the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the first author to ever win this award in consecutive years. A Monster Calls was recently adapted into the critically acclaimed film with Liam Neeson and Felicity Jones. Patrick is also the creator and writer of BBC3’s Dr Who spin-off The Class. Patrick was born in Virginia, USA, and spent most of his teenage years in Washington where Release is set.

Patrick Ness on Release: This is a very, very personal story for me. It’s about Adam Thorn, 17, living in a very religious American home and having to keep his boyfriend a very strict secret. Yeah, I know what that’s like. Plus, it’s about one of those days where, though you didn’t plan it, everything changes. Everything. And maybe it has to. Maybe you have to let go of some things so you can grab on to the right new things. It’s a hard experience, but you’re bigger at the end. You’re more yourself. You’re ready for what’s next.

Praise for Patrick Ness

 ‘Patrick Ness is an insanely beautiful writer.’ – John Green, author of The Fault in our Stars

 ‘Release by Patrick Ness could become just as much of a pivotal text for gay teens as Judy Blume’s Forever is for straight ones’ – Fiona Noble, The Bookseller

 ‘Original, powerful and steeped in literary richness’ – The Times

 ‘An impressively challenging and philosophical book. . .’ – The Telegraph

‘Patrick Ness’s new novel about love and survival will have readers hooked from the first line.’ – Guardian

 ‘Furiously paced, terrifying, exhilarating and heart-breaking, it’s a book that haunts your imagination.’ – Sunday Telegraph

 ‘One of the outstanding literary achievements of the present century.’ – Irish Times

‘It’s no wonder young adult fiction is booming when it boasts authors as talented as Patrick Ness.’ – Daily Mail

 ‘Told with real tenderness, it’s a brilliant portrayal of the intensity of a teenager’s inner life.’ – The Bookseller


Two-time winner of CILIP Carnegie Medal 2011 & 2012,  Guardian Children’s Fiction Award Winner 2008, Booktrust Teen Prize Winner 2008, Costa Children’s Book of the Year Winner 2009, Galaxy Children’s Book of the Year Winner 2010, Red House Children’s Book Award Winner 2012, UKLA Children’s Book Prize Winner 2012

 About Walker Books

 Walker Books is one of the world’s leading independent publishers and is part of a vibrant international group that includes Candlewick Press in America, and Walker Books Australia. Founded in 1980 Walker now publishes over 300 books a year across all genres, while remaining true to its original ethos: the pursuit of excellence. Walker Books is home to many award-winning authors and illustrators including Anthony Horowitz, Helen Oxenbury, Michael Morpurgo, John Burningham, Allan Ahlberg and Michael Rosen. Further information can be found at

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