It’s happened. I’m walking away from a book without finishing it. Not because the book is poorly written and not because the characters and plot aren’t interesting. I’m walking away because the story is depressing the hell out of me. Here’s the book I’m stepping away from:
The Knife of Never Letting Go
by Patrick Ness
Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.
But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
It makes me sad to walk away from this book, but reading it makes me sad. And I usually really like dark, unhappy books. Ness is a very capable writer and I think he came up with a very unique story- which is saying a lot considering that dystopian novels are all the rage in YA today. But I’ve had to deal with almost 300 pages of poor Todd getting beat up constantly, and of course little Manchee getting put through the ringer. It was hard enough for me to finish Deathly Hallows after Hedwig bought the farm, and reading about poor puppy Manchee getting kicked a half dozen times is just leaving me with a dark cloud of gloom.
I started the book Tuesday and got quite aways into it. I didn’t realize how awful I was feeling until I tried going to sleep that night. I was actually a bit sick to my stomach. I was determined to quit the book then and there, but today I had convinced myself that I was being silly and that the book hadn’t made me feel that bad. But within a chapter I was back to the doldrums.
Here’s the thing- there are characters worth rooting for, there are mysteries that I want the answers to. I am not by any means suggesting that anyone not read this book (well, except you, Bittner- you, my tender hearted friend, should stay clear of this book). I honestly don’t know if there’s some other reason this book is affecting me so much, but for now I just have to give myself a DNF on The Knife of Never Letting Go. And in case Patrick Ness ever stumbles upon my blog, just know that I haven’t given up on your future books- TKoNLG was a page turner and I’d definitely be willing to pick up another book by you. In this case, it’s really not you, it’s me.
So, faithful and perhaps not so faithful readers, have you ever walked away from a book with regret? And has a book ever depressed you so much while reading it?