October Book Discussion: The Knife of Never Letting Go


Happy Halloween! Let’s jump right into it, shall we? Without further ado, the October book discussion for The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. (It starts off a little awkward, like I’ve never done this before, haha.)

I think this one has the potential to be fairly divisive, and I am really interested to hear what you guys thought about it. Don’t forget to check the box that will send you an email when other people post here, so that we can respond to each other!

Also, remember that November’s book is Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. Do you have your copy yet?


October Book Discussion: The Knife of Never Letting Go

8 thoughts on “October Book Discussion: The Knife of Never Letting Go

  1. Jeri Wolf says:

    I also found it a slow start and almost gave up. I did however get reeled in quicker than Jessica. I would have given up if it had taken me until page one hundred and something before it clicked 🙂 Then, it began to lose me again after Todd and Viola left Farbranch. From that point on, I found it disjointed. Didn’t like that Aaron just kept randomly reappearing. In one review I read after they call him Aaron the Energizer Bunny. Same with baby Prentiss. He just kept popping up at the oddest times. I loved Manchee and was devastated when he died.
    I don’t think the way the author handled Todd killing the Spackle was particularly well done. It was out of character for Todd and then brushed off as not being that big a deal and then resurrected as a big deal when it was convenient later in the book. Then brushed off once more when Todd needed to be pure and innocent later in the novel. He wasn’t pure and innocent. He had killed someone.
    I liked that Todd accepted that Viola could do anything he could do as he had no preconceptions about a woman’s role. The part where Todd realizes that he can tell what Viola is thinking and feeling, even without ‘noise’, is probably one of the best written parts of the book in my mind. It comes across as genuine.
    I’m not sure if I will read the next one or not. Certainly not rushing out to do so, but may give it a chance at a later date.

    1. “Aaron the Energizer Bunny.” Oh my goodness, yes! Every time he popped up again, I had to kind of roll my eyes, like, “Seriously?! How is this even possible? He is missing half his face!”

      I also think that you totally nailed my biggest issue with the Spackle murder: it was way out of character for Todd and then it was like, “Oh well, we won’t talk about it again until it is useful to the plot.” It was meaningless until it was FORCED to have some sort of meaning, and as a reader, I just felt really manipulated by it, which is not a feeling that I appreciate!

  2. Valerie Steckler says:

    Hello All,
    Great audio again Jess. You are a superstar!

    I can’t really remember being so frustrated and disappointed with a book in a very long time. It did drag along and when something did happen it was always bad. It is not until Todd realizes that he knows and understands Viola, is there any light. I was sickened by Manchee’s death, the Spackle’s murder, and the fact that the men throughout every settlement were incapable of normal, healthy relationships with women.

    To learn that the men killed the women of Prentisstown and then each other to become ‘a man’ was so ludicrous to me that I may have laughed out loud but I was probably too astonished. It just seemed nonsensical. And then, when they finally get rid of Aaron, Viola gets shot, New Haven is empty and the evil men have taken over the town. Where did everybody go? I was just angry.

    What world did these people come from and what happened there that would lead them down this path in the new world? Perhaps books two and three will delve into that.

    You brought up a lot of good points about things such as toxic masculinity; equating noise to the internet and social media; Manchee’s death being about Todd (and not Aaron’s brutality); the lack of consequences to the men of Prentisstown; and men’s ability to still lie, distrust and hide things even when they know each other’s thoughts. Listening to you made me realize that reading this was not a waste of my time and perhaps I can take something away other than anger and disbelief.

    I must be getting old; I’m not usually so sour! On to Bone Gap…….

    1. It really does make you wonder what is going on with these particular men that they all seem so incapable of normal relationships with women. Like, was it some weird self-selection thing that had to do with their religion (since it was mentioned that they were “church” people who originally came to the planet). It just seems crazy that ALL of them – or the vast majority, anyway – are the same way. Did they infect each other with these beliefs somehow? I’d really like to know.

      I am glad that some of the discussion helped highlight some of the value for the book for you. That makes my heart happy. 🙂 It can be so disheartening when a book seems so devoid of any good takeaway.

  3. I have to say this book did not capture my attention at all.

    It had been sitting on my table for a few weeks before I finally found time to pick it up and I was completely prepared to jump in this world. It sounded like an interesting concept and something I was looking forward to reading.

    True to my slightly anti-social and completely book-centered self I brought the book with me to a lunch out with the family as something to read while waiting for our food. Probably not the best idea, but it helped to make my decision about continuing to read the book or not.

    Turns out, this book is not for me at all. I read the first few pages and re-read them again, shared my frustrations with my family pulling them into my book dilemma, and then tried again 3 more times trying to wrap my brain around the writing style and I just couldn’t get into it. I then read it out-loud to my parents, along with some other sentences from randomly selected pages and there was just nothing that captured my attention.

    One funny note, probably a good idea not to read this book out-loud at a restaurant, I definitely got weird looks from the other tables, and my father, at the odd way I was talking and the references to “poop, poop, poop”.

    I am looking forward to the next two book selections though.

    1. Definitely laughing at the image of you saying “poop, poop, poop” in the middle of a restaurant. Hahahah.

      Sorry the book didn’t capture your attention, it was definitely a tough read!! Hopefully the next two will be more interesting for you. 🙂

  4. Meghan says:

    I fell in with Carlia. It sat there I picked it up and tried several times to read it. I know I have issues with male protagonists but this was just more. I decided I just couldn’t try any more. I could no longer force it.

    1. There are few things that I enjoy less than having to force myself to read a book! There are so many great books out there to read and so little time, I do not at all blame you for not strong manning your way through a book that you didn’t like. Maybe the next ones will be better for you. 🙂

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