Release is a sort-of coming-of-age story.
Our MC, is out of the closet, sort of. He has one foot in, and one foot out--One entangled in the religious and personal expectations from his parents--and what they expect him to be.
Everyone knows what he is, who is he--except maybe himself. Adam is on the throes of a short lived, passionate, first time, same-sex relationship. It ended quicker than it started--and Adam is still holding on, at least emotionally.
He's now dating Linus--who's not as oblivious to Adam's not so mended heart--as he may believe. But, Linus wants to love him enough to heal and have him--completely.
While this may not be wholly suitable for a younger audience, due to it's tame but quietly present sexual content--it's perfectly perfect for teens, struggling to find themselves, and even those that are not.
The most intriguing part of this novel aside from the realistically told life stories--is the odd, and whimsical story mixed in between the pages. The story of the girl murdered, telling her story from the grave.
It was both weird and completely enthralling. The author managed to capture two totally different--but intertwined stories--in a masterful way.
The author also took care to tell a story (the main story) dealing with both religion, and homosexuality--which normally conflict--with respect to both sides--without being brutal and careless to either perspective.
The story itself deals with friendships, families, religion, relationships, and sexuality both delicately and realistically.
The novel gives off a true sense of hope and forgiveness--all the while allowing the reader to see everything for what it is--but not negating the true beauty of real life.
The scenes (both the main story, and the accompanying story) are well written and interesting--and totally captivating.
Patrick Ness is a storyteller not comparable to another. While he won't be everyone's cup of tea--he will definitely entertain you.
Overall solid read with an ending that will twist you up. (See: Confused and mesmerized.)
Solid and touching friendships.