‘And The Ocean Was Our Sky’ by Patrick Ness [Spoiler-free Book Review]

“For who needs devils when you have men?”

And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness was very much inspired by Moby Dick, though you definitely do not need to have read the book or seen the movie to understand ATOWOS because it is a book in its own right.

The protagonist of the book, Bathsheba, is a whale. She is also a hunter; hunting humans, whilst they hunt whales. It has been this way for a while. This book follows her journey on the Alexandra (appropriately named after their captain) towards a goal that no whale or human has ever achieved before: defeating Toby Wick (yes, Toby Wick, great name, right?) despite the fact that they have no clue what or who Toby Wick is.

This book is also illustrated throughout — beautifully, I may add. The illustrations definitely add to the book and make the hard to imagine story just a little easier to envision.

ATOWOS is a very quick read, in my opinion. You should be done in a few days, if you don’t read it all in one go. Even though I finished it quickly, there is a lot of description that makes the world more real. I found myself trying harder to imagine a story than I ever have before (because how can you imagine whales going hunting?) but I liked the extra challenge. It made it all the more special when I did imagine it.

It’s a story not about friendship but about loyalty. The apprentices on the Alexandra will stick with the captain until the end. It’s pretty amazing what lengths they are willing to go to for the captain and I find myself envying such eternal loyalty. I’m not sure that many of us would be able to do what these whales did and not because we’re not whales but because of how much courage and determination it takes. Knowing that there’s a good chance you will fail, but doing it anyway because you believe in your captain.

If you read this book, I am sure that you will be mesmerised. It’s such an enthralling concept that you will not want to stop reading! Throughout the entire book, suspense will be at the forefront, as you race through the book to try and see whether they accomplish their goal or whether they fail. The hook will not leave until the last page.

I loved this book, and am an avid fan of Patrick Ness. Although it is not officially released yet, I really recommend you buy it when it is released in early September! You will not be disappointed.

 

Met Favourite Author!

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Yesterday was my mum’s birthday, and the day after my dad’s operation, but I couldn’t not go. It was something I might never get to do again, so I convinced my mum to come with me, and we went to see Patrick Ness, my favourite author! Don’t worry: my dad had a lot of other family and friends willing to look after him.

It was also the day of the Brighton parade to celebrate their promotion to the premiership (woop woop) so it was incredibly crowded but I didn’t mind so much, because I got to meet Patrick Ness.

Before we actually got on the train to go to Brighton, a guy dropped a piece of paper (two minutes before the train was scheduled to arrive!) and went onto the tracks to pick it back up. He then climbed up again and, luckily, did not get hit by a train. Was scary though.

The actual getting to the theatre was horrific. We asked a taxi driver to take us there and he told us it was about half an hour away and would cost a tenner, when we were sure it was much nearer. Anyway, we trusted him, and he drove us to this location. When we got out, and asked around, we realised we’d been ripped off. The theatre wasn’t here at all; and it had just gone half past two, the time we were supposed to be at the theatre. I was so stressed.

We called for another taxi and this time the guy took us to the correct location but we had missed fifteen minutes of the talk. It was terrible, really. We could still get in and his talk was so incredible that it felt like it only lasted a few minutes. We were so engrossed! His sense of humour was amazing too. Apparently, he never got any success until his late 30s, but when he did get success, that was because he didn’t think about getting a publishing contract, he wrote because he wanted to write, and it paid off.

After the talk, he did book signings, so I got a copy of his new book ‘Release’ (which I have yet to read), and waited until the massive queue got shorter, then joined it. Once I met him, I asked him a question (technically my mum did because I was too nervous): “if you had to choose, would you choose writing or cats?” I asked him this because I know he loves cats too, like me. He struggled with the answer, but, as he said when he signed the book, he chose writing. I suppose it’s because he makes lots of money from it. To be honest, I’d always choose cats, because I’ve had them my entire life, and I’ve never lived without them. I don’t know how I’d live without them. A certain blogger (*cough* MyMindSpeaksAloud *cough*) said writing too, so I am going to steal her cats.

It was a wonderful experience, despite the earlier stress, and we also went into Primark and brought me some more black and white clothes. I love black and white. it’s just so… black and white.

Thank you for reading this post; I was very excited about going to see him and I’m so happy I did!

Lia

The School Book Tag

I suck at book tags because, you know, so many books, buttttt I did it! Woo!

 

Maths – A book that has two characters who equal perfection 

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Now this book I read a long time ago but it is the dedication of Adam that held my heart. He didn’t ditch her; he stayed. The sequel was disappointing, though.

Biology – A book I would like to dissect

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I LOVE THIS BOOK! It honestly made me think so much and I would love to read it again and dissect it.

Physics – A book with a lot of potential

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I haven’t finished this book yet. It’s by the author of Cloud Atlas, one of my favourite books ever. It is so good so far, and so creepy. It definitely has potential.

Chemistry – A book I really bonded to

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THE ENTIRE SERIES! Most sequels go downhill but they were just as amazing as the first. I love this series. I’ve even met the author in London!

English – A book that should be a modern classic

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Yes, it’s another Patrick Ness book. Yes, it’s as amazing as the other one. Yet, this one definitely has classic potential. It’s awesome.

P.E. – A book that I raced to the finish with

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This is really not a book I’d typically read. Actually, it’s completely different to my normal stuff. It was my dad’s book and he let me read it before him (because he takes forever). Honestly, it is so original and wow. I loved it. The research that went into it… Wow.

Music – A book that reminds me of a song

 

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I’m not sure why but this book seems quite musical, as I read it, and I can’t say what song it reminds me of, but I definitely imagine a tune when reading it.

Okayy I’m going to nominate some cool people who follow me. Bare with, my WordPress is broken.

Alicia

Elm

Alice (because she needs to do a post ;D)

A New Chapter (because she also needs to do a post dude)

I would like nominate some cool new people but, um, my WordPress is broken so if you want to do this, JUST DO IT. IN FACT, I FORCE YOU. ALL OF YOU. 😀

 

 

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness [Book Review]

So, I finished this book last night and I just had to write a review for it! It was astonishing! It’s the last YA book by Patrick Ness that I’ve read, meaning that I’ve read all of his YA books and so I don’t have any left to read. 😦

‘A Monster Calls’ is about monsters and it’s more of a psychological thing than a physical thing; even though the monsters are very much present, it’s sort of to do with the monsters that Conor, the main character, hides within himself, and is really intriguing. It’s a really sad story, in all honesty, and I felt my heart sink at the end of it.

It’s wonderfully illustrated too though, and the pictures really add to the story. The story probably wouldn’t have the same feel without those illustrations. They definitely add to the words surrounding them.

I had strong emotions about the characters too, getting annoyed at Conor sometimes because Patrick Ness is the best author at creating realistic, flawed characters. Without giving too much away, I will say that Conor definitely grows throughout the novel, despite other aspects of his life being crushed. The monster makes him see and that is the real beauty of the story. Conor is blinded by his hatred of himself but then he realises that there’s something more important… something that can make him see… This is with the monster’s help, of course.

I am just filled with love for this story! I wasn’t surprised, though, as it is by my favourite author. I can’t think of anything to criticise in this tale of relationships, truth, and realisation.

☆☆☆☆☆

I hope you enjoyed this post!

I would love book suggestions too. 🙂

Thank you, 

Lia