I had been eyeing this book up for a while before I actually got ‘round to reserving it at the library. I worked at a book store over Christmas, and my boss loved this book, so I thought it was about time to read it. And it was awesome.
Todd Hewitt is the last boy in the town he lives in. There are no women or girls, and all the other men in the town are, well…men. Todd’s birthday is coming up and when he turns 13, he will be a man. Hence, last boy in Prentisstown. The story is set on New World, a planet far away from our own with settlers who came years before to start a new life. When they got there, they realised that there was something in the air that made all men suddenly be able to do the impossible: hear everyone’s thoughts. They call it Noise, and everything the men think, everyone can hear.
One day, Todd has to run away – the town is after him and he doesn’t know why. With his talking dog, Manchee, and he starts to run. He meets Viola, a girl without Noise. He’s never met a girl before, because in the town where he lives there are no women – ‘they all died’. The women, for some reason, weren’t affected by the Noise germ, and though they can hear what the men are thinking, the men can’t hear them, which is why Todd notices the silence that is Viola in amongst the Noise. Together they run, they meet other people from other settlements, hear rumours that Printisstown is building an army, they warn other towns, they discovers secrets about Printisstown that Todd could never have imagined, and eventually they reach their destination: Haven.
I really liked this book. It’s been written in such a way that it seems like we are hearing Todd’s stream of consciousness through the entire book. At first this was incredibly annoying, and I found it hard to read the first few chapters. Because it’s written from the mind of a 12 year old boy who can’t read himself, the spelling throughout the book is incorrect a lot of the time. For example, ‘thru’, ‘yer’, ‘cuz’, ‘direkshuns’, ‘populayshun’, ‘affectshuns’ etc. Every sentence seems to have a double negative in it too, which is the most infuriating thing for me (seriously! “You ain’t got no…” means you do have something! Grrr), but after getting used these things, you realise that it is way more effective in regards to getting to know Todd and the way he would talk and act and be if he stepped out of the pages.
It’s a great story line, with so many mysteries and twists and turns, a bit of blood and deadly knives, and horrible characters alongside sweet characters like Viola and crazy characters like Manchee the talking dog. At the end of the book there’s a definite cliff hanger, so don’t expect the story to end. I believe there are two more books after this one, so I’m really looking forward to them. I’ve given it a 4/5 stars because it was awesome, but the double negative thing…wow. It seems silly, I know, but that was really annoying. I do recommend it.
This review was written by guest blogger Anjali.
Image c/o goodreads.com