[review] The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

Warning: Spoilers for The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness…probably.

Todd has done everything he could to save Viola and it might not be enough. To make matters worse, he know finds himself under the control of the very evil mayor who is claiming redemption. But some of the woman of the town don’t believe him, and they’re fighting back. Will history repeat itself?

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)Ness definitely upped his game with this book. I was expecting more scary adventure times, but what I wasn’t expecting was such SMART scary adventure times. Like, seriously mind-twisting smart. This book makes you think about what is right and what is wrong and if either of those things even exist. There are some serious World War II and Genocide parallels, not to mention the parallels to the current war what with the role bombs play. Want to get students involved in current events or thinking about history? I’d throw this book at them (or you could pass it to them gently).

The men vs. women thing also reminded me a lot about the ongoing power struggle between men and women in our society. The use of feminine slurs by the mayor’s soldiers is a great conversation starter on how that kind of language is used to degrade and belittle women. Todd and Viola’s relationship can be seen as a symbol of hope for the future: a future where men and women can see each other’s as equals.

Finally, I’d like to say that I wish I could have had the chance to listen to this, like I listened to The Knife of Never Letting Go. While I didn’t have an issue with the spelling as I’ve heard some readers did, I found the listening experience to be much more memorable. When some lines that repeated from TKoNLG I could actually hear the audiobook in my head. I’m not saying don’t read this book, but I am saying if given the choice between reading or listening–choose listening. Either way, you should read this series.

Books with similar aspects

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

recommended to war buffs, current even fans, and those who like their books filled with all those wonderful shades of gray

not recommended to those who can’t handle death, violence, or torture

Don’t just take my word for it!

“Yo, The Ask And The Answer is HEART BREAK CITY y’all.” – April @ Good Books and Good Wine

“excellent writing, heartfelt characters, and a solid cliffhanger” – Lisa is Busy Nerding

“These books are maddeningly wonderful.” – YA bibliophile

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About megtao

Student. Writer. Nerdfighter. Fights for love, justice, and awesome.
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5 Responses to [review] The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

  1. Candice says:

    I read the Chaos Walking trilogy just over a month ago. I’m on the fence about reviewing them though because I’m pretty sure nothing I can say about them will do them any sort of justice! Love that you point out all the different discussion points though; there really are some great ones that generate a lot of questions/discussions about current events!

  2. Lisa says:

    THIS BOOK. ALWAYS.
    The ending breaks my heart every time. Even thinking about it.

    This book is recommended for those looking for books that make you FEEL.

    SO glad you love these. I can’t wait to see what you think about Monsters of Men!

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