The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (2008)
The world in this novel is strange and scary, as with any dystopia, but I especially liked the element of Noise, and the way people tried to control their thoughts so as not to give away their secrets. Having the animals talk made it very humorous and I think my favorite character in the book was Manchee. (He reminded me of the dog in the movie Up, who is hiding under your porch because he loves you.)
The story was very fast-paced and I flew through it. Something would happen very quickly --
Todd barely had time to --
And before he knew it --
Something came crashing down --
And Manchee started barking "Squirrel!!"
And then suddenly --
You get the idea. It makes for exciting reading and it's difficult to put down, but it kind of exhausted me.
Usually there is some sort of resolution at the end of a book, even if it's a series and you know the whole thing isn't actually over. Not here - there is no rest after this journey and although I did start on the second installment right away, I just can't keep up this pace. I'm not as young as I used to be.
If you like young adult dystopias, you really shouldn't miss this one. Grab all three volumes, turn your phone off, and immerse yourself in Patrick Ness's world for a weekend this winter.