Crane Wife

The Crane Wife - Patrick Ness Actual rating: 2.5 stars"A story needs to be told. A story must be told. How else can we live in this world that makes no sense?"One night, George Duncan is woken up by a strange keening noise in his backyard. Upon going outside, he finds a crane with an arrow through its wing. George helps the crane and sets it free––and from there, his life changes.The next day, George meets a mysterious woman named Kumiko. The two of them begin creating beautiful art pieces out of old books, and soon fall in love. But Kumiko seems to be hiding things, and something about her is almost otherworldly, maybe even inhuman …Let's get one thing straight right now. I have no doubt that Patrick Ness can write an amazing book. His Chaos Walking trilogy is hands-down my favorite series ever, and his book A Monster Calls is one of the most beautiful YA novels I've ever read. Few books have moved me the way his books have, and he is one of my all-time favorite authors. I hope that one day I will meet him. And hug him. And probably cry.That said, I was a bit nervous about him writing a book for adults––but like I said, he's one of my favorite authors, so I tried to go into this book with an open mind. After all, I do really like fantasy realism and mythology and all that jazz.But after reading this book … all I can really say is: Patrick Ness, please stick to writing YA. Please, please, please.Don't get me wrong. The Crane Wife isn't a terrible book. It's good. But that's all it is. It's just … good. Fine. Whatever. It's an intriguing story, and it's pretty well-written for the most part. But I didn't find anything particularly remarkable about it. The strong sense of voice, the high levels of emotion, the excitement, and the relatable characters that are so present in the Chaos Walking books just aren't present in this novel.I liked the premise of this book. That's … about it, really.I found the characters to be pretty dull and lacking in distinctive qualities. I just didn't care about any of them. They were all just "ordinary" people (well, except Kumiko I guess … but even she wasn't that interesting). Not much happens in the book. Besides the little hints of mysticism here and there, mostly it was just kind of about people living their daily lives. I never thought I would say this about a book by Patrick Ness, but … honestly, I got bored.The writing was all right. Just all right. Which kills me, because I think Patrick Ness is a truly brilliant writer. But the style felt so forced in this book. I think this is why I tend to stick to reading YA books rather than reading adult books … There tends to be this sense in adult books to impress the audience, and so the author's voice doesn't feel completely authentic. The style in Ness's Chaos Walking series is so innovative and gives the narrating characters such strong voices. The voice was really lacking in The Crane Wife for me. It felt to me like Ness was holding back, not writing in his usual creative style … not to make assumptions, but maybe because he finds it more intimidating to write for adults than to write for teenagers. Over all, I just felt that there was no passion in this book. While Patrick Ness's other books made me extremely emotional, I felt next to nothing while reading this novel. It was a fairly good read, but it just wasn't that good or that memorable. I know that Patrick Ness has another YA book coming out in the fall called More Than This, which sounds like it will be really good. And I just hope he keeps writing YA books, because I think that's where his strength is.