A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Illustrated by Jim Kay
Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd
Published by Candlewick Press
This is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss. The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming. . . .
This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.
Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final story idea of Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults. (GoodReads)
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This book was just so…real. I heard that Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls was like taking a shot to the heart, but considering how I have never cried while reading, and very rarely do I even cry while watching movies or television (Ladder 49 and Marley and Me being the exceptions), I was surprised when I found myself choking up during a few scenes and even shedding a few tears. Honestly, my eyes were blurring so bad at some moments it was like I was trying to read through a kaleidoscope!
Conor is just your average thirteen year old boy, but he has some major problems on his plate – scary problems. He keeps having the same nightmare over and over again; one that he won’t talk about with anyone. And then the monster comes. Not the monster from his dreams; something seemingly less terrifying and it wants to tell him stories, wild stories, and it wants one in return. One story from Conor that contains the truth. His truth. It’s not as easy as it sounds and was absolutely heartbreaking!
I found myself getting extremely attached to Conor’s character and felt as if I was right there with him. Trapped inside himself with only quiet suffering as company. I felt disappointed in his father, yet love and admiration for his mother and grandmother, and most of all I felt for him. I felt his anger, his pain, and his love. It was just so penetrating and passionate! I never thought that I would get to experience something like this while reading. I never thought I would ever cry. I did get to experience it though and a few tears did escape. At the end I also felt like I was being constricted by a giant snake, my heart being pierced by my ribcage as it as crushed by its mighty strength. However, at the same time I felt like a great weight had been lifted – like I could finally breath.
The illustrations in this are also amazing! I felt the style really want well with the tone of the story and everything just seemed to fit. I could stare at it for hours.
If you haven’t read A Monster Calls yet I strongly recommend you give this powerful novel a try.
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