A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
Goodreads: See here
YOUNG ADULT / FANTASY.
Plot at a Glance:
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. 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 monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd – whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself – Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.
I had to take a few days after reading this book just to compose myself enough that I felt comfortable reviewing it. Lets be clear: everything you’ve heard about this book is true. A Monster Calls weaves metaphor, vivid imagery and complex relationship dynamics together to create a tapestry full of emotional heart that I won’t soon forget.
I don’t know why I torture myself with these sad books, but I’m hooked on them all the same.
I was lucky enough to come across the fully illustrated version of the book, which is proliferated with page upon page of glorious dark ink sketches that breathe a unique second life into the story.
The artwork by Jim Kay is absolutely beautiful, and fits the tone of the story perfectly. The titular monster that comes walking to haunt Conor is given a second presence through full paged illustrations that accompany his appearances. If you have the opportunity to get your hands on this book, this is the edition you should look for. It costs a bit more, but the glossy pages and artwork alone make the cost worth it.
Per my usual, in the interest of avoiding spoilers I don’t want to touch on the real thematic elements that this book moves into except to say that while it’s not exactly revolutionary or difficult to see coming, it’s still likely to wreck you. This is an emotional and heavy read, but it’s also incredibly important, especially for young children like Conor who might be having difficulties with similar monsters in their real lives.
I kept going back and forth between 4 and 5 stars, and I think I’m more content sticking with 4 simply because I wasn’t surprised by much of it. It’s classed in the Young Adult genre, but I actually think it reads a little low on that spectrum. This is a book you can easily read in a the span of an hour or two.
A great and moving story with important messages all the same and I’m happy it has a home in my collection.
🌟🌟🌟🌟= 4.5/5 stars
What did you think of this book? Have you seen the movie? Does it live up to the book?