Oh man, I saw the movie preview for this one and it was just stunning! Artistically, it reminds me of What Dreams May Come and the film just looks so beautiful. So obviously, I had to get the book and read it before going to see the movie.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is a young adult novel about a boy dealing with his mother’s battle with cancer. Thirteen-year-old Conor is tormented by a nightmare, a nightmare he won’t even admit to himself. One night, at 12:07am, Connor wakes from his nightmare to a Monster outside his window. This Monster is not from his nightmare, instead he is an ancient creature, wild and unpredictable and he wants something from Conor.
In exchange for three true tales, the Monster demands Conor’s truth. Conor feigns ignorance and the three tales begin. Over a span of time the Monster visits Conor, telling his three tales. During this time, Conor must deal with problems at school, tension in his family and his ailing mother who is in as much denial as Conor is himself. As the time for Conor’s truth nears, he begins to unravel.
Will Conor be able to tell his truth and will he survive the telling?
How can you not devour this book? It was such an easy read. The pages flew by and the story was honest and real. It touches on emotions no one wants to feel or admit to. This is a book that calls for reflection. It could very easily make you weep, rage or sigh depending on your history and the mood you are in while reading it.
One of the things I loved about this book was the interactions between Conor and the Monster. This was just great. Conor interrupts the Monster and the Monster returns the quip. We hear these tales as I would expect to hear them in a real life telling, with a mix of minor interruptions and quiet captivation. I also loved Conor’s outrage when a story doesn’t meet his expectations and the Monster replies that not all stories end well.
Overall, this was a great read that can be finished in one sitting. It will move both adults and teens and may give perspective to teens who have not had to deal with death and dying before. I give this one 5 stars because, really, how could you not.
I really hope the movie does the book justice. Time to go find out!
That’s all for now!