Format: Movie Tie-In Paperback
Publisher: Walker Books
Release Date: October 13th 2016
Buy The Book: A Great Read
An extraordinary novel of love, loss and hope
12.07. There's a monster at Conor's window.
It's not the one from his nightmare. But it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.
Now a powerful and haunting film, Patrick Ness's modern classic is a heartbreaking but uplifting tale of healing and, above all, the courage it takes to survive.
INCLUDES EXCLUSIVE ESSAY BY PATRICK NESS
I've been wanting to read this for a long time but it ended up being one of those books that kept getting lost in the ever-growing TBR pile. The lovely people at A Great Read kindly offered to send me a copy in exchange for an honest review, so since I seem to have been stuck in a massive reading slump lately, I decided to finally pick up A Monster Calls. And guess what? It immediately became one of those stories that made me furious with myself for not reading it sooner because it was truly beautiful.
This story follows Conor, whose mother is currently receiving treatment for cancer. His sleep keeps getting disturbed by a recurring nightmare, and one night he dreams about the yew tree in his garden becoming a monster. Only when Conor wakes up, he begins to wonder whether the monster was real after all. Over the course of the story, the monster reappears to tell Conor three tales, each not what he expected them to be.
Ness provides a heartbreaking look at life for children who have lived alongside cancer. Whilst Conor had a strong bond with his mother throughout the story that was touching to read, it was his troubled relationship with his grandmother that was the most interesting for me. The pair of them don't exactly get along, and Conor is resentful to her when she comes to the house to help out. He doesn't want to admit to himself that his mother needs her help, either. Their relationship was a difficult one, but it was developed in such a beautiful way, showing how each of them is dealing with the situation in their own very different way.
Another thing that stood out to me in this story was Conor's life at school and the challenges he faced with bullying and friendship. It showed just how easy it is for someone to become a target and not know how to get themselves out of that situation. It was heartbreaking to see that Conor didn't really want to change what was happening, almost feeling as though he deserved what he was going through.
The visits from the monster were some of my favourite scenes in this book. They managed to be witty as well as thought provoking, and I enjoyed Conor starting to form somewhat of a bond with the monster as the story progressed. Powerful seems like such a cliché word to describe A Monster Calls, but it's the truth. It definitely left a huge impression on me and my only regret is that I didn't read it sooner!