A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: September 27th 2011
Publisher: Walker Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Illness, Family, Love, Hope, Monsters, Mystery, Contemporary + Fantasy vibe.
The monster showed up 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 one 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 is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.
A Monster Calls did not constitute what I first visualized in term of story, plot and themes.
Due to the spooky cover, mystifying title and evasive blurb, my mind pictured something closer to the fantasy world than our contemporary one. Yet, the author remarkably brought together the real and the unreal, inserted in the narration that which touches one, can tear another apart and is a component of what we call ‘‘life,’’ and skilfully unfolded what laid deep inside Conor hidden…in the fragile corners of his heart but that, at any moment, threatened to break free.
I’m referring to emotions. Raw, vulnerable, intense and uncontrollable sentiments over which we, as human beings, scarcely hold control.
Thirteen-year-old Conor tried to, though. He kept it all in: his indomitable worry for his mother’s health, his hatred for his grandmother whom wanted to take him away from his beloved parent, his sadness at growing without a father and the solitude that he felt at school while being surrounded by people who showed pity, avoided Conor or bullied him…every single day.
But there was the monster too. Night after night, he visited Conor. He shared stories, thoughts and wiseness with this latter, in order to make him see things differently. But Conor was a stubborn! He heard, but he didn’t listen. He didn’t want to see the truth. He didn’t want to see, acknowledge or tell this truth. In order for Conor to breathe peacefully again, he might have to do just that.
I’m being very brief and perhaps even confusing, unfortunately, but it’s only because telling you more risks giving away too much. I had a surprisingly beautiful time discovering everything by myself and seeing how wrongly I foresaw the content to be made of. It was more than I expected. It was more than I even hoped for.
As the majority of noticeable books being found on this planet though, A Monster Calls carried a weakness, especially characterization-wise. I sadly merely perceived any background on the characters, primary or secondary ones. There were some I strongly sensed the need to learn more about, especially Harry and Conor’s grandmother…and even a little more detail would have satisfied my curiosity.
I felt certain of being in a reading slump, before I picked this marvel up. So I hope you will give it a chance too and let it fully stagger you. I cannot assure you that no tears of yours will be shed, but I surmise you will not wish to stop reading.
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