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Book Thoughts: A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness)

Ness, Patrick - A Monster Calls

★★★★★★☆

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Fiction/young adult/magical realism   Pages: 237
First published: 2011
Edition: Paperback, published by Walker Books in 2015

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Patrick Ness wrote this book from Siobhan Dowd’s notes. The fact she died of cancer before she was able to complete this book makes it all the more poignant.

The story itself is pretty simple and it is pretty clear from the beginning what is going and what is going to happen. In regard to this story being told, that really does matter. In fact, it makes it all the more impactful and heartbreaking.

I really felt for Conor and I completely understood his thoughts and actions. He was such a real character. The monster from the title lifted this narrative from being ‘just another story’ about grief and pain.

I did cry and I tend to not like over-sentimental books, but I would not say this is a complete tearjerker. It had the balance just about right.

You have probably already read it (I feel like I was the only one who had not!), but if you haven’t, I highly recommend it.

6 out of 7 stars