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.
This was a really wonderful book. I wasn’t expecting much from it and really surprised me. This is a GEM.
Note: Siobhan Dowb originally came up with the idea for A Monster Calls, but she passed away because of cancer before she could write it. Patrick Ness has never met Siobhan, but he was asked to finish the book and he succeeded in doing so.
“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”
The story is about a young boy called Connor and his mum is suffering from cancer. Connor has nightmares. Not just any nightmare, the nightmare he sees in his dreams. He looks outside his window one night at exactly 12:07am, in which a monster comes to life from the yew tree and visits him to tell him three tales, but the fourth tale is a story that Connor is going to tell, which must include the ‘truth.’
I really sympathised with Connor because he deals a lot of burdens in his life and it is a lot to handle. There’s his mother’s treatments, bullies at school, his father visiting him despite having another family in America, his determined grandmother who doesn’t understand him and also the monster who visits him. His mother’s condition causes him to not be able to be friends with anyone at school particularly Lily, his childhood friend and holds a grudge against her. Underneath it all, Connor knows the truth; he knows what’s going to happen to his mother but refuses to acknowledge it. He’s a very stubborn character, yet you can’t help but feel sympathy for him. The moral of the story is learning and accepting the truth and coping with loss. The monster in this book isn’t exactly a villain, as I would have expected him to be. He was more or less, like a friend to Connor.
“Stories don’t always have happy endings.”
This stopped him. Because they didn’t, did they? That’s one thing the monster had definitely taught him. Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn’t expect.”
I enjoy reading the tales! Especially the first and the third tale. It was the really interesting part of the book because I think it created a conundrum to some extent. The monster tells the stories but not all have happy endings.
The illustrations in this book were hauntingly stunning. I love art and drawing, so the illustrations were definitely the highlights of this book. There was so much interesting mark-making details combined in the drawings and also with the writing next to it. It captures the story perfectly and brings the book to life.
A solid 4 stars. I didn’t cry whilst reading this but I did feel very touched by it. If you plan on reading this, you should definitely pick up the illustrated version. Patrick Ness is a wonderful storyteller. I’m glad I’ve read three of his books this year. (Still need to finish the Chaos trilogy though).
100% recommend! Everyone should read this.