Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness, conception by Siobhan Dowd
Genre: I would call it fantasy, and children’s lit.
I first learned about this book from by reading a review by Book Adventures. It sounded so amazing that I just had to have it- seriously, I was on Amazon five minutes later.
Had Siobhan Dowd not passed from breast cancer, this would have been her fifth book. In the preface of the book, Ness talks about his worries picking up someone else’s concept. I am really glad he decided to because this book is a masterpiece! The writing flows smoothly shifting from real to imagined that you often forget which is which.
At the moment Connor is going through more than a young teen should have to. His father decamped long ago to start a new family in America, and his mother is sick with cancer. What’s worse, his friend since practically birth told everyone! Now he feels like a pariah at school, only getting attention from Lilly and the bullies. Every night he has the same nightmare. One night he awakens to find a monster has come, claiming he called him. It isn’t the monster of his dreams, though, but a large tree monster.
The monster begins by talking to Connor, explaining that there will be three stories by the monster- and a last one by Connor, the story of his truth. Each story frustrates Connor more- he has no time for this! But the monster insists. As the two spend more time together, the monster helps Connor create havoc and destruction. A living room is torn to shreds, a bully hospitalized and everyone blames Connor but no one will reprimand him, on account of what he is going through.
This book tore at me, and by the end I was a sobbing mess. I cried for Connor, who had to learn to deal with all this; for his mother and her pain; for his grandmother who lost her child. It was terrible and painful and heartbreakingly beautiful. I loved it.
The book is out now- go get it!
On the adult content scale, I give it a one. Some violence but extremely mild.
Thanks for reading!