Genres: Middle Grade
An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting– he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd– whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself– Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.
There’s not much I can say about A Monster Calls that hasn’t already been said, but here I am. I’ve been seeing this book everywhere for years, but the upcoming movie made me finally pick it up. It’s a fast, heart wrenching read.I had an extremely hard time putting it down.
Patrick Ness does a magnificent job of weaving so much emotion into such a short book. This is a middle grade book, but everyone at any age could find 100 things to appreciate about it. If you’ve ever felt grief, if you have children, if you breath air…this is a book for you. It will speak to your soul. Conor’s tale is not happy one, but somehow A Monster Calls manages to be uplifting. It still broke my heart into a million pieces but you aren’t left with sparks and glimpses of possible happiness to come. So, don’t let the sadness put you off, if you haven’t read it yet.
Reading this book as the mother of two small boys made me experience things through Conor’s mother’s eyes a bit too. That added another layer of heartbreak for me. I definitely had a nice cry when the book was over. I couldn’t help but think about it over the next few days. That’s always the mark of an extraordinary book for me. I’ve rambled on long enough. Just read it if you haven’t!