Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Rating: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Fantasy | Horror

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.

Literary Awards: Galaxy British Book Awards for Children’s Book of the Year (2011),Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adult Literature (2011), Red House Children’s Book Award (2012), ALA Teens’ Top Ten Nominee (2012)

*****

I read A Monster Calls late at night, while my (almost) two-year-old son was sleeping in my arms. Somehow i held my son a little closer, a little tighter to me. Often times, Patrick Ness can really scare the living sh*t out of me.

I can emphatize with Conor. Whatever he went through, and his reactions for such, it was understandable. i enjoyed his banters with the monster. It was unexpected to encounter humor in those scenes, but it worked! Even the monster couldn’t stifle his laugh.

The twist is simple yet it left a scorching mark in my heart. Maybe I, too, am guilty of the same truth that Conor is terrified of (if I were in his shoes).

A Monster Calls challenges you to face the truth. But what’s more challenging for me is letting go. and moving on.

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