The monster showed up after midnight.
As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting, the one from the nightmare he’s had every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…
This monster is something different, something ancient, something wild. And it wants the truth.
Man. This book was amazing. My first completed book from Patrick Ness and I’m surprised I have not read it sooner than I did. I swear there were tears in my eyes as I read the ending. Definitely, a must read for middle-readers and up.
In A Monster Calls, Conor’s mother has cancer. It’s a reality for many people. This book showed the reality of cancer and the toll it takes, not just on the person who has this horrible disease, but the family and friends surrounding them. Ness truly put a focus on that grief and that gut-wrenching feeling of not being able to do anything but to be there for your family and friends.
The illustrations by Jim Kay were haunting, yet very beautiful and they complemented the story immensely. The style of the book reminded me greatly of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which is another book with paired illustrations and written content. Both books also pack a huge emotional punch. Everything about this book made me say “Yes, this will tear me apart and I love it!”
Ness truly brought Siobhan Dowd’s final idea to life and honoured her in writing A Monster Calls. The lessons and truths put in this story are truly a measure of awesomeness by two amazing writers. The book was so sad, yet filled with meaning.