A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
Source: Purchased a paperback copy online
Genre: Young adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Tragedy
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.
Apparently some people consider this book a horror (according to Goodreads), but I really wouldn't consider it that. There is a monster, there is a tragedy, and it is haunting, but it's no horror.
Everyone was talking about this book last fall when the movie came out. I wasn't that interested in reading the book, but I did kind of want to see the movie, so I gave myself permission to see the movie without reading the book first (gasp!), but in the end, I wasn't able to get to see it in theatres. English films usually only play for a couple weeks here, so you have to really want to see it and be able to rearrange your schedule, which I wasn't.
Anyway, so I didn't end up watching the movie... After a few months of continuing to hear people rave about this book, I did decide that I might add it to my shopping list and if I ever found it on sale for a good price I'd buy it, which just so happened a few more months later. So I ended up reading the book in May (yes, it takes me that long to review books!) and just wow. Wow.
A Monster Calls is an extremely moving story about a young boy struggling to accept his mother's terminal illness, and his feelings toward her. It touched me deeply because, though I am no longer a child, my mother recently had cancer and went through treatments. It was diagnosed early, and was very effectively treated, so not a tragic ending; but at the time, I still had to face the idea that I could lose my mother, which was pretty terrifying. Reading this story and all of Conor's fears... It resonated with me because of my experience.
It is a fairly short book, yet packed with emotion and good drama. It is beautiful, tragic, haunting, and most definitely leaves an impression. I highly recommend it, but you will need tissues.
I still haven't watched the movie... I think I bought it, but now I'm not sure and I will have to go check... Anyway, I will most definitely try to watch it soon: I'm due for another good cry.
Have you read the book? Seen the movie? How do they compare?
My Goodreads rating: