Date of Publication: May 27 2011
Source: Library ebook
Read my review before you decide to read the synopsis!
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.
It's official: I am now a fan of Patrick Ness. This is the third book of his that I've read, and although A Monster Calls is impressively short, it packs a lot of punch.
Patrick Ness is incredibly talented because his writing style changes depending on the book. A Monster Calls had elegant yet simple writing. Words and stories were huge parts of the plot, and I thought that the balance between fantastical fairy tale and gritty contemporary was well walked.
Let it be known that I am not one to seek out short books. I often feel like there is little character development or story, but that was far from the case in A Monster Calls. In fact, I'm surprised at how much actually occurred. The story dives into the plot and the writing is very condensed. Every scene happens for a reason, and this is a book I could easily analyze for an essay in a language class, just because there are so many literary elements to it. There are symbols, motifs, imagery, and metaphors.
As a reader though, I don't really care about that. The part of the writing that I enjoyed was how powerful it was. Patrick Ness was always in control and the storytelling was superbly done. I don't want to spoil too much, but I will say that the story is engrossing. It pulls you in and, without you even realizing it, your heart is trapped, and then Patrick Ness carves it open.
Okay, so there were feels. Lots of them. I think the beauty in a Monster Calls is the exploration of Conor's relationships, which were all sad yet so real. Conor was someone we can all relate to, and my heart broke for him over and over. The poor kid didn't have it easy, and I think the best way of explaining A Monster Calls is that the story wasn't cheesy and sad in all the typical ways. I teared up because of little things that again, I won't spoil. And when there were big moments, I bawled.
I understood Conor. Conor was a real character to me, and someone that I could relate to on a personal level. It wasn't like he was perfect. On one hand, he did something incredibly hurtful and stupid and I remember being upset. But I was mostly upset at me too because I can relate to his feelings and there are things I feel ashamed about too. And I love him. I genuinely feel love for Conor and his situation.
Now, this review is about as vague as they come and beyond mentioning Conor's name, I realize I actually haven't told you what the book is about. That's because I didn't read a synopsis before I started this one. I picked A Monster Calls because I heard it was good, and I had read it fully experiencing every new development. I didn't read the synopsis, and I'm happy I didn't, because otherwise, maybe I would have set some barriers up before reading. This book wreaks emotional havoc, and it's so much of a learning experience that I think it's best to go into A Monster Calls knowing it's good, and discovering the elements of why and what sort of story it is, by yourself. In fact, I'm only writing a review because I want people to go read A Monster Calls and experience it. So, what are you waiting for? Do it.
There's nothing else I really want to write about except that I want a copy of this for myself. I want to read it when I'm down and when I'm happy to remind myself of the importance of truth. I related to Conor so strongly that I think that I can get lessons out of A Monster Calls for myself. And, I will be recommending this to everyone I know. Because everyone needs to read big small books full of beautiful small big moments.