So, once I’d read Chaos Walking Book 1, I knew I’d probably get around to reading Patrick Ness again, as I absolutely adored that book. However, the fear of the sophomore slump gripped me, and it was a good 2 months before I dared to pick up another book of his.
This is the book I picked up…
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.
A Monster Calls Review
Ness nailed it. He reached deep into the heart of us who have had to say goodbye to a loved one after an extended illness, closed his fist around all our feelings, and ripped them callously to the surface so he could put them in A Monster Calls. I read this in the library while waiting for the six year old to finish her computer time. Halfway through, I had a sinking feeling in my gut. Three quarters through, I was fighting back tears. At the end, I was battling back horrible memories of my own as I was finishing Conor’s story.
It is so, so true, the “monster” that he deals with. I battled that monster for about 7 weeks, and it was the most horrible freaking battle I’ve ever had. If you’ve lost a love one after an extended illness, don’t read this book in public like I did. Grab a box of tissues, lock yourself in your room, and be prepared to bawl your eyes out, because there’s no chance of you not facing that monster all over again while reading A Monster Calls.
He’s good. He’s unbelievably good, and I can admire his talent even as, right now, I fully admit to hating him just a bit. Maybe more than a bit. His words are powerful, his story is one that more people need to hear. I needed to hear I wasn’t the only one who had fought the Monster Conor had fought.
I’m glad this book exists, even if I’d probably be tempted to slap the author if I saw him right now. The words are simple, the illustrations are perfect, and he tells it in a way that you can grasp no matter your age, sex, or variation of loss. I highly recommend everyone read it, but just… be careful when and where you read it. Words have power, and A Monster Calls is a first round Knock-Out Punch.
Siobhan Dowd is someone I’ve never read, but if he wrote this book to make her proud, I can’t imagine her doing anything other than beaming in pride right now.
My favorite quotes:
“The justifications of men who kill should always be heard with skepticism.”
“Son,” his father said, leaning forward. “Stories don’t always have happy endings. “