I knew it would be a dark story, I knew it would be sad and there would be tears, but nothing prepared me for the range of emotions I experienced while reading this book. I laughed at one page and wanted to cry at the following.
„A Monster Calls“ tells the story of the thirteen-year-old Conor, who is suffering from a returning nightmare. When the yew tree, which stands in his garden, began to walk and talk, he was sure it was one of his nightmares. But he begins to struggle with the different of reality and his nightmares, maybe they are bleeding together? Maybe nightmares are more real than he wants to admit? And what is this monster and why claims it Conor summoned it and called out for its help?
You don’t learn much about the personality of Conor, because the story that surrounds him is so encompassing, there is no space for big character development in such a short book (about 200 pages with big font and even bigger illustrations). But you learn much about him through his reactions and relationships with others. I loved how the book showed the difficulty to interact with other people and everyday situations like school when you’re going through a really hard time and need to get your own stuff together before you can think of something else.Patrick Ness totally convinced me with his fascinating style of writing. He used a style I regularly don’t like, short sentences, but he mananged to put a lot of meaning and weight in such a little amount of words. He does a decent job of balancing horror and hope. Also the illustrations are sooo amazing, they are super inspiring! The artist did a really good job in catching the mood.
I really don’t want to tell to much about the story and why it is a hard time for Conor, because I think it’s a totally different thing to read it and experience it yourself than to read a review on a random blog. I guess the magic here lies behind uncovering the truth for yourself.
A Monster calls is a low fantasy children’s novel about grief and unwanted emotions. It’s a healing book that teaches you to accept your feelings – that it is important to let go. It’s a story that shows there is light even in darkness.
Patrick Ness’ novel is both contemporary and fantasy but also has this dark fairy tale feel like many stories of Grimm or Andersen. And A Monster Calls has the total potential to become one of the biggest masterpieces of children literature!
„You do not write your life with words… You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.“
A Monster Calls | by Patrick Ness | 02.02.2012 | Walker Books ltd.| Softcover | 214 pages | 9,29€