A Monster Calls – Review

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

“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 is inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd and written by Patrick Ness. It is beautiful in it’s heartbreak and delves into topics not normally covered. Perfection, tear-jerking and a must read.

Since this is a review, below may have spoilers, if you haven’t read the book, don’t read any further. You have been warned.

A Monster Calls is what I would call a beautiful disaster, it follows the life of Conor a young boy that is dealing with so much at such a young age. A monster shows up within Conor’s life, depriving him from of sleep, but teaching him lessons along the way. The monster wants the truth, but sometimes the truth is hurts, especially to Conor, who just wants his mother to not be in pain anymore.

This is the story is about cancer, nightmares, monsters and grief. It’s beautifully written, through a concept created by Siobhan, Patrick weaves beautiful words and create a story that is perfect at it’s foundation. Not only does this story break your heart, but heals you.

Not only is Patricks writing beautiful, this book is assisted by illustrations by the magnificant Jim Kay. I have loved his work for such a long time, so as soon as I saw this edition of the book, I had to grab it. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, but I would say Jim’s illustrations are worth more. He’s talented and really encapsulates the story within his art, you could see the grief within his art, and I cannot rave enough about it.

The plot isn’t complicated in A Monster Calls, it follows Conor as he deals with his Mothers cancer treatment, and eventual stopping of chemotherapy. Conor is too young to understand the heartbreak many of us have seen ourselves, but in this case a monster can come at the right time.

This story doesn’t need anything added or taken away. It stands on it’s own as one of the best books I have ever read. This story is reality, cancer threatens so many lives, and the story told is understandably hard to read, but its necessary. The characters were hurting, broken but still hopeful, and I think it was important to hear Conor’s truth in the end. It put his pain in perspective, and of course I cried until the very last word.

Overall, I am glad Patrick took the time to tell this story, and many people will thank him in the future. This story demands attention, it’s painful but I recommend it to everyone.

Favourite Moment: I don’t think there was a favourite part in this book, because it was perfection and tragic at the same time.
Favourite Quote: “There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”
Rating: 5/5

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