A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

a-monster-callsA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is undeniably one of the best books I’ve read this year.  It’s a book I’ve always known I had to read, purely by how many people have recommended it to me. Upon finishing the novel, I knew how I felt about it, but I also knew that reviewing it wouldn’t be an easy task. I still am not quite sure how to write down my thoughts on this novel that has touch me in the way that it did.

It deals with a boy’s journey to accepting his mother’s deteriorating illness and eventual death. Every night, 13 year old Connor has nightmares, until one evening a monster came to visit, one who wants the truth. The story is beautifully written, poignant and heartbreaking. It’s also a tale of a young boy who had to grow up too quickly, with having divorced parents, his dad living in another country and a broken relationship with his grandmother – all while having to deal with his mother’s fight against cancer, which takes a toll on him. Emotionally and psychologically.

It is targeted at young adults and children, but it’s a book I’d recommend everyone to read.  The story about letting go and not having to feel guilty is something that I think all of us could identify with.  It’s an incredibly emotional read, especially for someone who has had to deal with the death of a close relative/loved one, which all of us has to face at some point in our life. There are so many themes in this book I could identify with.  I don’t think my words could do this book justice, but I’ll leave you with a few quotes from the novel, that particularly stood out for me

How can a queen be both a good witch and a bad witch? How can a prince be a murderer and a savior?

The answer is that it does not matter what you think, because your mind will contradict itself a hundred times each day. You wanted her to go at the same time you were desperate for me to save her. Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both. (page 224)

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. (page 225)

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(The edition I read were without illustrations. I do want to read the illustrated version, as I’ve heard only great things about how the beautiful illustrations supplement the story the book is delivering)