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Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
PubDate: May 5, 2011
Page count: 216

Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak.

I’m okay. I told myself after reading this book. But no, I wasn’t! I am not! Because it’s been days and I still want to cry everytime I remember Connor. I’ve been warned many times that this book will break my heart and it did! It wasn’t what I expected but it turned out to be more, better! It was my first book of Patrick Ness but definitely wouldn’t be the last.

This book hurt. So much. Like, seriously. It’s heavy and really heartbreaking. It tells the story of Connor whose mother is receiving treatment for cancer. Right about the same time his mother started the treatment, he also started having this night mare. The nightmare that always wakes him up in the middle of the night. In the nightmare there’s a monster, but it’s very different from the one that visits him that night. It’s not the monster he expected, not the typical hideous-looking-sharp-teeth-red-eyes monster but more like a yew tree. No, it’s definitely a yew tree. And this monster likes to tell stories and is determined to know the truth.

More than anything, this book is dark. It’s not only about cancer that you’d feel all sort of emotions reading but it’s more than that. It deals with loss, grief, and much more important things in life. My heart broke for Connor because as if watching his mother gets eaten away by cancer is not enough, he also has to go to school every day where everyone either tiptoes around or bullies him. It’s like the monster that visits him is nothing compare to the everyday life he’s having which is really not easy. And no, I am not crying!

And the illustrations, however creepy they are, make it more enticing. They’re unbelievably beautiful!

I recommend this book to everyone, no matter how old, or young, you are! You can be 10 or 30 or even 50 but I’m sure this book will still touch you. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful and unbelievably sad! So read this one people!

Because humans are complicated beasts, the monster said. How can a queen be both a good witch and a bad witch? How can a prince be a murderer and a saviour? How can an apothecary be evil-tempered but right-thinking? How can a parson be wrong-thinking but good-hearted? How can invisible men make themselves more lonely by being seen?


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