'An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting - he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd - whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself - Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.'
I started reading 'A Monster Calls' not knowing anything about it. I was just drawn to the front cover (I know you should never judge a book...) and had heard good things about the author. Little did I know that it would soon come to be one of my favourite books I have read this year. As the reader, we learn more about Conor's story as the novel goes on. We become increasingly heartbroken upon reading of the burdens he has to bear and how he must shoulder problems that face many adults, a younger boy, Despite this, flashes of defiance and dry humour make him undeniably endearing.
'A Monster Calls' is a young adult novel, never the less, in a similar way to Roald Dahl wrote, Patrick Ness has crafted a novel, that despite it being easy to read and possibly for younger readers, has carved a short story that evokes emotion and tells the tale of deeper meanings such as grief, loss and desperation. So whilst it reads like a younger novel, the words and meanings behind it are adult themes. Alleviating this novel to a standard that belongs with the greats of children's literature.
I have not read another book that is this empathetic and seems to share in your grief at losing a loved one. Other than sounding incredibly cliché I can't fully put into words how beautiful and lyrical the novel is. I think many adults will appreciate the way 'AMC' deals with grief and loss, and will also find it relatable and helpful. Stunningly illustrated and terribly honest, forget bumps in the night, it will worm it's way into your heart and among your favourite novels and refuse to be forgotten.