Published September 27th 2011 by Candlewick Press
|There are no words that could do this book justice. It almost feels pointless to review this book for any other reason than to urge people to go read it for themselves. I don't think you can put a book like this into words- it's one of those novels that everyone has to read and take from it what they will, based on their own experiences in life.|
I think the driving force behind this book is what makes it that little more touching. This is Siobhan Dowd's idea- written by Patrick Ness because Dowd died before she got the chance to get it down on paper. Patrick Ness's introduction to the book is really sweet.
A Monster Calls is like nothing I've ever read before. The only book I see it comparable to is The Book Thief. Not because of plot similiarties or anything, just because of what it does to the reader and how it really sticks to you even after you've closed it. It's one of those books that lifts you up and shakes you around a bit, then drops you back down to rest and then repeats the process all over again. This book made me happy and sad and everything in between. The overall tone of this book is definitely sad but there's hope peeping through it especially at the weirdest and most unexpected times.
I'd say it's best to go into this book as blind as possible. The less you know, the better, I think. In short this book is about grief- a universal feeling that nobody experiences in the same way. Conor is an amazingly well developed character and his story feels so real- probably because it is real for millions of people every year. I don't think this book is just about 13 year old boys who lose their mums to cancer- I think it's about and for anyone anywhere who has ever lost anyone. It may be aimed at younger readers but I think it has something to offer everybody and something to teach everyone.
I loved it, really, I did. It's a special little book. The writing itself is simple yet effective and the illustrations (which are wonderful) fit in just perfectly and really tie the story together. I would recommend it to anyone- books like this don't come around very often!