Name: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Publication: March 5th, 2011
Source: Purchased [Indigo's]
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.
I couldn't pin point a single flaw in this book even if I was asked to. Nope, can't do it. It's hard for a novel to reach perfection-- but Ness did it. The story is beautifully written, and I couldn't help but wish that it was longer. Although it's length made the story more enjoyable, as it was fast-paced (in a sad kind-of way) and to the point, but touching in all the right ways. Ness really knows how to pull the heart strings and make you feel like you're the one experiencing all this pain and heart break. It felt so real in some scenes... now, that's good writing. It's one of the few novels out there that really focus on the message. I like that.
The story focuses on a boy named Conor, who's parents are divorced, and the mum has just come down with a bad case of cancer. At first, all was well. She would get treated and then she would get better. Until she didn't. Until all the kids at school found out. Until Conor became invisible. Now Conor's life is disastrous-- all the nightmares & lonliness, and his fragile mother getting weaker everyday. Until a Monster starts visiting Conor every night-- at 12:07, to be exact-- and begins pushing him towards the truth that he has worked so hard to keep buried deep inside.
"There are far worse things than being invisible."
Definitely the greatest story of realization and acceptance I have come across. Conor's struggle to come to terms with his reality is something I think everyone can relate to, and helps us realize that the world will never stop spinning because ours is falling apart. Life can truly be a struggle, and we catch a glimpse of that with Conor. His mother has cancer, his dad left them for another woman, he is ignored AND bullied at school, he gets treated differently because of his mother, he feels like he doesn't exist, and so on.
Seeing such a little boy (he's 14, I think) deal with all these things is just heart breaking! So watching him fight his own inner demons and come to terms with the truth he's been hiding from himself was an exquisite ride I never wanted to get off of!
I loved the relationship that grew between Conor & the Monster. Even though Conor acted like he hated him most of the time, by the end we see that the Monster acted as Conor's anchor, and helped him pull through. I felt like it was the fact that someone, even though it was a Monster, was listening to him, and giving him attention, and not judging him because of this mother, that he was able to see the bigger picture and accept the inevitable.
Such a beautiful lesson captured in only 215 pages.
I felt like the novel had a perfect ending, and although I could feel my heart shattering, it was satisfying and leaves that bitter-sweet taste in your mouth long after you've closed the book.
I can't wait to see what other books Ness comes out with. This combined with the "Chaos Walking" trilogy? Yep, I'm definitely a fan.