Beautifully Heart-Wrenching

Humans tend to use the phrase “battling your inner demons” when they feel as if events in their life are uncontrollable or have taken on a life of their own, testing their limits to the fullest . In “A Monster Calls” Conor’s demons quite literally come to life, pushing the introverted pre-teen to perform acts he never imagined himself to be capable of. Patrick Ness brings this classic tale of coping with the harder times in our lives to a new level. Ness manages to mix the right amount of horror into Conor’s life without overdoing it and making it seem clichéd. “A Monster Calls” is truly ahead in the game in every sense of the word.

Thirteen year old Conor O’Malley has the same dream every night of a monster that drags his mother down into a pit. This is Conor’s demon; but when The Monster comes for Conor his life changes in ways he never thought possible. His monster always comes at 12:07, the whole time frame of his monsters appearance throughout the book is of course based around the centripetal point of his life which is his mother’s cancer. Oh yes kids, his dear mother has cancer, this book is the kind that you’ll read and you end up ugly crying at 2 am wondering why people write these sorts of stories. It’s that good, but also that sad.  The Monster serves as Conor’s guide throughout his trials with his mother’s battle against cancer saying he will tell Conor three stories; but afterwards Conor must tell The Monster a fourth. Yet Conor doesn’t realize his story will be the most revealing of all.

“A Monster Calls” emphasizes our fears of the unknown, bringing our insecurities to the surface all the while giving you a heart wrenching tale of loss and understanding what the future holds. Whether you are dealing with rough times in your life, need to move on from the past, or simply wander around bookstores aimlessly and purchase books for the cover art like I do. “A Monster Calls” is fabulously written; Jim Kay’s illustrations are gorgeous and emphasize the story even more and only make the story better from that point. Overall, Patrick Ness ‘beautifully heart wrenching, ugly crying, call your mother at 2 to tell her you love her’ writing is a must read.