Friday, 6 June 2014

Book Review | A Monster Calls

Title: A Monster Calls

Author: Patrick Ness

Genre: Fantasy/ Children's literature

Pages: 215

Publisher: Walker books

Rating: 5 stars

"The Monster showed up at 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."

The first thing I shall mention about this book is that although Patrick Ness wrote it, it was based on the final ideas of Siobhan Dowd, a fantastic author who sadly died prematurely of Cancer before she could write it herself.

Beautiful. That just about sums up this book.
The book, at first appearance looks like a child's book with it's short length, thick pages and illustrations; however, I was amazed at how deeply the illustrations and text moved me, as a teenage girl. 

I not only love the idea of the monster helping the main character Conor, but I loved the simplicity of Conor's thoughts, showing that he is after all, only a child. Somehow Patrick Ness manages to turn this childish, simple thought pattern into a grown up, deep and almost complex, dreamlike story about a boy coping with his mother's illness. I think this story gives an important insight to the minds of not only the victims of terminal illness but of the family and indeed children affected by it. 

The characters in the book were not described in too much detail, which allows your imagination to do the work for you and really focus on other details and the illustrations. 

What made the book so damn good for me was just the sheer beauty of the text. At first glance, the language used is not too different to any other book. What makes it stand out is how Ness uses the language within strong imagery and also how he really puts himself into Conor's shoes. not many authors have the skill of using the same language and tone that a child might use when their protagonist is younger, but Ness does this fluently and I think the innocence of the Childish thoughts gradually growing up and learning it's lesson and indeed the truth at the end is relatable to most people, adult and child alike. 

The mixture of fantasy with reality really appealed to me and I am happy to say that in terms of presentation, writing style and storyline, I have never read a book quite like this one.

And so, for the sheer beauty of the writing, morals and indeed illustrations in this book I gave it a 5 star rating. This book had me hooked in a strange and unexpected way and brought me to tears. 

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