A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness | Published: 2011 by Walker Books | Pages: 337 | Format: Physical
Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.(Goodreads)
My Overall Thoughts
I honestly thought that going into this book was going to be a typical horror story with monsters. I never realised it was going to be that kind of book where it delves deep into heavier topics by personification and establishing them through a fictional and fantasy-like setting. Patrick Ness has definitely written this book as a way to invite the reader to perceive difficult subjects such as loss, grief and even death itself in a much more accepted and compassionate way.
However, despite other readers having a much more stronger reaction to this book. I, however, did not. Now, I am not saying that because the book didn’t incite a more intense emotion out of me, I am proclaiming that it was a bad book. Given the rating that I had given it, I obviously enjoyed it enough to rate it 3.5 stars. However, for me, I just have trouble connecting with books that are solely based on difficult subjects or heavier themes. It’s just a personal preference.
For me, it was more of being in awe of how the author depicted these themes into the main character’s journey of finding self-truth and forgiveness rather than an emotional connection to the character itself.
Personally, I think the book’s strength was how it handled difficult and heavy topics. Rather than interpreting these subjects in a much darker setting, it showed it in a much more loving and considerate way for the readers.
Overall, I found that the book was well written, especially in scenes where the author was portraying the stages of grief in such a meaningful way. Although this book wasn’t for me, I understood the message that this book was trying to convey and how it shows the reader that loss and grief is a natural and an important process of life.