Monday, 3 December 2012

#172 Book Review: A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls
Release Date: November 2012
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy:  Fishpond | Booktopia | Dymocks
More Info: Goodreads
Summary:
Connor 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 Connor. It wants the truth. 

Cover:
While this cover looks more like an 'adult' book instead of the other editions where the monster is illustrated on the cover, I think it's gorgeous in its own way as well. The tree roots on the bottom of the cover look really creepy and I love the plants surrounding it!

Story:

The monster comes at night. 12:07 to  be precise. And it wants the truth from Connor...

Word fails me. I started this book with no clear idea of what I'm going to read about. I only decided to read this book after reading many positive reviews from other bloggers although I don't normally read middle-grade books. So when I finished this book, I felt as though a part of me still lived within that book. This is quite a rare feeling indeed. I wonder why I am so attracted to monsters who remind me of my childhood nightmares? The answer to this would be Patrick Ness' writing. It vividly captures the feeling of 'loss, grief, and the need to let go.'

A Monster Calls evokes different emotions within me. They are beautiful emotions I want to hold on to forever and remember that it is a book that does this to me. From what looks like a simple story of a boy with nightmares and a 'sick' mom grows into something deeper, sad yet beautiful. I can't seem to find the right words to say because this is the kind of book I think everyone should read. Sad that my copy doesn't have the illustrations in the other editions but Patrick Ness' writing still allows me to illustrate the scenes in my head. When the monster comes, it promises three tales to Connor. But for the fourth tale, the monster wishes Connor to tell him the truth. The truth is hard to admit and Connor perhaps would rather die than admitting the truth but the monster will keep him trapped in his nightmare until he admits it. The three tales are all very interesting. But the truth is of course, the tale I'm most anxious about. When Connor admits the truth, my heart feels like it's about to break in pieces.

What I love most perhaps in this book is how creatively Ness writes a story with nightmares and monsters to tell about life. It's written in a heart-felt way but carries the air of creepiness that vibrates throughout the whole book.

Characters:
Connor is only 13 years old but I want to give him a huge hug for everything he has to go through. I understand what he is going through and although he probably dislikes the pity everyone gives him, I can't help but feel it for him. So when the monster comes, I'm intrigue at how it will affect Connor's life. The monster is such a well-written character. It is in the form of a yew tree which comes alive when it's being called. Now I should be scared of monsters but this monster, with all its creepiness and dark tales is truly enthralling. His tales make its way in the story, providing a different form of story within the story itself. While these two are perhaps the characters I really loved most, I adore Connor's mom and her grandmother is alright. I do not like Connor's father and how he seems to not care about Connor. But they don't even matter because once Connor meets the monster, I am lost in their story.

Overall:
A Monster Calls is simply brilliant, beautiful and touching. It's a story about grief, loss and how even though admitting the truth is difficult, it is still better than lying to yourself. Patrick Ness' writing beautifully captures Connor's feelings throughout the book and the monster adds to this beautiful yet haunting story. I absolutely recommend reading this book to everyone!
5 Forget-Me-Not flowers for A Monster Calls!
Thank you Walker Books Australia for the review copy!   

Check out the book trailer below!

10 comments:

  1. Aww, love your review, Celine! <3 You make me really want to read this book! It seems like a magical, enthralling story I'm going to enjoy very much! I love stories which feature mysterious creatures. And I'm really interested to meet Connor. I think I'm going to love that boy! <3

    Gorgeous review, Celine! <3 I can't wait to read this book and discover the awesomeness! :)

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  2. I haven't seen this cover before, it's pretty! :) Celine, what a wonderful review. This might be my favorite review from you so far! I can't wait to meet Connor and read this book, because it sounds so beautiful and well-written.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  3. I've heard SO much about this one, so I'm thrilled to see you enjoyed it! I definitely want to read it sometime soon and it seems too good to miss. Fantastic review, Celine! :)

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  4. Oh wow. Celine. The cover IS gorgeous. I mean, I love the others, too. But this is beautiful.

    AND OH MY WOW: This: "From what looks like a simple story of a boy with nightmares and a 'sick' mom grows into something deeper, sad yet beautiful."

    CELINE. I have CHILLS reading your review. Amazing! I've had this sitting at home for a while. I think I finally need to ACTUALLY READ IT O__O

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  5. Middle-grade books are not usually my thing either but this does sound wonderful. I've heard so many good things and so many 5 star reviews. Excellent review, Celine. :)

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  6. Whoa, I love the cover for this book!! This really is such a beautiful & emotional book. I'm glad it resonated with you too. Absolutely wonderful review!

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  7. Great review!! I haven't heard of this one but it sounds really good :)

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  8. Why I am not surprised to see this has another 5 star review? Everyone seem to love it. I am clearly missing out here! :D Also, I really like that cover. The original is brilliant too, but there's just something about this one that captures my attention more.

    Great review, Celine!

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  9. How... this... WHY have I not WANTED to read this?! It sounds SO incredibly unique and emotionally moving. I love the idea behind this and I am SO intrigued by the 'monster'. I've seen this book around a lot, but never have I taken the time to see what it's about. You have proved that I'm a complete idiot. Thank you for adding this to my wishlist, Celine! Amazing review!

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  10. This was one of the first reviews I posted on my blog last year and I couldn't agree more. This is an amazing, beautiful and haunting book. I loved it and was sobbing at the end. I am so glad that you loved it as well!

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