Saturday, June 04, 2011

A Monster Calls (MG/YA)

A Monster Calls. Patrick Ness. Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd. 2011. September 2011. Candlewick Press. 224 pages.

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.
Conor was awake when it came.
He'd had a nightmare. Well, not a nightmare. The nightmare.
The one he'd been having a lot lately. The one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming. The one with the hands slipping from his grasp, no matter how hard he tried to hold on. The one that always ended with--

There's a part of me that doesn't want to tell you anything at all about this book. The part that says that there is nothing I could say that would do it justice. The part that says this one is best discovered by readers in the moment. That knowing even the littlest things about it--the things the reader can conclude from the second or third chapter--would be knowing too much.

So I could simply tell you that it is beautiful and haunting and emotional and original. I could ask you just to trust me that it's worth a read. But would you believe me?

Conor, our hero, has been having nightmares. But it's the monster he meets shortly after midnight--on more than one occasion--that intrigues him the most. For it is this monster that he's brave enough to face. This monster that he's brave enough to speak with face to face. And if the monster is to believed, this is the monster that the boy called himself. This is the monster that both promises and threatens. He's got three stories--three tales--to share with the boy. But in return, he asks the boy to tell him a true story, his true story. And it is the threat of having to speak the truth out loud that causes Conor anxiety.

I could say more. I could mention the things going on in Conor's life--his daily life in his home and at school. But I really do think this is one you need to read for yourself, to experience for yourself.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

4 comments:

James Garcia Jr 10:03 AM  

Thanks for the post, Becky. *sigh* I have had very little time to catch up on blogs, let alone be able to actually sit down and read anything. However, you've sold me. I'll have to investigate further.
Thanks.

-James

Sam @ Parenthetical 3:06 PM  

This is my big regret from BEA: by the time I got to the booth, these ARCs were all gone. I loved Chaos Walking and am glad to hear that I should be looking forward to this as much as I am!

animewookie 11:50 AM  

Iv'e heard amazing things about this book. Thanks for adding your perspective :D

Marg 1:54 AM  

I have heard nothing but good things about this book! Must read the last Chaos Walking book so that I can move onto this one.

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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