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