Book Review: A Monster Calls

Feb 13, 2017

This review is a bit different because it's actually on a children's book. I know. You're probably wondering why I'd review a kid's book for my blog. Well, I've heard amazing things about this novel from people of all ages -- even adults over the age of 60! I chose to review A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness so I can tell you whether or not it's a worthy read. Here's a short summary from Goodreads:

"The monster showed up after 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."

Pros: This book is phenomenal. The wording is simple (it is written for kids), but that can be the best way to tell a story of complex emotions. The monster was a likable character despite its ferocious appearance (the artwork is fantastic, by the way). I loved the relationship between it and the main character, Connor. Their connection made me smile in the midst of a heartbreaking story. My favorite part of this book is its purpose: revealing truth. I loved Connor's true character. I loved the story's true dealings with cancer. I loved that each character truly suffered in different ways. I loved the big reveal at the end, which dealt with Connor's true anxieties. The truths in this story expose much about humanity and that's a beautiful thing.

Cons: I wonder if this book will resonate with the audience it's intended for. The official reading age is 10+, but will kids understand the message being told?

Overall: A truly remarkable story for ALL ages, as long as you're over the official reading age (10). It will take you through a story we've heard before but never told in this way. This book will stimulate you into appreciating raw truth and humanity. Do yourself a favor and read this A Monster Calls. It's short, it's beautiful, and it'll make you cry your heart out (I was sobbing at the end), but you'll finish it with great satisfaction.

Personal Rating Score: 5/5

*Movie thoughts* There's a movie adaptation of this book! It is certainly not better than the novel, but it's still fun and enjoyable. Personally, the movie is fine but not necessary. If you want to skip it, you won't be missing out on much.
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