“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”
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.
Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive.
★★★★★ 5/5 stars! (Ouch, my heart)
I made the irreparable mistake of suggesting this book to my mom BEFORE I had even read it. I only say “mistake”, because my mom has a phobia of crying (an exaggeration, but you get it). I had no idea what this book was about. I didn’t read the back cover, so I had no idea that it was going to be as gut-wrenching as it was. Big baby-fat tears fell from my eyes near the end of this book. I couldn’t stop crying. The ironic part was I was on a bus, so plenty of people could stare at the strange, crying girl. I’m sorry mom. I had no clue how difficult a read this must have been for you, and I will now always recommend books that I HAVE read.
What truly propelled me to read this book was the moment I viewed a panel with Patrick Ness. He visited The National Book Fair, and I knew this author was one of the bigger, mainstream authors that I would ever “meet.” He was a fantastic orator about his book and his writing process. I already admired him, and by this time, I had not yet read one of his books. Then, about a week later, I decided to finally read A Monster Calls. The rambling above came before and after my journey with this book.
This book, overall, is so impactful. It’s heartbreaking, truth telling, and emotional. No spoiler here, but A Monster Calls is about a boy who is trying to bear the burden of his mom’s sickness. He is only 11(?), but he feels responsible for his mom and tries to take care of her.
In my life, I have not read many children perspectives, and I don’t believe they are highly valued in literature culture. So many people claim that these perspectives are either too childish or incomprehensible, but I think many books, like this one, is essential. We need more books like this to understand ourselves and, especially, our children. Because like this book reflects, we will all be tried in life with hardships; we will all have to learn how to cope with our struggles just like Conor does.