Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls was recommended by an author I interviewed at work. I borrowed the book from the library. I was admittedly put off by it - I'd been told that A Monster Calls was a graphic novel. That is a factual statement in that it is a novel with pictures. But it's not a graphic novel in the way I think of them (like a collected edition of comic books). Nevertheless I decided to give it a shot and started reading.

I will admit though, I had a really hard time getting into the book.

A Monster Calls is about Conor O'Malley, who is visited at night by a monstrous yew tree. As scary as this monster is, it's not the one he was expecting, the monster who hunts in his terrible nightmare, the one Conor won't tell anyone about. The yew monster says it will tell Conor three true stories, and that in return, Conor will tell it one. The monster wants Conor to tell it the truth about the nightmare. But how will Conor ever be able to do that?

Meanwhile in the waking world, Conor must deal with school, being bullied, both his grandmother and father coming to visit, all the while coping with his mother's rapidly deteriorating health. 

I may have had a hard time getting into the book, but by the end I was balling my eyes out. Patrick Ness's A Monster Calls is a brilliant look at coping with the impending loss of a loved one. 

With that said, I am definitely going to read what I hope will be a happier book next. Between this and The Lovely Bones, I feel like I've been reading too much sadness so far this year!

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