215 pages (Hardcover)
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.
I wasn't sure what to expect out of this book that had won both the Kate Greenway Medal and the Carnegie Medal, along with many others, but people had been talking about it and a few had recommended it to me, so when I came across a copy, I jumped at the chance to read it. As soon as I picked it up and briefly flipped through the pages, I loved the illustrations. They were dark and chillingly beautiful.
I didn't know how fitting they were until I started reading the story. This was the first book written by Patrick Ness that I've read and I've found that I absolutely love his writing. It was beautiful, and told the story perfectly. I loved the way that Conor's voice was written out and I enjoyed his thought process throughout the story.
I connected with the main character instantly. Conor was going through one of the worst situations I could imagine in life, although I'm sure it's a fairly real one for some people, and I felt so much towards him. He was doing his best to be hopeful about the whole thing and unwilling to even consider the idea of his mother not getting better, which was so realistic to me. I even cried towards the end of the book, which is really rare for me, but I was so upset by it.
However, my favorite character was the monster. I really enjoyed the stories he told Conor and how they paralleled with the people in Conor's real life. The monster was also so lyrical and I loved some of his thoughts. Plus, my whole perspective changed towards it at the end, although I could never truly hate it.
Anyways, I think everyone should go find a copy of this book and read it. But I'll leave a little quote below for those of you who can't do it immediately.
"Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose who knows what havoc they might wreak?" - A Monster Calls, page 51.
I give this book a hangover level of 5 out of 5.