For Christmas my mum and dad gave me Love to Shop vouchers. These are great as they can be used in a number of shops so, naturally, I used a a few in Waterstones.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness was a book I was eager to read after a friend raved about it. You may have seen the trailer for the movie version which is currently in cinemas . . . it’s emotional, isn’t it? Well, if you fancy reading the book then you’d better get your hankies ready. I was loaded with the cold when I read it so you can imagine the utter mess I was in.
Conor O’Malley has been having the same nightmare for a while now. It’s about a monster and it’s terrifying. Then one night a monster comes to visit him, but it’s not the one from his nightmares.
This monster wants Conor to tell him a story . . . a true story. But before he does, Conor has to contend with school bullies, an overbearing grandmother, and the fact that his mum is dying of cancer.
Feeling angry and alone, Conor pushes his best friend and his gran away. He wants it to be just him and his mum, and it will be when she gets better. Cos she will get better . . . won’t she?
The monster helps Conor deal with his anger and loneliness and, in the end, the truth. A truth that has been haunting Conor’s dreams and one that he must face if he wants to escape the monster from his nightmares.
In this beautifully illustrated version of the novel, Partick Ness notes that A Monster Calls would have been the fifth book by the late Siobhan Dowd. He was asked to take Siobhan’s characters and premise and turn them into this award winning story.
What he did was write believable characters and place them in a realistic and heartbreaking situation. His depiction of Conor’s relationship with his granmother is spot on given the circumstances, along with their opposing personalities. However they are united in their shared stubbornness and love for Conor’s mum.
I’m sure Siobhan Dowd would be extremely pleased with Patrick Ness’ depiction of her final tale. It touched my heart as it has done millions of other.
Keep smiling x