A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Published: September 27th 2011 by Walker Books (first published May 5th 2011)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror.
“Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn’t expect.”
And just like that, the book described itsself. It still haunts me in some way, the beautiful illustrations and the fact that the book is meant for children. Maybe I put on my child eyes and tried to see it from an innocent point of view, maybe I failed at that. Maybe what I did instead was see it through the eyes of a mother and now I’m crying my eyes out for the child that is so much stronger than we assume. The child that tackles dealing with the monsters of this world. And there are so many of them, both children and monsters.
“It was just over a year ago that Lily had told a few of her friends about Conor’s mum, even though he hadn’t said she could. Those friends told a few more, who told a few more, and before the day was half through, it was like a circle had opened around him, a dead area with Conor at the center, surrounded by landmines that everyone was afraid to walk through.”
This is how i read the book, very carefully, like it was filled with landmines. I felt the same isolation as Conor, all alone in my endeavor. It’s absolutely amazing how the author managed to let you feel these feelings without really telling, it was all by showing. Then, what happens is that you want to tell everyone about it. You want to explain what that feels like. But the catch is that you can’t, it can’t be explained, it needs to be felt and experienced.
“You do not write you life with words, the monster said. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”
I feel as if this book can be interpreted many different ways, and it can mean several different things to different people. I know what it means to me, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should pick it up and discover what it means to you.
There is something to be said for the illustrations too, a dark yet beautiful touch that reflects the book perfectly. Get the hard copy if you can!
Now, to watch the movie and hope I don’t cry too much.