Anila's Reviews > A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
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Sep 03, 11

bookshelves: galleys-are-win, reviewed, teary-eyes, favorite-2011-reads
Read in September, 2011

I... don't know how to review this.

I cried. Not a lot, and not really hard, but I did cry at the ending. It was beautiful and tragic and poignant and painful and right.

The concept behind it is brilliant; the way it's never quite clear whether everything is real made it tense. I'm not sure how much of that was part of Siobhan Dowd's original idea and how much Patrick Ness added, but whatever the ratio it turned out astoundingly well.

The art in this is downright creepy, if brilliant; still, I originally started it late at night and set it aside after a few pages out of fear that it would give me nightmares. This morning, I picked it up and read straight through, which took about two hours, and I know now that it probably wouldn't have given me nightmares. But... be wary anyhow.

This is the sort of book that I think Wonderland and The Secret to Lying were trying to be, and which both of those are most assuredly not. Here, the lines between reality and imagination are artfully blurred, and both drawn with such intensity that it's hard to separate them, if indeed they are separate things. Here, the protagonist's pain is immediate, concrete, and easy to sympathize with. Here, it is easy to feel things as Conor feels them because the way he experiences the world is so plausible. And here, the rich mythology of the possibly-imagined world is fully realized, without dominating the book.

It is breathtaking and heartbreaking, and I cannot recommend it enough.
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Comments (showing 1-3)




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Emily May Fantastic review! I thought it was incredibly difficult to find the right words to describe this book but you've done it well :)


Anila Oh, yours was so much better. I was really at a loss writing this.

Phoebe North's is the best, though, I think.


Emily May I just read it and yep, you're right, it's a very personal review and it makes it all the more meaningful.


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