Conor is plagued by a recurring nightmare. One he vows never to tell anyone – not his friends at school, not his Grandmother, and definitely not his mother. He fears the worst when he begins to hear his name whispered on the wind in middle of the night; he fears his nightmare has come to life. Instead, he finds another monster at his bedroom window. The old yew tree from the cemetery transformed into a huge Monster and demands Conor talk to him. He demands truth from Conor, but Conor isn’t ready to give it.
A MONSTER CALLS is heart-wrenching. It is a story that shows just how much guilt can weigh on a person – how it can manifest into so many other problems. Patrick Ness tells a wonderful story about a difficult subject. He masterfully weaves the traditional stages of grief into the narrative. While Conor is the main character of the story, the Monster plays a huge role as well. While much of the time the Monster is demanding of Conor, there are times when he reveals a dark sense of humor. Even more important, the Monster gives Conor support and comfort when needed.
You will need a box of kleenex handy while you read A MONSTER CALLS. I was warned before I started, but I had to idea it would get to me like it did. It was so worth it though!
A MONSTER CALLS was an original idea by the author Siobhan Dowd. Unfortunately, she died of cancer at the age of 47 before she could write the story. I think we are lucky that Patrick Ness, the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy, picked up the torch and brought the story to life.