Lucy's Reviews > A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
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Dec 26, 12

bookshelves: christmas-list-11, pw-bestbooks2011, slj-bestfiction-2011
Read from December 25 to 26, 2012

This was such a touching story, really a modern fairytale...dark and grim in places, but with a great lesson at its core, and some really strong and believable characters. Also a really good take on the Green Man legend.

It's the story of Conner, who's mother is in treatment for cancer, and the denial and guilt he feels over her illness. Connor is haunted by a giant tree monster, which seems at once sympathetic and terrifying. But as imposing as the monster is, it's got nothing on the other monster haunting Connor, the one in his reoccurring nightmares.

This book is just...wow. It hits close to the heart, without being sappy. It's very real. Even when a giant yew-tree-monster is tearing down Connor's bedroom and leaving berries all over his room in the morning.

The illustrations throughout this book really made it for me, and supported the story perfectly. Even when they weren't really pictures of anything—just scenery tracing the bottom of the pages, or nearly-abstract forms bleeding into the margins—they set the tone perfectly. And the full illustrations were nothing short of breathtaking. They're sometimes beautiful and sometimes unsettling, but either way, they're unforgettable.
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