Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}'s Reviews > A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
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's review
Dec 13, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: young-adult, horror, bought-in-2012, read-in-2012, favourites, wendy-said, m-read, dtb
Recommended to Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} by: All the 5★ ratings
Recommended for: Every single child. And perhap all adults too.
Read on April 21, 2012

Oh, I need a hug.

*Blows nose*

Dark illustrations enhancing highly emotive topics expertly written and presented in a wonderfully tactile and beautiful book.

A Monster Calls is an important and powerful piece of artwork, an absolute must read for every child. It deals with death, divorce, alienation, bullying, guilt, blame, the weight of responsibilty and basically the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Everyone has or will experience these things and Conor's anxious journey through this complicated maze of thoughts and emotions perfectly demonstrates the reality of dealing with the obstacles in life in the most touching manner possible. This sense of depth and painful truths is not something you usually see in children's books which makes this even more special.
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Quotes Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} Liked

Patrick Ness
“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”
Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness
“I wish I had a hundred years, she said, very quietly. A hundred years I could give to you.”
Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness
“Stories don't always have happy endings."

This stopped him. Because they didn't, did they? That's one thing the monster had definitely taught him. Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn't expect.”
Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness
“Four lines, and the world went quiet.

I'm sorry for telling everyone about your mum, read the first line.
I miss being your friend, read the second.
Are you okay? read the third.
I see you, read the fourth, with the I underlined about a hundred times.”
Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness
You were merely wishing for the end of pain, the monster said. Your own pain. An end to how it isolated you. It is the most human wish of all.
Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness
Because humans are complicated beasts, the monster said. How can a queen be both a good witch and a bad witch? How can a prince be a murderer and a saviour? How can an apothecary be evil-tempered but right-thinking? How can a parson be wrong-thinking but good-hearted? How can invisible men make themselves more lonely by being seen?

"I don't know," Connor shrugged, exhausted. "Your stories never made any sense to me."

The answer is that it does not matter what you think, the monster said, because your mind will contradict itself a hundred times each day. You wanted her to go at the same time you were desperate for me to save her. Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.
Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

Reading Progress

04/21/2012 page 1
0.0% "I had no idea this was illustrated. The book is so pretty." 2 comments
04/21/2012 page 46
21.0% "You know that your truth, the one that you hide, Conor O'Malley, is the thing you are most afraid of."
04/21/2012 page 71
33.0% "The justifications of men who kill should always be heard with scepticism"
04/21/2012 page 74
34.0% "Many things that are true feel like a cheat."
04/21/2012 page 119
55.0% "Belief is half of all healing. Belief in the cure, belief in the future that awaits." 1 comment
04/21/2012 page 140
65.0% ""The green things of this world are just wondrous, aren't they? We work so hard to get rid of them when sometimes they're the very thing that saves us.""
04/21/2012 page 146
68.0% "The yew is a healing tree, the monster said. It is the form I choose most to walk in."
04/21/2012 page 151
70.0% "Stories are important, the monster said. They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth."
04/21/2012 page 156
72.0% "There once was an invisible man [...] who had grown tired of being unseen. [...] It was not that he was actually invisible [...] It was that people had become used to not seeing him. [...] And if no one sees you [...] are you really there at all?"
04/21/2012 page 172
80.0% "I see you. Aww."
04/21/2012 page 172
80.0% "You must tell the truth or you will never leave this nightmare [...] You will be trapped here alone for the rest of your life. :("
04/21/2012 page 201
93.0% "Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both."
04/21/2012 page 201
93.0% "You do not write your life with words, the monster said. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do." 1 comment
04/21/2012 page 212
98.0% "Here is the end of the tale, the monster said behind him. [...] He could feel his throat choking again and his eyes watering.

I'm right there with you. *sniffs*" 2 comments
04/21/2012 page 216
100.0% "Wow." 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Aw lovely review Ames.

The Holy Terror I gave this book to a friend at work for Secret Santa, and I was so worried about what she'd think - I'd only known her a year and not that well, plus she's 5 years younger than me and survived breast cancer and her stepmom had died just a few months earlier. I went with my gut and gave it to her anyway with a note I stuck inside the book with my own feelings and a warning about what she might feel and that I meant no offense. She loved it.

I really think every single person in the world should read this book. Honestly.

Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} Aww, Shannon, that was really sweet of you. Somehow that makes me love the book even more.

message 6: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim Lovely review, and I know I will love this. One day soon it will jump into my hands, and the pages will start turning.

Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} It's a deceptive book, Jim. At first you're not sure why everyone loves it but then it starts to get to you, and before you know it you're a goner, clutching the book tightly as emotion overcomes you.

message 8: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim Thanks for the comment, Ames.:) Like most people, I have had my fair share of grief, and I have read some really moving personal stories in reviews of this book.

I have no doubt that it will connect with me as it has with so many others. I just want to find a time when I am ready to feel that connection, and not fight it.

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