Meredith's Reviews > A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
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's review
Dec 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: guy-reads, i-cried-emo-tears, male-protagonist, realistic, trauma, teen
Read in December, 2011

I think this book has received enough praise from others, so I don't feel the need to sell it. Needless to say, it was fabulous, it made me think, it made me cry, and I kind of hugged it when I was done. The only thing I really want to say is this:

Did it seriously bother anyone else that no one would give this kid a straight answer? The adults in this book made me so mad, especially the mom! I know he didn't want to hear what they had to say, but seriously grown-ups, do your job and verbalize, flat out, what is happening. Don't give him false hope, don't drop cryptic hints about the future, just be honest. Dang.

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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Mandy it did bother me, but based on my experience, that's a very realistic situation

Alison Yeah second Mandy. Sure, ideally, they'd sit you down and explain everything, but adults don't know how to deal with this shit.

Mandy btw I am considering buying this by the illustrator

we'll see how my tax return looks. ;)

Meredith Well, I've been very fortunate that I've not yet had to go through the experience of losing a parent or sibling, and I will acknowledge that it's different when this kind of thing is going on in your private, innermost circle of relationships.

My family has always been gentle but very honest about these things. Each time my sister and I were losing or lost a grandparent, each time my mom or dad had to be in the hospital for major surgery, someone was there to explain exactly what was going on, what was likely to be the outcome, and what it meant for us.

I wasn't saying that the situation isn't realistic--I think Ness painted the whole thing in a brutally realistic way--I was just saying that I was very, very upset for Colin for not having at least one adult to go to who had his or her head on straight.

I understand that one of the points Ness was making was that no one knows what the "right thing" to do is in these situations, but it didn't make me feel any less frustrated.

Mandy Yeah, word. I was upset for him too; but I cried for young Mandy too, because that was very much my situation. Being honest and gentle is the mature thought-out response, but some people are not emotionally well-equipped for that behavior. We can talk more about it off-line if you want. ;)

Meredith Mandy wrote: "btw I am considering buying this by the illustrator

we'll see how my tax return looks. ;)"

Yes! I saw that. I absolutely loved the illustrations. I wish more illustrators would put out prints of their work.

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