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A Monster Calls
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A Monster Calls - start on 06/13/16

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message 1: by Karen (last edited Jun 07, 2016 09:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen We will be reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness starting 06/13/16.

Participants are Karen and eKa.

If anyone else wants to join the discussion feel free to do so :)


mollusskka | 25 comments Getting ready for tomorrow. Don't forget. :D


Karen I won't! I have the book :)


Karen I read 10 pages during part of my break!

Very interesting. I didn't know the book was so illustrated. I like it so far. It seems like a fast read.


mollusskka | 25 comments Yes, I've never thought it has illustration in it too, pretty scary, don't you think? I'm on the School chapter now.
Btw, this is the 2nd time I read about the yew tree in a book and both of them described the spooky aura about it. So it's kinda ghostlike tree. I don't know what is it called in my country or if it's available in my country.


message 6: by Karen (last edited Jun 15, 2016 07:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen Yes! So far the story is pretty scary, just really creepy.

I stopped in the Kitchen chapter now but I will read a good amount tonight.

I don't much about the Yew tree either. I looked it up online and one website from the UK said "Yew is associated with immortality, renewal, regeneration, everlasting life, rebirth, transformation and access to the Otherworld and our ancestors." It also said it was know as the death tree. I guess traditionally in some countries, including the UK, where the author currently lives, the tree is very spiritually symbolic. I read Yew trees can last thousands of years so that must be part of the reason. Also, the tree is poisonous!!

So interesting!!

Where I live and in my culture some type of tree are known to be spiritually significant but not the yew tree.


mollusskka | 25 comments So amazing this Yew tree, its age almost 5.000 years!!! And it is said it's kind of casuarina tree. I'm not sure. There is some explanation about the Yew tree on the following pages. Quite interesting. The Yew tree is very useful it can cure any diseases. So maybe it can cure AIDS or cancer or any other incurable diseases. I wonder why I've never heard of any scientists/pharmacists use this tree as an experiment. Then I got the answer right away from the next page. Now i got a new question again, did it ever happen? About the pharmacist ever tried to cut off the Yew tree???

You know, often I am so deep in everything the book said that I think it's real hahaha. Btw, where is your country, Karen? No detail about it.


message 8: by Karen (last edited Jun 16, 2016 07:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen Oh that's very cool! I can't wait to read more. The yew tree is very symbolic in this story then.

I live in Florida in the USA but my parents are originally from Cuba and I know a lot of things about their/my culture. And you?


mollusskka | 25 comments I live in Indonesia, Bali to be exact.


mollusskka | 25 comments What page are on right now, Karen? I just finished it last night and about to write a review. Is it okay for you in case you haven't finished it?

And you know what, I got the answer again about using Yew tree for treating incurable disease, and in this case for cancer. Wow. It just like Ness knows what I had in mind.


Karen I'm still on page 38 :( I was finishing up another book.

Go ahead and write a review through your profile. If you write here, please mark the spoilers, thanks!

Sorry for being a slow reader. I think I'll be able to finish it by the end of the weekend.

Hello from the other side of the world!!

I just read the school scene and the 3 story scene. I'll write more about it later.


mollusskka | 25 comments That's okay, Karen. Just take your time reading it and I'll write my review on my profile. But I'll be very responsive to all your comments about this book. So, don't forget to share your thoughts, okay. Just pretend I hadn't finished this book.

So, what do you think about the book so far?


Karen I like it a lot. I love the creepy atmosphere and the mystery. I feels like a simple story on the surface but it really is not.

I love the main character and funny enough the monster. I can't wait to read more!

I want to know what you thought about the ending but I am scared of getting spoiled. But at least tell me, did you like the ending or did you not like it?


Karen I was so mad in the school scene when he was getting bullied by his classmates. Then when his friend stood up for him but he didn't support her I was mad at him haha But it seems he is angry with her because she told everyone his mother was sick?

Then there was the scene where the monster comes a second time and tells him he will tell him three stories and then he wants the TRUTH. I can't wait to hear to stories.


Karen The next section I will be reading is called Grandma.


mollusskka | 25 comments The ending is fairly predictable and somehow I didn't really like it. But I'm gonna rate it 4 stars anyway just because I like the messages of this book, which are a lot and so deep.

What I didn'l like is that the MC is a 13 yo boy whom I think too young to be given such hardships in life. I'm not saying about the bully, but about the letting go. What he feels about his mother being sick. Maybe it will be different if the MC was older or at least 16. Until now I'm still thinking if this kind of boy which such hardships in life does exist.

Anyway, do you know About a Boy by Nick Hornby? The condition of Conor is pretty similar with the boy (he's 12 yo) in that book so I plan to reread it to compare how that boy handle the situation and find if I had the same impression about the MC and his hardship.

Oh, i hate that part too about Lily. Why couldn't he be just tell the truth? Maybe his situation will not be so depressing if he at least tried to talk to someone. Yeah, maybe I just don't get his situation and not being so understanding.

The three stories is my fave part of this book, btw. : )


Karen Hi! I just finished the first story. I'm really enjoying this book and I can't wait to keep on reading.

I've never read that book, About a Boy. I haven't read books about people dying of cancer of cancer except a couple of romances.

Maybe I'll change my mind once I get to the end but so far he seems mature for his age. Of course having a parent die slowly due to a sickness is hard for anyone at any age. Right now in this book it's hard to see how hard it is per se because he's in complete denial. Once he has to accept what is happening I bet the burden will become much more obvious.

The grandma seems like a mean person but I don't think she really is. A stong person like that is exactly what he needs right now and what he'll need later. Too bad she's not a bit more affectionate. It must be hard for her too.

I really liked the first story. Very very interesting and creative! Ahhh I want to finish it! I wish I had more time to read!


mollusskka | 25 comments You must be very busy, Karen. But I can't wait to know how you feel about the ending and then share our thought again. I might have a change of heart too after hearing your opinion. : )


mollusskka | 25 comments Btw, Karen, what do you think about the prince killing his wife?


Karen I couldn't believe it! What a twist! I don't think he needed to kill her to get the support of his people. And especially after he seduced her. Who does that?! It makes me question his sanity although it is said he was a good ruler. However, a person can be a good ruler and a bad person at the same time. He can put up a mask at work but then go home and be mean to his family. The one thing I definitely agree with and liked about the story is that rarely no one is all bad or good, most people are a mix of the two. But that prince... wow... messed up. It would be different if the farmer's girl let him kill her as an act of love for him but I doubt that was the case here.


mollusskka | 25 comments Yes! I think he is a real stupid! No matter how good he is as a ruler. but still. He shouldn't have married that farmer girl. In today's life, I think he's the kind of man who puts his job on top of everything else in his life. I hate the way he thinks! It's so unacceptable to my logic. This where I agree that every great person makes a great mistake and this prince is one of them.

I love the quote you mentioned, too. Now I'm looking forward to hearing your opinion about the second stories. It's as good as the first but it's my most fave of all. The twist is amazing!


Karen I've been reading more.

I got to the part where Conor's mom had to go to the hospital. It's so sad :( I feel really bad for him. Especially if you really think about it. Since his dad is not very involved with his life then his mom and him must have been very close. That scene where she talked to him laying in Conor's bed looking out to the yew tree...

Interesting that monster hasn't shown up. It must be that now that his mom is in the hospital Conor is not sure what is going to happen next so his "monster" hasn't passed by? Or does he have to be near the yew tree to see the monster?

I also read the part where Conor's dad came to visit. Oh my God that man is terrible. Conor actually talked out loud about his mother's death, opened up to him and asked him if he could live with him and he said no?? Terrible terrible man. It made me so mad.

Also, that boy named Harry that bullies Conor, what is wrong with him? Why does he pick on Conor? Did he go through something similar? The teacher knows he is a bully! Why doesn't she stop him? Harry's two minions through are just the worst. The yew tree monster needs to take care of them lol

I love this book but it's filling me up with pain! Ahhhh!


Karen By the way, did you know they are making a movie for this book? It's coming out October of this year.


Karen I just read the second story and the part where Conor destroys his grandma's sitting room.

Now it's pretty obvious Conor is the one who calls the monster who is not real at all. Conor is the one doing all the things he blames the monster for. He probably was the one who collected the leaves and berries and put them in his room. The sapling he had to cut though? I'm not sure what that was.

Now I see a pattern in the stories. They are always related to someone in Conor's life he blames. In the story that person is the bad guy but then it turns out they aren't the bad guy. In story number one the evil queen was like his grandma. In the end the queen isn't all bad or good. Instead the prince is the one who is more terrible. In story number two, the Apocathary is like his dad. The Apocathary is made out to look evil and selfish but in the end the selfish one turns out to be the parson.

I disagree with the underlying message in story #2. I still think the dad is a pretty horrible dad and very selfish indeed. However, like the parson betraying his beliefs I guess Conor betrayed his mom in a way by asking his dad to take him to America so he could run away from his problems and his mom's disease.

The book is so amazing. Layer upon layers of meaning.


Karen I wonder if story #3 is going to be indirectly about Conor's mom.

I read the scene where she tells Conor they are going to start using the yew tree medicine. Like you said!

That scene where Conor's grandma screamed and screamed after she saw everything Conor had destroyed was scary and sad. That feeling that you get when everything is going wrong but you can't do anything to change it is terrible.


Karen "Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn't expect."

Love that.

I also love in the stories when the monster says he "came walking". Best part of the stories!


Karen I just read Story #3. I don't know what Harry's problem is but I think he totally deserved what Conor did.


Karen I read the part where Conor has the talk with his mom. I think she said the perfect thing to him. So he doesn't have regret later. She really is a good mom. She really understands him. And then "I wish I could give you a 100 years." It almost made me want to cry.

The note from his friend Lily was really cute and sweet.


mollusskka | 25 comments Finally you're back! So amazed to read all of your thoughts about the book. How you relate the first and second story to Conor's situation. I really loved that. Actually it didn't occur to me before about paralleling all the characters in the story to people in Conor's life. Well, I did some, but not as detailed as you did. That's awesome.

About the teacher did nothing to Harry bullying Conor, I think that's because Conor defended him. He didn't tell the truth. He always said he was okay and Harry did nothing to hurt him. Besides, Harry is a smart boy. Hey, remind me if Harry's father is a powerful man at their school? I forgot about that.

I know how you feel about Conor's dad. He's so unreliable. He's so afraid to his new wife, I guess. Now let's see what you think about the monster appearance after you read story #3. The sapling is quite real I have to believe the monster does exist. But it's only Conor who sees it, right? Okay, I just wait for your view of the story #3.


Karen I just finished it. Wow... I almost cried. I had to stop myself from doing so.

I loved it. I knew his mom was going to die but I didn't expect the truth to be he wanted it to be over already.

I love what the monster said about humans being complicated and contradictory.

I think this is a great book for someone who has lost a loved one to read. It is a painful read but you can really relate to it.

Now thinking back on what you said about his age, it feels like he is much older true.

Looking forward to reading your responses. Now we can talk openly about the entire book!

Got to sleep. I'm it is 2 AM here and I work tomorrow at 8 AM!


mollusskka | 25 comments First, congratulations for finishing the book. I myself cried. Btw, I have to pause too because I'm working now. Let's talk about it more later. Good Night, btw. : )


Karen Forgot to say thank you!!! It was fun to do the buddy read together! My first ever :)


mollusskka | 25 comments You're very welcome, Karen. it was nice to be your buddy read, too. one last question, do you think the monster does exist or it's just Conor's imagination?


Karen Some things that happened in the book cannot be explained by Conor's imagination" like the sapling growing out of the floor and Conor's sudden incredible strength.

I think they leave it open so that you can believe the monster does exist or you can believe it doesn't.

It's up to every individual person to make the decision (kind of like in Life of Pi).

I choose to believe the monster did exist. I don't think he was a monster though. Like he said, he is more like an ancient being made of the earth itself.

I like to believe in the magic of things and that there are things on this earth that we cannot fully understand but that we know we are a part of, that we know exist on a spiritual level.

So my answer is yes he was real to me :) How about you?


mollusskka | 25 comments Your answer really reflects my opinion about the monster. I'm sure the monster does exist to tell three stories to Conor, to teach him about life, except when Conor hit Harry and destroyed his grandma's furniture. that's actually Conor releasing his pent-up emotion in his reflection as a "monster".

Hope we can be buddy read again some time soon. :)


Karen Yes! That would be great :)

Good night :D


Emily Just Emily*~* Hey all.
This is a book I've read in the past and really enjoyed it. If allowed I'd love to creep in and out on the book convo as everyone else reads it. I promise I won't post spoilers!


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