Now I'm not prone to getting emotional over books. Some books I have more of an emotional connection to than others yes but it is a rare occasion that a book or its characters can make me feel anger or sorrow. Patrick Ness however was able to get through to me with this book on an emotional level with his version of Siobhan Dowd's (who I've never read but I may in the future) last book plot.A Monster Calls
is the heartbreaking story of one thirteen year old boy Conor and his struggle with his mother's sickness. The result of which leads to him being the target of bullying and losing close friends as he strives to alienate himself from other people in his own anger at the world. And in his pain he starts to see a monster in a regular nightmare (which began around the time his troubles began I believe). Then one night a different monster turns up outside his house to make a deal with him. The monster will tell Conor three stories to help him and in return Conor will tell a fourth story - one deadly truth.
Patrick Ness does an excellent job at lyrically creating a portrait of a fractured child. A young teenager full of such angst and pain that as a reader you associate with his feelings. You accept why he acts in a way that seems to undermine his nature. Hurting people, and especially hurting children, do hurt others. It's like a cycle. And Patrick Ness seems to understand his protagonist's own pathos.
I recommend this if you feel up to reading an emotional story aimed at young adults and children. I feel that older readers could also profit from this powerful work of fiction and would enjoy the moral lessons of its tale. It is a message of the soul and the heart and as such applicable to everyone. I must confess it even made me feel the same sorrow at the satisfying conclusion.