A Monster Calls is a short low fantasy novel by Patrick Ness, based on an original idea by Siobhan O’Dowd. Sadly Siobhan herself died of cancer before she could write the book.
I’d actually seen the movie of this book before I read it so I had an idea of what happened and the sad theme. Connor is a young boy, 13 years old and his mother is dying, as he tries to deal with her imminent death, he is visited by a Monster who tries to teach him about things.
‘There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.’
This novel is so real, it explores an extremely sensitive subject as seen through the eyes of a 13 year old boy who doesn’t know how to deal with his feelings about his mother’s illness. It is raw, tragic, and moving.
For a children’s book it is extremely well written, passionate, heart rendering and most of all, honest. And that’s what it is really, a book about honesty and truth, the truth that’s deep inside us and which we don’t ever want to admit.