When I started to read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, I did not expect it to read like a normal story. Eventhough it has a giant, talking Yew tree monster in it, it didn’t feel like a fantasy to me. Everytime 12:07 struck, it felt like thirteen-year-old Connor O’Malley was just having a dream, not having real conversations with a monster.
I prefer complicated, complex stories, preferrably with fascinating world buildings so I was a bit underwhelmed by A Monster Call’s simplicity. But that being said, it didn’t take away from how good the story is. In a way, it made it extremely readable.
This story as told in a child’s perspective goes on to tell of how he manages his day-to-day existence, from the constant harassment of bullies, his feelings of alienation from everyone in his school, to the anger, terror, and grief of watching someone he loves slowly fade away.
I rarely cry while reading a book but when I do, it almost always has to do with a conflict or a situation between a parent and a child. Other reviewers have said they have sobbed to this book. But while I admit I have not, for a few precious minutes, I could barely see the words because I was reading through tears.
I wish this novel isn’t so short. It only has 127 pages in my e-reader and it’s been a long while since I’ve read something similar in length. I guess ‘a this is too long or too hard to read’ can’t be used as an excuse not to read A Monster Calls.
A snippet from the book:
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.
Have you read this book or anything like it? Tell me in the comments😊.