Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - , 2 comments

A Monster Calls

Rating: 5 Stars
Version: eBook
Author: Patrick Ness

GoodReads Summary:
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

I’ve wanted to read this book for a while, so when I saw it was on sale for $3 at Amazon, I didn’t hesitate to purchase it! Overall, the book was an enjoyable read, but there were some things I didn’t enjoy. For example, I didn’t like beginning’s ambiguity, nor did I like how it ended. However, I was prepared for the latter, since many blogs had mentioned their disappointment too – yes, I did my research. For those who also want to read this book, I think I should mention it contains a bit of British influence. It’s not a bad thing; it was just something I wasn’t use to.

As I mentioned above, there is a lot of ambiguity towards the beginning of the story. I didn’t really notice this until someone asked me to describe what I was reading. Afterwards, I had a hard time coming up with an explanation. For example:
  •  You know Connor’s mom is sick, but you don't know from what (specifically), thought it’s safe to assume cancer.
  • You know Connor is having nightmares, but you don't know what about.
  • Connor caused the Yew tree to come walking, but he (or you) doesn’t know why.

I should also mention that I was 75% of the way through this book and the only thing I knew for sure was who was related to whom and that an ancient yew tree came to tell Connor three stories... that's it. I also noticed that the book sounded elementary, but trust me it’s not!

As for Connor, he struggles to cope with his mother’s condition. He really just wants things to go back to normal, but of course, it’s not that simple. His classmates isolate him as if he is a disease, and his teachers constantly pity him.  Connor keeps mentioning that he wants to be punished, because being punished means that he’s not pitied. At one point, Connor badly beats a bully (Harry) to the point of hospitalization, but instead of being expelled as he hoped, the principal simply dismisses him.
“He was going to be punished. It was finally going to happen. Everything was going to make sense again. She was going to expel him. Punishment was coming. Thank God. Thank God-
“But how could I do that?” The headmistress said. “How could I do that and still call myself a teacher?” she said. “With all that you’re going through.”

At one point I thought, “Maybe the yew tree signifies his inner struggles, his way of dealing with the enormous amount of pressure, stress, and worry that he’s under.” After all, there was a section of the story that said he could feel his actions, but they weren't his doing. Throw in the fact that only Connor - out of a cafeteria full of students - could see the giant yew tree, and you have either the above situation or schizophrenia. However, physical proof always remained after the tree’s visit, so I guess it was real?

The ending was extremely sad and I’m not going to spoil it. All I will say, is Connor finally had to face his inner truth. I've had a very similar experience and it really hurt to emphasize with Connor because it brought back tough memories. 

Everyone should have to read this book. 


Sounds like a pretty different kind of book and very interesting if a bit confusing, will have to add it to the TBR list!

Yay! You won't be disappointed.. maybe a little sad, but not disappointed!

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