Monday, 29 August 2016

Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness



“YOU DO NOT WRITE YOUR LIFE WITH WORDS...YOU WRITE IT WITH ACTIONS. WHAT YOU THINK IS NOT IMPORTANT. IT IS ONLY IMPORTANT WHAT YOU DO.”

I love a good sob, whether it be through watching a sad movie or reading a sad book. A few weeks back, I was watching television nonchalantly, minding my own business. Suddenly, a film trailer started on the screen. 2 minutes later, I was in floods of tears. That film trailer was for the book to movie adaptation of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

I, like the majority of book lovers, prefer to read the book before going to the cinema to watch a film. I initially added the book to my ever growing reading list for a later date, but then saw that Sanne (booksandquills on youtube and twitter) had recommended it as a must read so I grabbed it straight away and got stuck right in. The book’s won countless awards and obviously, that must have been for a reason. Needless to say, I was right. I was informed by a number of my friends who had already read the book that I was set to sob my little heart out and I scoffed at them: yes, I cry at everything but this one is BLATANTLY OBVIOUSLY SAD. If I already know it’s sad, I can mentally prepare myself from the offset, right? Wrong.

I’m going to be pretty open with this review: I cried within about 2 pages of starting the book and then held it together right until the very end. I’ll get to the point straight away: I absolutely loved it. Everyone knows I love Young Adult fiction. I bleat on about this at every given opportunity. I’m not sure whether A Monster Calls falls directly into the YA genre or whether it’s aimed at younger readers, but either way it’s definitely one of the better books I’ve read in the last few months. There were certain scenes which were poignant and left me speechless- the scenes with Conor commenting on how the other children (and teachers!) changed in their treatment towards him after they found out about his mother were particularly sad, especially in his referencing being invisible. I found that these scenes choked me up before the actual sad things even happened.

The entire plot and the way it progressed was outstanding. I honestly feel like there’s nothing that I can say here that’ll truly give justice to this outstandingly beautiful story, but I also feel like I have to write SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to voice my thoughts and share this amazing tale. Ness’ language use is beyond amazing and I honestly can’t think of an author in the same genre that uses language as well as he does – his use of short sentences captures exactly the required mood and say so much more than their intended message. I was doing really well at holding myself together until pretty close to the end, before the letter from Lily arrives and finally, the absolute tear-jerker line:

“YOU BE AS ANGRY AS YOU NEED TO BE,” SHE SAID. “DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU OTHERWISE. NOT YOUR GRANDMA, NOT YOUR DAD, NO ONE. AND IF YOU NEED TO BREAK THINGS, THEN BY GOD, YOU BREAK THEM GOOD AND HARD.”

Beautifully written, poignant and heartbreaking in all the right ways. An absolute literary classic.

I absolutely cannot wait to see how this book is portrayed on the big screen. I hope to God that they’ve done it justice because it’d be absolutely heart-breaking if others didn’t get to enjoy this amazing gift to literature the way that I have.


5/5


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