Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Pub Date: 9/2011
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Pictures are fantastic. Monsters are awesome. But best of all were the characters. Books can have many wrongs, but in my world, real, believable characters will often let me gloss over them. And A Monster Calls didn't have any of those faults. I loved the complexity within Conor. Never having had a parent with cancer, I felt like the portrayal of his story was realistic, and unique. One of the themes in the story was his feeling invisible. The fantastical element of the story really added to his struggle, and asked tough questions about morality. All of the parts of a story that could make it beautiful were in line.
Memorable or Forgettable: Stories are the reason I joined TKB, so stories that talk about how important stories are usually end up catching my fancy. The concept of the monster telling stories to Conor, so that he has to end up telling his story to the monster to save himself was beautiful. Conor saved himself through stories, and the inner conflict around that had me nearly crying during school.
Cover: The cover on the shelf sort of put me off with all of the darkness. After reading the book, however, the cover is fantastic. The style of illustration carries on throughout the book, and fits the raw darkness of the story.
Age Range: Under 12-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal