Target Audience: Kids/Teens/Young Adults
Genre: Fiction/Simply profound reads
I can tell you now that I will never do this book justice however well I write the review, so I tell you upfront the best way to experience this is to read it yourself (and get the hardback copy because the illustrations are incredible)
A Monster Calls follows Conor O'Malley after his mother falls ill and he wakes up one night to find himself face to face with a monster who shows up at seven minutes past midnight. The monster claims he will tell him three stories and then Conor will have to tell him 'the truth' something Conor does not understand at first.
This book moved me so much I am not ashamed to say that I was in tears by the end and I mean crying buckets, not just a few tears. I have read many emotional and moving books but this one has left such an impact I doubt I will ever forget it as long as I live.
This is simply one of those books that manages to weave an engrossing story but also manages to hit readers a lot deeper than that while still being a really good read with a fascinating story line. I was very intrigued by the stories the monsters told and some of them left me slightly stunned too, and I felt I took so much away from just reading this.
As well as monsters and darkness there is a lot of loss to deal with in this book and a lot of relationships that are focussed upon as the novel progresses and it is the characters that make this book truly what it is. Conor is such an extraordinary boy and yet curiously different in his view of things and I felt every blow he took and every time he felt pain, and I have to admit I would have had trouble coping in his situation.
Then you have the relationship between Conor and his dad and, to be honest, I wasn't too keen on him since he just didn't seem to want to stay around enough. His son was losing his mother to Cancer and he couldn't stay with his son. That broke my heart.
I did however, have much more respect for Conor's grandmother whom he doesn't seem to like much at first, and it was heart-warming to a certain extent watching how their relationship changes as the novel progresses. With regards to Conor's mother I could never pretend to imagine what she must have been feeling and the last part with her and Conor in it had me in tears.
And what, you might ask, about the monster? The monster I consider to be somewhat of an enigma. Is he real? Was he a figment of Conor's mind? I'll let you make that decision for yourself but I think the thing to bear in mind is that no matter what other people believe to be real. If you believe it, then it is.
Incredible book. Please read this.