REVIEW: A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness

Thursday, 12 October 2017

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting - he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.

People told me I would cry? Ehhh, maybe I’m just a heartless bitch but I definitely wouldn’t all rush at once to pass me your tissues. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I really like the writing style and it was a really, really easy book to pick up and just zoom through, but the way that the more ‘emotional' elements of this book were portrayed?
I just wasn’t into it.
When it comes to subjects like this, my view of them are heavily influenced by my personal experience, as all people’s are, and I just feel like that it discussed the subjects of loss and grief in a way that I just didn’t agree with. I mean, sure, this book is perfect for people far younger than I am who need to view these things in a simple, convenient, done-up-with-a-bow way - but looking at it as an adult? It isn’t simple or anything like this book describes it as, particularly as it nears its conclusion.
Aside from that point, which I really don’t want get into for fear of me actually crying, other critiques I have (which obviously hold far less weight in my rating of this book) are the voice of the main character and his personality, which strongly a child of much younger; the odd, out-of-place point line in regards to the school bully because honestly, their interactions and the bully’s utterly bizarre persona really pulled me out of the story (does ANYONE know what the fuck that was about?? Please explain it to me if you do); and how, truly awful, the boy’s father was - I mean, your, I presume, ex-wife is dying, do you not care at all?
Honestly, as much as I liked Patrick Ness’ writing, something just didn’t sit right with me in this book and it has definitely left a bit of a bad feeling in my mouth upon reaching its end.

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