by Patrick Ness
2 ** = Overall not recommended; there were some highlights, but nothing to write home about
Just over two weeks ago, I had 12 inches of snow outside my door. Today, it was 56 degrees and sunny. So being the good Washingtonian that I am, I threw on my Chacos, sunglasses and not-so-light jacket and made my way outside to finish my book like there was no tomorrow. You have to take advantage of these days in the Northwest, my friends.
And that’s where the “bright and cheery” ends. My book sure didn’t match the weather.
I had been wanting to read “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness for quite some time now. I read his “Chaos Walking” trilogy not too long ago and was totally enticed by his writing. He’s good. Real good.
While we’re here: I would highly recommend the “Chaos Walking” trilogy for my “Hunger Games”/”Maze Runner”/troubling-dystopian-novel-loving friends.
Now that that’s out there . . .
“A Monster Calls” reads like a 200-page short story, containing many short chapters and beautifully haunting illustrations.
The book is about 13-year-old Connor who is visited by a hauntingly powerful monster, who tells the boy mysterious tales with deep hidden meanings. That was enough to interest me. I like books about monsters and deep mysterious tales.
But. . .then we learn about Connor’s mom who is losing a battle against cancer. Those kinds of books are not my favorite. Why? Because I hate crying, and the only thing that is not mysterious about this book is that there WILL be crying.
So yes. I got tears on my sunglasses. Argh.
This book isn’t for everyone. I won’t be reading it again, but I don’t regret reading it. It reminded me very much of “The Book Thief” by Marcus Zusak. Both are very haunting and both have tearstains on their pages from yours truly. And, both deal with real life, tragic events from a very unique perspective, which although literarily interesting, include principles that I personally do not prescribe to. It is for that reason, that I hesitate to recommend this book.
For those who feel they have the emotional fortitude to tackle this book, I feel like I need to tell you that when it comes down to it, it’s about death and how one deals with it. Not exactly light reading.
As for me, I’m going to go watch “Gnomeo and Juliet.” That’s more my speed.