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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness - Review

Friday, January 27, 2017

Where did I get it? I bought it a couple of weeks ago because I really want to see the film and I wanted to read the book first.

What's it about? 
Conor is in his early teens and his mother is dying. It’s never specified what of, and it’s never actually said that she’s dying until very near the end, but it’s obvious that’s what’s happening. Conor’s dad lives in America with his new wife and daughter, and Conor’s grandma and Conor don’t really get on. Every night, Conor has a nightmare about his mum, and at school he’s being bullied.

Then, he calls the monster. From Conor’s back garden he can see a yew tree in the churchyard, and it comes alive and comes to his house to tell him stories, stories which will end in Conor having to face the truth about his mother’s illness.

What age range is it for? 
Probably twelve and upwards

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? 

Are any main characters people of colour? 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? 
I guess Conor’s mum’s illness counts as a disability, yeah. She’s extremely unwell, as you can imagine.

Is there any sex stuff? No

Are drugs mentioned or used? 
There’s some vague discussion of the treatments Conor’s mum is having, but not really.

Is there any talk of death? 
Yes, of course, in a very real way

Are there swear words? 

Would I recommend the book?
Yes, if the premise appeals. The monster is pretty scary! I didn’t love it, but that’s probably just me as I know lots of people gave this rave reviews

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life?
Like I said, I want to see the film

What other books is it like? Maybe a bit like The Fault In Our Stars?

How many stars?
Seven out of ten. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either.

Where is the book going now? I’m not sure! I might donate it to a friend’s collection.

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