A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

Conor's mother is dying of cancer. despite the fact that Conor has not been able to admit it to himself. His mother is the most important person in his life - his father lives in America with his new family, and his grandmother is nothing like grandmothers are supposed to be; she still works, treats Conor like he is her servant and when you visit her house you cannot sit anywhere or touch anything but everything is so expensive and old. 

Even since Conor's mother started having treatments to her cancer, Conor has been seeing nightmares. But when one night, 7 minutes after midnight a monster shows up, Conor is surprised, because it is not the monster he had been expecting. It is not the monster from his nightmares. This monster is ancient. It tells Conor that it will tell him three stories and the fourth story told will be Conor's. It will be the truth. But Conor has not talked about the nightmare to anyone. And he for sure knows that he is not ready to stay what it true out loud.

A Monster Calls was such a quick, thrilling read from author Patrick Ness. The idea for the novel was created by Siobhan Dowd, but due to her premature death from cancer, the responsibility to write down the story was given to Ness. I have not read the books from the Chaos Walking series by Ness, but reading this book really made me want to pick those up. The way he writes is so descriptive, so beautiful. At times the books is extremely funny, at times dark and haunting, and at times so sad that it really brought tears to my eyes. Conor is 13 years old and he is going through the fact that someone he loves very dearly might be gone soon. Through the narration it is clear that he is still a child, but there is a part of him that is so adult, so grown up. And like adults sometimes, he is to ready to admit something he knows that is out there, something he knows is going to happen.

I think this book hit home quite hard because of the fact that I was 12 years old when I lost a parent. I was quite like Conor - confused, angry and not ready to admit what had happened. Not ready to admit the truth. The people around Conor, from his father to his schoolmates and teachers, are walking on eggshells, trying to treat her differently because of what is happening in his life.Through the three stories the ancient monster tells, Conor realizes that the action that seems to be the right one, the truth that seems right, isn't always so. The monster helps him grow up, it helps him to come into terms with what is happening with his life. 

A Monster Calls, at least for me, will be a book I will remember. And a book I will go back to. While reading it, I realized I kept bringing up my own issues, somewhat transporting myself back to the confused 12 year old that I was, trying to deal with something similar that Conor goes through. Finishing with the book was a cathartic experience because I felt bad for Conor, but also for myself. But I also felt how much I have grown up since I was able to admit the truth. It really gave me a new perspective to my childhood and to the way the delt with the truth then. To the the way I deal with the truth now, 10 years later.