Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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BOOK review
Started on: 22.April.2015
Finished on: 23.April.2015

Title : A Monster Calls
Author : Patrick Ness
Publisher : Walker
Pages :  237 pages
Year of Publication : 2012
Price : $10.83 (www.bookdepository.com/)

Rating: 5/5
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It is not what I want from you, Conor O'Malley, it said. It is what you want from me.
"I don't want anything from you," Conor said.
Not yet, said the monster. But you will.
Connor O'Malley is a thirteen-year-old who's been having nightmares ever since his mother started getting treatments for her disease. He woke up from the nightmare at 12.07, and then he heard someone called his name. Connor discovered it was the yew tree behind his house that called his name, and it transformed into a gigantic tree monster. When the monster approached him, Connor was not afraidbecause the monster was not as terrifying as the one in his nightmare. But the monster assured him that Connor will be afraid before the end; because it demands the truth about the nightmare that Connor fears.

"Stories don't always have happy endings."
This stopped him. Because they didn't, did they? That's one thing the monster had definitely taught him. Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn't expect."
The monster kept coming at 12.07 after Connor's nightmare; and it came to tell him three stories. These stories started off like any other fairy tale, but Connor was disappointed by how the story ended because they were not what he expected. After the third story, the monster said that it's time for Connor to tell his own story. When the end gets near, Connor will have no choice but to face his biggest fear. And he will then understand why the monster had come walking and called his name at 12.07 that very first night.
Stories are important, the monster said. They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth.
image source: here. edited by me.
I literally have no idea what to write in my review right after I finished this book. This book stirred up my feelings with all its' depressing yet beautifully written story. I had a really high expectation for this book due to the positive responds towards it, but this book surpassed that expectation. It's literally beyond what I imagined it would be. I was expecting a horror story, but I wouldn't really call this a horror book—because the story is indeed haunting, but not in a scary way that will give you nightmares. At first I was a little bit confused as to where the story is going with Connor and the monster that came at 12.07 midnight. But it just made me want to keep reading because I'm curious to know what made the monster came walking and also Connor's nightmare that's vaguely explained throughout the book. And there's also the three stories the monster told Connor that might sound like a typical fairy tale in the beginning—however the endings of those stories are not what I expected. These stories are probably one of my favorite parts of this book; because unlike the typical fairy tale, they don't teach moral or niceness. These stories are about the reality of life and how things can be unfair sometimes. That people can both be good and bad. And in fact that's how it is most of the time.
You were merely wishing for the end of pain, the monster said. Your own pain. An end to how it isolated you. It is the most human wish of all.
I can't really say much about the book because I'm afraid I'll spoil it for those of you who haven't read this amazing book. So I'll just say that the ending of this book is perfect; it made me understand everything that happened throughout the story: what's Connor's nightmare and his internal confliction, why the monster came walking and called Conor, and why it always came at 12.07. For such a dark and gloomy story, this book ended in a very beautiful and heartwarming way. From the very beginning, I was emotionally engaged to Connor who's going through a rough patch at such a young age. And so when he finally realized the truththe truth that he was so afraid to admitI felt like I wanted to give a pat on his back. In short, I felt relieved at the end of the book, even though it wasn't particularly a happy ending :')

Below are some of my favorite passages from the book ♥♥

↓↓↓↓↓
There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between....
It is a true story, the monster said. Many things that are true feel like a cheat. Kingdoms get the princes they deserve, farmers' daughters die for no reason, and sometimes witches merit saving. Quite often, actually. You'd be surprised.
Because humans are complicated beasts, the monster said. How can a queen be both a good witch and a bad witch? How can a prince be a murderer and a saviour? How can an apothecary be evil-tempered but right-thinking? How can a parson be wrong-thinking but good-hearted? How can invisible men make themselves more lonely by being seen?

"I don't know," Connor shrugged, exhausted. "Your stories never made any sense to me."

The answer is that it does not matter what you think, the monster said, because your mind will contradict itself a hundred times each day. You wanted her to go at the same time you were desperate for me to save her. Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.
“You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.
For me, this book was such an incredible introduction to Patrick Ness' writing. I love the way he writes and I know I'll be picking up more of his books soon. For those of you who haven't read this book, don't be afraid of the 'horror' label on it, because it's definitely much more than just a scary story. The book is really short and fast-paced too, so it won't take too long to finish it. Trust me, it's difficult for me to put this book down.
"And it was for this that the monster came. It must have been. Conor had needed it and his need had somehow called it. And it had come walking. Just for this moment."
 
by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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