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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
4.5 out of 5

I originally purchased this book to give it to my sister for her birtday. It didn’t arrive on time and I ended up keeping it. Yay for me! But one of the reasons why it intrigued me was the darkness that soaked this YA novel. I am a sucker for dark, gothic novels and this one not only incorporated a great story but also amazing art. It was like a picture book for YA+.

It’s a novel about coming to terms with loss and how our main character, Conor, does this. A monster turns up for Conor but it’s not the monster he had been fearing. This monster wants the truth.

At first I thought it was going to be a supernatural book but it wasn’t, which I was deeply glad about. The monster imparts knowledge or “lessons” onto Conor in the form of three original, intriguing and painfully dark fables. I found them the most fascinating of all. The story dances along the thin line between what is real and what is simply a dream (or nightmare) and yet grounds itself so deeply in humanity, expressing experiences and thoughts we have all shared.

The book felt like a grand fable. There is so much to learn from the pages for individuals of all ages because of it’s universal themes. The art within the pages pushed the novel to greater heights because it added a whole new edge to the story. The illustrations aided the ‘fable’ feel of the story. It’s not your classic happy story and it ends on a bittersweet note, it will leave you exhausted from the raw emotion. It’s a deeply satisfying read. A beautifully crafted YA novel which explores the torment and struggle we experience when we lose those we love.

Ermisenda Alvarez

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