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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
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A Monster Calls (edition 2011)

by Patrick Ness, Jim Kay (Illustrator)

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1,3751755,556 (4.42)200
Member:ellen2000
Title:A Monster Calls
Authors:Patrick Ness
Other authors:Jim Kay (Illustrator)
Info:Candlewick (2011), Edition: 1, Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:2012

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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English (171)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (175)
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
Conor O'Malley is 13. His parents are divorced. He lives in England with his "mum". Dad lives in America with his new wife & family. Conor gets bullied by Harry, Anton, & Sully at school. Lily is his friend, they've known each other for years. Conor's mum has cancer and has been going through treatments. Her mom (Conor's grandma) is not your typical sweet, gentle grandma. She is very driven and demanding. Sounds bad but the worst part is Conor's nightmare. Every night he has the same nightmare at 12:07. The yew tree in the back yard comes to life. It turns into a monster and talks to Conor. It tries to help him claiming Conor "called" him. It tells Conor three stories to share life lessons. In exchange, Conor must tell it his story, his greatest fear and the truth. Quick moving and an easy read, how will Conor face the bullies, handle mum's failing health, and his monstrous nightmares. Read to find out! ( )
  alsparks324 | Jul 11, 2014 |
Warning: This review contains an honest review of a popular book and it may not be a review that some people that liked the book, agrees with. Just remember, this is My Personal Opinion and we are entitled to those.

Now, on to my thoughts of the book

Let me start off by saying that the book is well written and pretty easy to read (outside of what the book itself is about). I loved the Mother and Lily. I liked the lesson the Tree was trying to give Conor.

The only reason this book got a 3/5 was because of those characters in the book and because it was well written, but for me, the story itself, was just too sad. Too many attitudes flying around. Conor and his grandmother got on my last damn nerve! Although I do understand Conor's anger and frustration, his attitude towards certain people was just unnecessary for me. And let me stress this again, I understand Conor was dealing with a lot..Between his Mother's situation to bullies at school, but the attitude he took towards people that were just trying to help him, aggravated me. I guess maybe I am looking at this through the eyes of a 39 year old woman. As someone who has dealt with my share of bullies and hurtful situations, again, I can understand some of what he is dealing with and the hurt he is having to hold on to. Feelings like no one cares, etc.

I don't hate this book at all. I went in knowing it was a bullying situation, but not knowing much else. I think that's why it got a lower rating from me. I am just not a person who likes overly sad books. Maybe if I had going into it knowing a little more, it wouldn't have been so "bad". That's a lot of the reason I don't want to read a John Green book. Too much sadness. When I read, I like to get away from truly painful reality. I guess that's why I like fantasy so much. It gets me out of reality, even with Angel books, I do believe in Angels but it's more of a comfort book thing for me. Sometimes sad things happen but it doesn't take over the whole book! And that goes with any other book I read, it can't be total sadness throughout the book. And hopefully at least some kind of happy ending at the end..even if there is death, people try to find a way to work through it. I really don't know how to explain it but I think, and hope, I put it in a way people understand what I mean! :-)

( )
  MsBridgetReads | Jul 8, 2014 |
This book made me cry in the middle of the public library. I hate crying in public, almost more than anything else, but at the same time, I couldn't bear to put the book down and move somewhere else. And for that, I both hate and love it. But mostly love.
Full review to come. ( )
1 vote Stormydawnc | Jun 23, 2014 |
This is an incredibly intense book about a boy whose mother has cancer, and the way he deals with his emotions about her illness and also the way her illness effects the way people treat him and how her illness has changed his life. The boy is visited by a Yew tree from the cemetery near his home.

I won't go into the actual story any more because it goes into spoilers except to say that if this is for a child, I'd screen for emotional appropriateness. This is a very, very well written book and it's very good. However, it does deal with loss, and death and dying and could be difficult for the Juvenile age groups. There are also some violent scenes.

The book is a pretty non-flinching look at a realistic look at a child's reaction to losing him custodial parent, the as well as trying to deal with the fact that none of their friends or teachers treat them normally any more.

The book was the brain child of YA author Siobhan Dowd before she died of breast cancer, she left her notes and ideas with Patrick Ness who wrote the book.

The version I experienced was the audio book read by Jason Isaacs. It was exceptionally well read. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote Clare_M | May 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
"... it’s powerful medicine: a story that lodges in your bones and stays there." “A Monster Calls” is a gift from a generous story­teller and a potent piece of art.
added by RBeffa | editNew York Times, Jessica Bruder (Oct 14, 2011)
 
The power of this beautiful and achingly sad story for readers over the age of 12 derives not only from Mr. Ness's capacity to write heart-stopping prose but also from Jim Kay's stunning black-ink illustrations. There are images in these pages so wild and ragged that they feel dragged by their roots from the deepest realms of myth.
 
It's also an extraordinarily beautiful book. Kay's menacing, energetic illustrations and the way they interact with the text, together with the lavish production values, make it a joy just to hold in your hand. If I have one quibble, it is with a line in the introduction where Ness says the point of a story is to "make trouble". It seems to me he has done the opposite here. He's produced something deeply comforting and glowing with – to use a Siobhan Dowd word – solace. The point of art and love is to try to shortchange that grim tax collector, death. Ness, Dowd, Kay and Walker have rifled death's pockets and pulled out a treasure. Death, it seems, is no disqualification.
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick Nessprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dowd, SiobhanAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kay, JimIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abarbanell, BettinaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
You're only young once, they say, but doesn't it go on for a long time? More years than you can bear.
Hilary Mantel, An Experiment in Love
Dedication
For Siobhan (Dowd)
First words
The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.
Quotations
You do not write your life with words, the monster said. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill--an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.

(summary from another edition)

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