Have you ever read a book that completely surprised you? Like it seem like something completely different when first opening the book? That is what happen when I read A Monster Calls. A Monster Call is not a frightening book. Well in some ways it may spook its reader, yet that is not what it is meant to do. A Monster Calls is a work of low fantasy. This beautiful story is about a thirteen year old boy named Coner. Coner’s entire world has been flipped upside down when his mother becomes very sick. Coner has a hard time coming to grips with his reality. Suddenly a tree like monster enters his world and helps Coner figure out how to handle his sadness by telling him some tales.
The story is set in modern day England. It’s centered around a thirteen year old boy named Coner O Malley whose life is at its darkest point. Coner continues to have nightmares the ones with darkness, wind, and screaming. He’s having a difficult time dealing with his mother’s terminal cancer. It’s breaking him. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, he starts to hear an eerie voice. The voice is coming from outside his bedroom window. While peaking out his window he sees a gigantic monster which looks like a tree, yet has the body of a man. This monster has lived for many years and was summoned to tell Coner three important stories, but Coner must also tell the monster a story of his own.
Coner and this monster usually speak to each other around 12:07AM. The stories gravitates on different issues human’s face. Soon enough the monster learns about Coner’s mother. We also learn that Coner’s father is normally never around and his grandmother is not very nice. Bullies at school constantly mock Coner. Coner has also become the black sheep among his peers. As the story continues Coner’s mother’s illness grows worse.
The monsters interesting tales have an affect on Coner’s life. While being told the 2nd story Coner sabotages his grandmother’s home. From the third story Coner wallops Harry the school bully. Coner pleads that he’s not the one committing these acts, yet no one else can see the monster.
This moment leads us to Coner’s story. In this gripping chapter, Coner lets loose. Coner has come to the reality that his mother is not going to make it. In his story he fights to hold his mother from falling, yet he fails to do so. The monster convinces Coner that there is only one thing he must do. Coner must accept his mother’s death and the changes that lay ahead. Soon at 12:07AM his mother dies.
An amazing point to this novel is that the original author and founder of this story actually died from terminal cancer. Patrick Ness finished A Monster Call for his dear friend Siobhan Dowd. Perhaps she saw the monster too. A Monster Calls beautufiul illistrations were the work of Jim Kay.
I recommend this story to anyone who is either dealing with the loss of a loved one or someone who might be dealing with terminal cancer. Death seems frightening, yet it is a part of life. We should actually treat death like seeing an old friend. Someday we will all cross that river.