Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Conor's mom is slowly dying of cancer but they're both in denial about what's happening. Conor can't imagine a world without his mom, so tries to ignore it. He's haunted by a nightmare he has most nights and this night is no different.

When he wakes up, he hears something calling his name. Out in the yard, he watches as the yew tree pulls itself out of the ground and shapes itself into a being. An extremely tall being or monster. The monster wants Conor to be afraid of him, but after his nightmare, Conor doesn't find the tree fearful at all.

The monster has a strange request--Conor must listen to three of the monster's stories and then tell one of his own.

But Conor would rather face death than admit to his greatest fear...and the source of his nightmare.

Conor's pain, anger, and fear leap off the page. The monster's motives are unclear until the end of the book. Conor is a likable character who is going through a horrible experience. The illustrations throughout make the story more enjoyable and add depth to the setting.

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